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Tips for a “Healthy” Career Choice

The Bureau of Labor Information for Healthcare Professions 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers helpful information for students and professionals researching nearly any career field. For those interested in starting or advancing a career in healthcare, you’re going to be happy with what the data tells us. In some of our prior blogs, we’ve provide BLS data that relates to CAHE programs or healthcare industry occupations. As the end of 2017 approaches, we’ve decided to pull everything together for those making career plans for the upcoming year. To simplify your research process, this article compares employment data across the healthcare professions for which CAHE offers training and certification.

How’s the job outlook? 

It’s difficult to make a bad career choice in the healthcare industry.

  • The population is aging and living longer, which continues to increase the need for professionals in healthcare fields that treat geriatric patients.
  • The elderly population will require sophisticated treatments for conditions such as heart disease and cancer, and healthcare facilities will require employees with the knowledge to provide this care.
  • Technology continues to evolve in the healthcare field. Office equipment, such as electronic medical record (EMR) software, as well as imaging, testing, and treatment equipment are skills that are needed by healthcare practitioners.

Here’s the BLS projected change in employment from 2016 to 2026:

Diagnostic Medical Sonography + 23%
Medical Assistant + 29%
EMT/Paramedic + 15%
Radiation Therapy + 12%
Radiography / Radiologic Technologists + 12%
Surgical Technologists + 12%

Where do you want to live? 

There is an ongoing need for qualified healthcare professionals across the United States, whether you prefer to live in a big city or rural country. Although logic dictates that it’s easier to get a job in a more highly populated area, you will have the opportunity for a successful career wherever you choose to live. According to BLS data, the highest employment states for the healthcare careers listed in the job outlook section are: New York, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Florida.

How much education do you need? 

There are considerations to make when planning your healthcare education.  In most states, a certification in the respective field is required to qualify for employment in the field. Generally, graduates qualify for the respective certification exams upon successful completion of an accredited program/ institution. Center for Allied Health Education (CAHE- Brooklyn, NY) is institutionally accredited and simultaneously holds accreditation for each program.

No post-secondary education or degree is required for employment in the fields of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Surgical Technology, Medical Assistant, EMT or Paramedic.

An associate degree or above is required for entry-level jobs as Radiation Therapists or Radiologic Technologists (X-ray techs).  Applicants seeking admissions to CAHE’s Radiography Program are able to obtain a degree while in the program through an affiliated college if they have not previously acquired a degree (in any field) from a regionally accredited institution.

Which healthcare industry most appeals to you?

Healthcare employees work in a variety of industry settings. If you have a facility-type preference, consider these top industries:

Hospitals: all the careers discussed in this article are employed by either general medical or surgical hospitals.

Physician Offices: Medical assistants commonly work in physician practices and health practitioner offices. Technologists such as sonographers, radiation therapists, and surgical technologists also work with medical practices.

Medical and diagnostic laboratories: careers such as the technologist mentioned above that focus on imaging, testing, and treatments may also work in lab facilities.

Here are a few different workplace opportunities that might spark your interest:

  • If you don’t like being cooped up in an office or even a hospital, consider and EMT paramedic career.
  • Nursing home and assisted living facilities have a need for sonographers and medical assistants.
  • Surgical Technologists and medical assistants have high levels of employment in dental offices.

The BLS data provides industry information by level of employment, concentration of employment, and top paying industries for each occupation.

How much money can I make?  

Although it shouldn’t be your only consideration, the reality is we all want to make a comfortable living. Here’s some data provided by BLS that shows wage and then compares it to Metro New York. You can look at the BLS page for your career choice to see additional salary information.

BLS Occupation National

Mean Annual Wage

NY Metro

Mean Annual Wage

Diagnostic Medical Sonography $71,750 $72,120
Medical Assistant $32,850 $35,630
EMT $36,110 $42,430
Radiation Therapy $84,980 $101,480
Radiography $59,260 $70,260
Surgical Technologists $46,800 $54,860

For further Bureau of Labor Statistics information, search for the career that interests you at www.bls.gov.

