How to Get a Health Care Job

The world is aging

People currently live longer lives thanks to technological and medical breakthroughs. According to the New York Times, the current median age is 28, i.e. the world is evenly divided between those under 28 and those over 28. By the year 2050, however, the median age will have risen to 40. As the elderly population increases so will the need for health care professionals. Sensitive individuals will have more opportunities to find a rewarding career in health care.

1st Objective: Getting trained

The first step for high school graduates is to become a medical assistant. Schools offer 6 to 8 month programs as well as associate degrees where students can learn about the main tasks medical assistants are required to perform in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. Students who opt for the certificate will learn the basics about taking vital signs, how to setup appointments and talk to patients, and other essential tasks that are necessary to work in a medical facility.

2nd Objective: Acquiring experience

Training doesn’t end with school; at work medical assistants will learn more specific skills. Working at a doctor’s office is a good opportunity to understand not only the medical aspect of health care, but also the business side. For example, medical assistants will take the temperature of patients, sterilize instruments, give injections, and once certified, take X-rays and electrocardiograms. On the other hand, they will review medical records, take care of prescriptions, handle billing and collection issues, and also deal with insurance information.

3rd Objective: Moving up

After four or five years of experience, medical assistants should expect to reach the highest pay rate in the city or town they work in. They might be able to increase their earnings if they become certified in different areas. Medical assistants can become supervisors at clinics or hospitals if they prove to be responsible and good leaders. Those who decide to keep their job at a doctor’s office have a shot at becoming the office manager after about 10 years of working experience.

4th Objective: Getting a degree

Health Care professionals can learn new skills and techniques as well as meet people who share their interests. Students can enroll in different courses to study subjects that interest them, like psychiatry, or specialize in other areas related to health care, e.g. cna. Additionally, college is a great place to network, not only with class mates but also with professors who have many years of experience and contacts in the industry.

5th Objective: Looking for the next job

Most schools have a career center that helps students find work. College professors may recommend their best students to hospitals, clinics and or other health care centers, where they can get internships or other entry level jobs. Graduates interested in health care jobs should first develop a detailed and factual resume that clearly emphasizes their skills and experience. Certifications, diplomas, and other special training should be highlighted and placed on a separate section of the resume.

6th Objective: Further education

A bachelor’s degree not only opens doors to new job opportunities, but also is required to get into medical school. Four more years of specialized study followed by a couple of residencies are needed before doctors can legally take care of patients on their own. Medical education is expensive, yet scholarships are granted to outstanding and dedicated students, and financial aid is usually available for those who qualify. A master’s degree in health care management prepares professionals for a managerial position in the health care industry.

A noble pursuit

Though work can be challenging at times, health care professionals provide an invaluable service to people of all ages from all over the world. They make a better world each time they help someone in need. Patients will always remember the kind words of a nurse and appreciate the treatment of a skilled doctor.

Home Health Care History

The early nineteenth century witnessed the initial stages of the home health care industry that offered qualified nurses to take care of the poor and sick in their homes. In 1909 when Metropolitan Life Insurance Company started to write policies that comprised of home health care, this industry became very popular. This company is credited for paying the first compensation for home health care industry. This gave rise to the birth of organized home health care.

The Great Depression in 1929 caused several businesses along with home care industry a lot of hindrances and struggle. This went on till the follow-up visits made by nurses after hospital discharge became reimbursable by the Medicare Act of 1966. The home care industry became most feasible and practical when Medicare in an attempt to reduce hospitalization costs set up DRG’s program (Diagnostic Related Group). This laid down that some disease or hospital practice needed a certain stay period. So the discharged patients were more sick compared to their DRG counterparts.

The story does not finish with DRGs. This in fact was the commencement of patient care vs. medical ethics debate. This subject shall be soon addressed in the present health care reform segment. The price of health care is the issue. Questions like how much does a human life cost and how long one should pay for keeping alive a person after he ceases to be a contributor to the society need to be addressed.

Home health care industry needs to answer these questions. The main intention of the DRG programs was to cut down the hospital stay in order to lower hospitalization costs. Thus this becomes a challenge to the agencies. But gradually home care started becoming expensive. The Balanced Budge Act of 1997 hand one major side effect. It limited the benefit days to the patients under home health care thereby lowering the compensations to the various home health care agencies. This resulted in many of these agencies going out of business.

The price to take care of a patient will always stay an issue. There was a growth of nosocomial diseases in hospitals that lead to heavy health care costs. Patients started getting discharged in a much sicker condition than before. This put additional burden on the family of the patient to make available good care once the family member is home. Also majority of the people were working. Home health care agencies that provide services were unable to discharge patients when they exceed their Medicare days if they are in a bad condition or its not safe to depart from them without any nursing services.

In case the home care agency declines admission of a patient who seems sicker than the number of reimbursement days allowed by the government, the patients’ family does not have too many choices. In case of the patient being discharged without any adequate follow-up care, the patients’ family can seek services of a qualified agency that could strain on emergency room visits and re-hospitalization leading to more compensation issues. Such questions are difficult to answer more so in cases where cost is to be taken care of. But, as time passes, such questions will continue to haunt till there are satisfactory answers to them.