US health care opportunities

One of the fastest growing industries in the USA, healthcare provides many varied employment opportunities. Here, the Nebraska Hospital Association gives us a specific insight into the array of healthcare careers available in just one state.

Healthcare is among the fastest growing industries in the US economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, eight of the top twenty fastest-growing occupations are in healthcare.

Several factors are spurring this rapid growth. First, as life expectancies increase, a growing proportion of our population is elderly. Second, advancements in both diagnostic and therapeutic technologies are dramatically improving the survival rate for severely ill and injured patients, who need continued therapy and care. Third, medical practices and integrated health systems are becoming larger and more complex. This increases the need for administrators, office support workers and health information technologists.

The need for healthcare professionals is enormous. Like many states, Nebraska has a shortage of trained health care professionals. There is an especially great need for health professionals to work in rural areas and in under-served urban communities.

The range of healthcare job opportunities in Nebraska is tremendous. Not all health professionals are doctors, dentists and nurses. There are health careers for people with widely varying skills, temperaments, interests and aptitudes. Most health careers involve working directly with patients, but not all. Most require strong maths and science skills, but again, not all. Some specialities, like clinical lab technicians, may have little or no patient contact. Some careers focus on the business aspects of health care, or the technical aspects of computers and information processing, and some involve social services and helping people find the care and community support they need.

The need for health professionals to work in rural areas and under-served urban communities is growing exponentially in Nebraska. Because the need is widespread, most health careers offer job mobility, giving individuals considerable freedom to choose where to live and work.

US health care opportunities

“There is an especially great need for health professionals to work in rural areas and in under-served urban communities”

There are currently twenty communities in Nebraska with college or hospital-based health care career programmes. Offerings include associate degrees, certificates and diplomas, as well as baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, doctorates and post-baccalaureate certificates.

Nebraska is fortunate to have the Nebraska State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program, a voluntary programme administered within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Rural Health. The programme is intended to help provide federal shortage areas with physician services where US trained physicians will not locate. The DHHS is prepared to consider recommending a waiver of the foreign residence requirement on behalf of physicians holding J-1 visas under certain conditions. For additional information, visit - www.dhhs.ne.gov/orh

In the autumn of 2010, a new website was launched - nebraskahealthcareers.com - that further explores career opportunities in Nebraska, along with on-the-job videos, career profiles and degree programmes.

Written by the Nebraska Hospital Association in coordination with the Nebraska AHEC Program Office at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (2010)

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