 

EMT Basic: The first step to Becoming a Paramedic

EMT Basic
Students interested in a healthcare career as an emergency first responder have training and certification options.But regardless of career plans, from EMT to paramedic, the first step is to get certified as what’s referred to as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B).

EMT-B Certification 

To become a certified EMT-B, students mustfirst take a program that teaches the emergency care skills required for EMT work. The coursework shouldprovide the competency needed to handle a variety of medical emergencies. Students will learn how to assess patients and correctly respond to their needs. They’ll learntrauma care, CPR, hemorrhage control, fracture and spine stabilization, and childbirth. EMTs save lives by administering glucose for diabetics, providing oxygen to patients, and assisting with asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Programs also teachthe proper use of related technology, such as life support and defibrillator equipment.

Learn more about CAHE’s EMT Program.

Once an EMT-B course is satisfactorily completed, there are a few additional requirements needed both for students who would like to move directly into the healthcare workforce as an EMT and for those moving on to paramedictraining and certification. First, graduates should take the New York State Practical and Written Exam. The Department of Health website provides information, such as the written exam schedule.

National EMS Certification

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) provides information on all levels of national emergency medical service (EMS) certification. New York EMS technicians can complete their national certification first by passing the two NREMT tests:

  • National Registry psychomotor examinations are standardized scenario-based tests. This test shows your level of competence for emergency care skills.
  • National Registry cognitive exam is a computer adaptive test (CAT) that covers all aspects of EMS care.

When the applicant has passed both exams, they area Nationally Certified EMS Technician.

Becoming a Paramedic

In addition to the solid foundation of life-saving skills learned during EMT-B studies, paramedics are certified to perform advanced skills in emergency situations.Paramedics can administer medications and start intravenous lines. They are able to free airway obstructions and resuscitate patients. To learn more, read our previous blog on A Day in the Life of a Paramedic.

Whichever plans you pursue in your EMSstudies, be sure you get the best training. Lives will depend on it.

 

How to Prepare for CT and MRI Certification Exams

CT MRI PREP Education and training is essential to success in any occupation, but it is especially true for a career in healthcare technology. Many healthcare fields offer opportunities for advancement when a specialization is added to your resume. Radiologic technologists (also referred to as radiographers) can take continuing education courses to prepare for certification as a CT or MRI tech.

The first step is to become a certified radiographer. To qualify for certification, students must have completed a radiography program and hold at minimum an associate’s degree. Once these qualifications are met, students must pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) National Certification Exam and apply for a New York State Department of Health Radiologic Technology license.

CT Imaging Prep

Computed tomography (CT) imaging uses x-ray equipment for internal body scans. They are also referred to as CAT scans, which is an acronym for Computerized Axial Tomography. As opposed to conventional x-ray images, CT test results provide cross-sectional images that are sometimes viewed in a three-dimensional format. CT scanning is often used to detect cancer, as they display the size and location of tumors.

New requirements for CT technologists were updated in 2016. Radiology Today reports that by 2018, all technologists who performed CT exams will be required to be certified. Students must have achieved mandatory CT competencies to pass the ARRT exam. The test contains questions on patient care, radiation safety, image production, and procedures. More details on the exam content can be found here.

CAHE provides a CT Registry Prep Course that has been approved for 28.75 Category A Continuing Education (CE) credits by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). Students who opt for the clinical component of the course have a nine-month window to complete their clinical competencies using CAHE’s affiliated clinical sites.

CT SCAN

MRI Prep

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologists must have an extensive knowledge of cross-sectional anatomy and physics. MRI diagnostic imaging test results provide three-dimensional internal body images without the use of radiation. These tests are well suited for imaging soft tissue within the body, such as organs, muscles, the brain, and spinal cord and nerves.

It certainly appears to be worthwhile to enhance your skills with MRI certification. US News and World Report’s 2017 best jobs rank MRI technologists #17 in best healthcare support jobs and #78 in the overall 100 best jobs category. The MRI exam includes questions on patient care, safety, image production, and procedures. ARRT provides information on the MRI examination at this link.

CAHE’s MRI Registry Prep Course has been approved for 34.75 Category A Continuing Education (CE) credits by the ASRT. Students who opt for the clinical component of the course have a nine-month window to complete their clinical competencies using CAHE’s affiliated clinical sites.

