Economists expect long-term job growth in all areas of healthcare to be higher than average but there are some medical careers that will grow even faster than others.
Economists expect long-term job growth in all areas of healthcare to be higher than average but there are some medical careers that will grow even faster than others. They are so-called Hot jobs. In these positions you don't always need to go looking for a job, it may likely come looking for you.
X-rays, CT, MRIs, ultrasound -- as the technology that allows us to look inside our bodies evolves so do the career opportunities.
Anthony Spada: This is across the nation. There's a huge turnover. People are going from the basic x-ray, they are going into specialty fields and then you have to fill the basic x-ray ones up again. And doctor's offices are opening, clinics are opening, so it's not only the hospital anymore. It's a lot of other clinics and outpatient work.
Conemaugh's Radiologic Technology program is a two-year program that offers plenty of hands on care.
Anthony Spada: Being a trauma center, open heart or ICU. They see everything here and that's what the people like. The students can graduate today and start working tomorrow.
Dionne Scott is a Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist, a specialty field that provides information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. Dionne Scott: We will go greet the patient, explain the procedure to them, give them the isotope either through a vein, an IV, or orally and in some studies like for a lung scan they breathe in the radioactive material. It's our job as technologists to conduct good, adequate studies so that the radiologist can come up with the proper diagnosis.
Dionne has a four-year degree that, like all imaging degrees, focused on the sciences.
Surgical technology is another fast growing healthcare field with exceptional job opportunities.
Renee Byrne-Toth: We are the ones actually handing him the instruments and assisting them on surgeries.
Barbara Bartkovich: They are absolutely critical. The surg tech is the person who anticipates the surgeon's every move, has to know every piece of equipment, every bit of the supply, everything that is needed for every type of surgery, they have to know that and they have to be prepared.
Renee is a graduate of Conemaugh's two-year Surgical Technology program and works at the Lee Ambulatory Surgery Center where the variety of cases - everything from eyes to dental cases to foot surgery, keeps things interesting.
Renee Byrne-Toth: I always wanted to do something in the healthcare field and I thought I'll try surgical tech and when I walked in the first day in it was an operating room, it was like this is the place for me. I knew right away that that's what I wanted to do.
Like other healthcare careers a rising baby boom population has led to a boom in the demand for pre-hospital providers like EMTs and Paramedics. This paramedic class at Memorial is broadcast to seven other sites, a benefit for those already working as EMTs.
Timothy Reitz: It's allowing a lot of the rural communities to have access to paramedic education and it allows them to stay there because they are coming in, a lot of them are already serving as EMTs with their local ambulance service. They can come to class. As soon as they finish up with class they are then able to go right back to work if they need to.
The 11-month paramedic program involves 400 hours of classroom study and 400 hours of clinical training in a variety of hospital departments.
Timothy Reitz: We start out with anatomy and physiology, learning where things are located and how they work, and then we go on to learn everything from cardiology to respiratory care to how to start IVs, how to intubate people, which is put a tube down their throat. It's very demanding, both physically and mentally. You don't get a lot of sleep at times, but it is definitely an adrenaline rush, and I think most people that are in here are into it for the challenge.
Franklin Banfer: I love it. I love being able to actually get in the back and treat people, help people, and just see them in very, very bad shape and be able to turn them around quickly. That's a great feeling.
If you're thinking about a career as a paramedic keep these traits in mind.
Those graduates from the Conemaugh School of EMS, who become certified as a Paramedic have a 100% employment rate.
Chris Gombita likes helping people and always knew he wanted to get into medicine.
Chris Gombita: I started investigating a lot of different fields in medicine, everything from doctors to therapy and I decided that I wanted to do something where I didn't really have to work as much with blood and guts.
Physical therapy fit the bill - now director of both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy at Meyersdale Medical Center, Chris loves the variety.
Chris Gombita: At one time we will have a patient come in that has a neck injury, the next minute you'll have, the next person comes in and has a shoulder injury and then has a knee injury and then somebody comes in and has a balance problem. So you're seeing so many different things within that same field of study that you need to be up on everything.
Chris also loves that his field really allows him to get to know his patients.
Chris Gombita: I'll see a patient for sometimes a month, two months, three months where you will see them a couple times a week so you really have to be able to relate to people.
People like Richard Donelson - an avid hunter whose tree stand broke, sending him into a 20 foot fall that shattered both ankles.
Richard Donelson: I couldn't pick my leg off the bed. I couldn't bend my knee. Nothing. It was just like a piece of meat laying there.
But after months of physical therapy, fairly simple movement at first, Richard is making great progress.
Richard Donelson: A little thing like stretching you would think would be so silly, you know just a stretch of band or whatever on your foot with a little bit of resistance behind it but it means the world. It means walking or not walking for me.
Chris Gombita: The best part of the job is being able to see somebody actually succeed, someone who could not stand up and walk now being able to walk.
Most Physical therapy degrees are now doctorate level programs requiring an additional two to three years after an undergraduate degree.
Chris Gombita: You'll be studying your biologies and stuff initially and then going on to study anatomy, physiology, kinesiology which is the study of movement within the body so how muscles work to cause movement as well as your physics.
Demand for physical therapists is very high.
Chris Gombita: There's never a lack for a job. You can work two or three full time jobs if you wanted to there's so much demand out there.
Like physical therapists, pharmacists are also in hot demand with ever-increasing opportunities.
Luis Gonzales: The ideal type of candidate for a career in pharmacy is somebody with good communication skills who really wants a direct patient care responsibility because that is where the growth and the jobs are and will continue to be in the future.
Neela Bhajandas: I love working with patients!
That love of hands on patient care convinced Neela Bhajandas to give up her career in retail pharmacy and head into the hospital setting, through Memorial's competitive one-year Pharmacy Residency.
Luis Gonzales: The residency program is structured to provide a mentored additional year of education that provides direct patient care experiences for graduates of schools of pharmacy who have attained the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
24-hours a day, seven days a week a staff of 75 people at Memorial work to fill more than 3,000 prescriptions a day. These pharmacists are doing order entry always with an eye for potential problems.
Paul Troiano: They look for drug interactions. They do allergy assessments. They look for dose appropriateness.
Another important part of the team - pharmacy technicians.
Paul Troiano: this is an evolving field. It's a group of individuals that assist the pharmacist in the daily activities.
Neela Bhajandas: You can be a consultant for a physician's office. You can work for a pharmaceutical company. You can work in the research department. There's just so many different fields in pharmacy, which is so great and that's what I love about pharmacy.
For information on pharmacy and the rest of these hot jobs check out our website at www.conemaugh.org.