If you have decided to pursue a career in healthcare, congratulations! The healthcare field continues to grow. In fact, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is a rate that is much faster than average for all occupations. In addition, the healthcare field is projected to add more jobs than any other occupational group. You may ask, why is the healthcare field growing so rapidly? Well, the answer is simple. With the aging population, there will be an even greater demand for healthcare services. If the demand for healthcare services goes up, there will be an increased demand for skilled healthcare workers as well (1). This is all great news for those who want to work in the healthcare field.
There are many great paths to consider when choosing a career in healthcare. It is important to select a path that is going to be right for you. You should ask yourself important questions about what you want from your healthcare career. Can you see yourself doing the work associated with a particular occupation? Do you know where various healthcare professionals work, whom they work with, and what their daily duties entail?
Today we are going to discuss three popular occupations in the healthcare field: Medical Assistants, Patient Care Technicians, and Dialysis Patient Care Technicians. Check it out below to learn more about these occupations and their role within the healthcare industry. You never know, a career as one of these healthcare professionals could be right for you!
Where do Medical Assistants work?
Medical Assistants are most often found working in doctors’ offices and clinics. Some Medical Assistants may also be found working in hospitals, but the vast majority are found in independent practices and clinics.
What duties do Medical Assistants perform?
Medical Assistants work closely with doctors and patients on a daily basis. In many cases, the Medical Assistant could be viewed as the doctor’s ‘right hand’ because they are the person who calls the patient back to the exam room, takes their vitals and health history, prepares them to see the doctor, and will often times perform follow-up procedures and/or tests after the patient has seen the doctor. Follow-up procedures and tests may include blood draws, injections, and EKGs. Depending upon the scope of their specific responsibilities (and the size of the office where they work), Medical Assistants may also perform administrative duties in the workplace. This may include scheduling appointments, answering the phone, preparing medical bills, working with insurance companies to ensure claims are paid in a timely manner. A great medical assistant can wear a number of hats, and they serve a critical role in the successful operation of a doctor’s office!
Why should someone pursue a career as a Medical Assistant?
For someone who is looking to work in the healthcare field alongside doctors, a career as a Medical Assistant may be the right choice. Medical Assistants are exposed to a broad base of skills and duties in their job and a career as a Medical Assistant could even serve as a stepping-stone. Those who train to become a Medical Assistant may work for a few years in the field and later go back to school to further their education and pursue another career in the healthcare field. Lastly, Medical Assistants are in-demand in Michigan. According to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 28.1% from 2016 to 2026 (2).
Patient Care Technician
Where do Patient Care Technicians work?
Patient Care Technicians can be found working in a variety of settings. They can work in places like hospitals, home health care agencies, extended care facilities, and skilled nursing facilities.
What duties do Patient Care Technicians perform?
Patient Care Technicians work on the frontlines of healthcare. They are often found working closely with RNs, LPNs, and Doctors. Duties associated with being a Patient Care Technician may include measuring vital signs, input and output. PCTs may also assist patients with activities associated with daily living, such as bathing, dressing, moving/transitioning patients, etc. Patient Care Technicians who work in hospitals will likely work very closely with RNs and will be responsible for tending to the needs of a variety of patients (depending on which unit or floor they are assigned). A PCT must have strong communication skills because in addition to communicating with RNs and their patients, they may also have regular contact with the families of their patients.
Why should someone pursue a career as a Patient Care Technician?
A career as a Patient Care Technician can be very rewarding and fulfilling. A great Patient Care Technician can make a huge difference in caring for a sick patient. One may choose to become a Patient Care Technician if they want to have the options of working in various healthcare settings (hospitals, home health care, etc.). Another reason some may choose to become a Patient Care Technician is because they want to work side by side with nurses and gain a broader exposure and understanding of different roles in healthcare. In some cases, a Patient Care Technician may even choose to go back to Nursing school in the future to pursue a career as an LPN or an RN.
Dialysis Patient Care Technician
Where do Dialysis Patient Care Technicians work?
Dialysis Patient Care Technicians (or Dialysis Technicians) may be found working in a variety of settings. Some of these may include dialysis treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, and home health care agencies.
What duties do Dialysis Patient Care Technicians perform?
Dialysis Patient Care Technicians are primarily responsible for providing care to patients undergoing dialysis treatment. Their duties may include monitoring vascular access. Dialysis Technicians also monitor the functions of the dialysis machine as well as disinfect equipment. They may also calculate fluid remove rates and respond to the immediate medical needs of patients, based on orders from the nurse supervisor. Communication with patients and their families happens on a regular basis and is critical in this type of position. Dialysis Technicians work closely with RNs in their role.
Why should someone pursue a career as a Dialysis Patient Care Technician?
Dialysis Patient Care Technicians are an integral part of our healthcare system. Alongside RNs, they provide direct care to those undergoing dialysis treatment. One may choose a career as a Dialysis Patient Care Technician for a variety of reasons. First, Dialysis Patient Care Technicians are found working in a variety of settings, including Dialysis facilities and hospitals. Another reason is the different employment opportunities that may be available to a Dialysis Patient Care Technician. Those who undergo training at Dorsey Schools as a Dialysis Patient Care Technician may choose to pursue a career working with patients undergoing dialysis treatment, they may choose to pursue a career as a Patient Care Technician, or they may choose to work in a doctor’s office. Choosing to pursue a career as a Dialysis Patient Care Technician can be advantageous because of the skills and knowledge one has obtained and how they can apply it in the healthcare field.
2) Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2016-2026) Michigan Statewide, Medical Assistants (SOC Code: 31-9092), https://milmi.org/ (visited July 14, 2018).