ARRT is a valuable resource for radiographers and students studying to enter the field of radiologic technology. Visit their website for detailed information on how to achieve these additional certifications with the ARRT exams for CT and MRI imaging equipment. Radiographers should consider one or both of these specialties to enhance their career.

For individuals interested in either of these two continuing education programs, CAHE offers a FREE IV Contrast Injection Certification Course for individuals registered for the CT/MRI Registry Prep Course at CAHE.

A Career in Radiation Therapy

Working with Cancer Patients

hope-surviveIn honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, now is a good time to learn about a rewarding career as a radiation therapist.

There is so much gratification associated with radiation therapy work. Two aspects that immediately come to mind are its humanitarian dividends and high financial compensation. It’s not an easy profession and radiation therapists are expected to complete a great deal of work and perform patient procedures to a very high level of standard. They perform daily duties that can be both emotionally and physically taxing. However, considering the gravity and the importance of such a job, many find that it is a rewarding career choice.

What qualities make a great radiation therapist?

CAHE-radiation-therapyAttention to detail and a technical aptitude are characteristics needed to be a successful radiation therapist. They are required to take patient x-rays prior to radiation treatment, operate computer programs that administer the correct dose of radiation, as well as to deliver radiation treatment with various pieces of equipment. Another critical job requirement is to ensure that all equipment is working properly.

Due to the intensity of radiation treatments, there are soft skills that are vital for a radiation therapist’s success. Interpersonal teamwork and clear and accurate communications (both spoken and written) are critical for the success of the oncology team. Communications are also important for interactions with patients and their families during such a trying time. Radiation Therapists must be sympathetic, compassionate, and sensitive to each patient’s unique situation.

What are the educational requirements for radiation therapists?

Topics covered in a Radiation Therapy Program include anatomy, physiology and physics, to name a few. Most programs will also include courses in medical terminology, imaging, radiologic technology and radiation oncology. Clinical training will be the capstone of a student’s studies.

After successful completion of an accredited program and possessing a minimum of an associate degree, graduates qualify for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national certification exam. In New York State, radiation therapists receive their license after passing this national registry.

How is the job outlook for radiation therapy?

According to the US Department of Labor:

• The national mean annual wage for a licensed radiation therapist is $84,980. In the New York tri-state area it’s $101,480.
• Due somewhat to the aging US populations, the job outlook for radiation therapy is expected to grow faster than average at a rate of 14% from 2014 to 2024. Approximately 60% of cancer patients will require radiation at some point in their disease.
• About one-half of the jobs for radiation therapy are in hospitals. There is also a demand for work in physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and in higher education.

Below are links to more Department of Labor data on occupations in radiation therapy:

Radiation Therapist Occupational Employment Statistics

Radiation Therapist Occupational Outlook Handbook

As an important member of the oncology team, this is a career that’s a good fit for many medical students. Look at CAHE’s Radiation Therapy Program to learn more.

blog-radiation-therapy

 

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Visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website to learn what you can do for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

What You Should Know About Financial Aid

How to Balance Ambition and Affordability 

A healthcare education is an investment in your success, your happiness, and a secure future. When you consider the time and money you’ll be expending on preparing for a great career, be sure that you investigate all of the financial opportunities available to accredited higher education programs. Whatever your aspirations are, don’t let personal financial restrictions defer your goals. There’s plenty of help out there for determined students.

Student Loans 

Student loans are a conduit for many students who otherwise would not be able to afford a higher education. Government programs are usually preferred, but private lenders are also available to help finance accredited programs. Many of these loans offer lower administrative costs, easy approval, and helpful payback policies.

Here’s what to look for when researching student loans.

  • Student loans are considered low risk loans, and they are sometimes government-subsidized. This keeps loan application fees low. Be sure that your loan has a fixed rate, so you’re not faced with any surprises in the future.
  • Lenders understand that students might not work while they are in school, and they may not have an established credit history. For these reasons, credit checks are more lenient for student loans than for other types of loans.
  • Carefully review a loan’s repayment policy. Many lenders do not require payments until after you complete school. See if the loan carries an unemployment deferment clause, which will suspend payments if you are unemployed for a period of time.
  • There are different types of loans that can be based on the borrower’s situation, the degree you are pursuing, or your field of study. The best place to start is the FAFSA website, where you can complete a free application online.

