According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 25,200 personnel were added to hospital payrolls in 2014. This trend is expected to continue, not only in hospitals but also in all health and wellness facilities, with the BLS forecasting significant growth in health care jobs between 2014 and 2020.
Although the medical field has been growing for many years, experts say that the Affordable Care Act has spurred massive growth in health care jobs. A recent article on Forbes.com, “Since Obamacare Passed 50 Months Ago, Healthcare Has Gained Almost 1 Million Jobs,” attributes this trend to a wealth of newly insured patients.
Julie Bird, author of “4 Emerging Healthcare Jobs," agrees and adds that fewer uninsured patients also lead to increased revenue for hospitals, allowing them to hire more personnel. In addition, new technology enhances the need for highly skilled workers to operate specialized equipment, and the trend towards “value-based” care makes conditions ripe for them to create new health care jobs. Bird cites four emerging health care jobs that are particularly promising. The first is a care coordinator, a registered nurse who helps coordinate patient care among the various medical professionals. Second is a chief population health officer, an individual who creates and manages the facilities’ population health goals. The third is a navigator, a licensed clinician who helps patients and their families navigate treatment options in concert with health insurers. The fourth health care job is a clinical documentation specialist, a professional trained to analyze documents, including patient records and insurance claims, with an eye toward increasing revenue for services rendered.
The increased need for health care workers also bodes well for those looking to enter the medical field, and these position do not always require a four year college degree. In "Three Emerging Entry-Level Health care Jobs in 2014,” poster Michelle Warg highlights these entry-level positions: occupation therapy assistant, pharmacy technician and medical coding and billing administrator. Occupation therapy assistants help occupational therapists and work closely with patients to help rehabilitate them, allowing patients to return to work or live independently. Pharmacy technicians work with pharmacists, helping to dispense medications and other health care products to patients. Medical coding and billing administrators handle patient billing, keep medical records up to date, and prepare and submit insurance claims. Certification and education is required for these health care jobs. There are also numerous other entry-level opportunities in the health care field, including certified nursing assistant, home health aide and medical assistant.
With the Affordable Care Act adding ever-increasing numbers of health care jobs to the mix, there is no better time to find a job in a hospital, doctor’s office or other medical facility. The opportunities include both entry-level and experienced positions, as well as newly created ones, and jobseekers are limited only by their imaginations and determination.
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