Just because you can get easy approval on a substantial sum of money, proceed cautiously. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that one day you do have to pay it all back. Hopefully, your successful career will make loan repayment a breeze; but, in any event, you want your payments as low as possible. Look into “free money” such as grants and scholarships to lower your loan requirements.

How to Apply for Grants and Scholarships

 Loans are often the first option people explore when they are planning to finance their education. But they shouldn’t be the only option. Before you sign for your student loan, research the free money that is available through grants and scholarships. Grants are allocated based on financial need, and scholarships are merit based.

  • The financial aid department at your school is a good place to start. They will be able to provide guidelines, and they can inform you of awards available to your school by local donors and corporations.
  • Search online for scholarship and grant awards. There are websites that list available awards by type of medical program, or search for financial opportunities available that may specifically pertain to you, such as programs for minorities and veterans.
  • Look for Associations in your future profession. They often offer scholarships and grants to students. As a side note, it’s a good idea to join one of these organizations. Not only will you have easier access to financial opportunities, you’ll also have use of a resource center and the opportunity to network with students and professionals.
  • All students should look at the free application on the FAFSA This Department of Education office provides more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, andwork-study funds each year to more than 13 million students.

CAHE offers financial aid for our accredited programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Radiography, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Technology, Medical Assistant and Paramedic Programs.

Consider a Career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Become an essential member of the medical team. Training for a technical job in the healthcare field is an ultrasound investment. Sonography is no exception. The Department of Labor provides a job outlook with impressive salaries and continued growth potential.

The Role of a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 

Diagnostic medical sonographers administer patient tests in a one-on-one setting. The high-technology tests that they administer make them champions of early detection for many serious health conditions.

Sonographers are trained to use ultrasound medical technology. These devices use sophisticated, high-frequency sound waves to produce computer-driven images of organs, tissue and blood flow. Doctors interpret the information from ultrasound tests to diagnose and treat patients.

As part of your academic program, it is important that sonographers are knowledgeable in anatomy, physiology, and physics. This will give you a clear understanding of the purpose of a patient’s test and what results the doctors are looking for. With this knowledge, you can make on-the-fly decisions during a test to drive better results. Here is the full scope of the responsibilities a sonographer can expect to encounter during a workday:

  • Prepare a patient for their procedure by obtaining and recording their medical history.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures and obtaining diagnostic images.
  • Analyze if the quality and coverage of technical images to provide results that can make an accurate diagnosis.
  • Use independent judgment in recognizing the need to extend the scope of the procedure according to the diagnostic findings.
  • Provide an oral or written summary of the preliminary technical findings to the physician.

Areas of Specialization 

Diagnostic Medical SonographyYour career in diagnostic medical sonography can be specialized to meet your interests and job opportunities in your area. There is a recommended two-year program, but once your certification coursework is complete, you can qualify for positions that interest you by taking credentialing tests in specific concentrations.

Graduates of a CAAHEP-accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program are qualified for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) credentialing examinations.

All areas of sonography are covered within Center for Allied Health Education’s program, with a focus on the following specialties:

  • Obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) credentialing focuses on ultrasound testing for pregnancy imaging.
  • Abdomen credentialing is for program graduates interested in ultrasound work that captures images of a patient’s organs.

In addition, one may choose to seek work in a medical practice or facility that specializes in other areas, such as:

  • Echocardiography that studies heart and its blood flow.
  • Vascular ultrasound to test blood flow in peripheral blood vessels throughout the body.
  • Breast sonography detects cysts and tumors.
  • Musculoskeletal sonography testing that focuses on muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.

Why Choose a Career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography? 

  • According to the US Department of Labor, the national mean annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers is $71,750. In the New York tri-state area it’s $72,120.
  • There are many industries in which sonographers work, with medical and diagnostic laboratories having the highest concentration of employment. The average annual mean wage varies somewhat by industry:

Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories: $73,400

Hospitals: $71,510

Physician Offices: $69,450

Outpatient Care Centers: $82,940

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $77,940

Skilled Nursing Facilities: $75,580

  • According to the US Department of Labor, the job outlook is expected to grow an extraordinary 24% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than average. It is expected that an additional 27,600 diagnostic medical sonographers will be employed during this time.

For more data from the Department of Labor:

Sonographer Occupational Employment Statistics

Sonographer Occupational Outlook Handbook

Imaging technology is expected to continue to evolve, making diagnostic medical sonography a solid career choice. CAHE offers a two-year program that is CAAHEP accredited. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Learn more about this rewarding career program online or call 718-645-3500 to speak with a representative today.

Is an Accredited Program Vital to Your Healthcare Education?

The Answers to Your Questions About Program Accreditation 

There are many different educational paths you can take to prepare for a healthcare career. You may be considering programs that deliver technical coursework, certification, licensing preparation, or a college degree. Some choices, of course, will depend upon your field of study. An important factor to consider for many educational programs is whether or not it is accredited. What role should this play in your decision? Here are some answers.

Q: What is accreditation? 


Programs or entire schools are accredited only if they meet the highest standards and requirements for the curricula they offer. This status increases its credibility. To receive accreditation, schools apply to qualified third-party organizations, who review the credentials. Only those that meet a set of agreed-upon standards will be recognized with an accredited status. Schools are periodically reviewed to ensure that standards are continually being met.

Continue reading “Is an Accredited Program Vital to Your Healthcare Education?”

The Diverse Role of a Medical Assistant

The wide range of administrative and clinical responsibilities makes a medical assistant career appealing to many people. If you’re interested in pursuing challenging and rewarding work in healthcare, read on to see if may be a fit for you, too.

The Role of a Medical Assistant 

Medical assistants help manage the daily operations of a healthcare practice. Their day-to-day work varies, but it can be segmented into a few groups:

Client relations responsibilities include greeting and registering patients as well as handling phone calls and appointment scheduling. Medical assistants will gather patient medical history. They provide patients with information and answer their questions on procedures and medications. To effectively assist patients, the medical assistant should be a strong and clear, but compassionate communicator.

Clinical duties will depend on the facility and type of practice, but they may include taking a patient’s vital signs, performing laboratory tests and working with lab specimens, administering medication, and changing wound dressings. Accuracy and attention to detail is an overall important trait that a successful medical assistant must have.

Continue reading “The Diverse Role of a Medical Assistant”

Advances in Medical Imaging Technology

Is Radiography the right healthcare choice for you?

Medical technology is progressing at a rapid pace, and the advancements play an ever-increasing role in health and wellness treatments. This effects many healthcare fields, and arguably one that is most impacted is radiography.

  • More accurate imaging equipment improves early detection and accurate diagnosis.
  • Precise images contribute to less invasive procedures and more targeted treatments.
  • Accurate images eliminate the need for exploratory surgery.
  • Detailed results lower patient and facility costs by reducing the number of tests and procedures needed.

Radiographers or radiologic technologists (also referred to in the field as rad techs) work with physicians and radiologists. They administer imaging tests and assist with evaluating the image results to allow for an accurate diagnosis. This makes a radiologic technologist a critical member of the healthcare team. To do the job well, a radiographer will be adept using x-ray equipment, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machinery.

Continue reading “Advances in Medical Imaging Technology”

Clinical Training Perfects Your Healthcare Education

Healthcare program directors and medical professionals agree that on-site clinical training is an invaluable part of students’ educational experience. There are many job readiness benefits to be gained by perfecting your real-world skills outside of the classroom.

Bring Classroom Learning to Real Life Situations 

In clinical training settings, students get the opportunity to hone competencies by applying the targeted scientific methods studied in the classroom. Success relies on a wide range of exposure to equipment, scenarios, and patient populations.  Working alongside a health professional, you can apply learned concepts in a patient-centered environment.

Clinical programs develop partnerships with medical facility affiliates to offer experiential learning environments. Your healthcare education should provide a comprehensive selection and assortment of medical facilities to work with, so that you can choose to study in a medical center that will prepare you for a real-world career.

Continue reading “Clinical Training Perfects Your Healthcare Education”

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