Radiology Technician Career Formal training programs in radiography range in length from 1 to 4 years and lead to a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. Although hospitals will remain the primary employer, a greater number of new radiology technicians careers, medical jobs will be found in physicians’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Job opportunities are expected to be favorable; some employers report difficulty hiring sufficient numbers of radiologic technologists and technicians.
Radiologic technologists and technicians take x-rays and administer nonradioactive materials into patients’ bloodstream for diagnostic purposes.
Some specialize in diagnostic imaging technologies, such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition to radiologic technologists and technicians, others who conduct diagnostic imaging procedures include cardiovascular technologists and technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, and nuclear medicine technologists.
Radiologic technologists and technicians, also referred to as radiographers, produce x ray films (radiographs) of parts of the human body for use in diagnosing medical problems. They prepare patients for radiologic examinations by explaining the procedure, removing articles such as jewelry, through which x rays cannot pass, and positioning patients so that the parts of the body can be appropriately radiographed.
To prevent unnecessary radiation exposure, these workers surround the exposed area with radiation protection devices, such as lead shields, or limit the size of the x-ray beam.
Radiographers position radiographic equipment at the correct angle and height over the appropriate area of a patient’s body. Using instruments similar to a measuring tape, they may measure the thickness of the section to be radiographed and set controls on the x-ray machine to produce radiographs of the appropriate density, detail, and contrast. They place the x ray film under the part of the patient’s body to be examined and make the exposure. They then remove the film and develop it.
Experienced radiographers may perform more complex imaging procedures. For fluoroscopes, radiographers prepare a solution of contrast medium for the patient to drink, allowing the radiologist (a physician who interprets radiographs) to see soft tissues in the body. Some radiographers, called CT technologists, operate CT scanners to produce cross-sectional images of patients. Radiographers who operate machines that use strong magnets and radio waves, rather than radiation, to create an image are called MRI technologists.
Radiologic technologists and technicians must follow physicians’ orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning the use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and their coworkers from unnecessary exposure. In addition to preparing patients and operating equipment, radiologic technologists and technicians keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They also may prepare work schedules, evaluate equipment purchases, or manage a radiology department.
Most people working in a radiology technician career work about 40 hours a week; they may have evening, weekend, or on-call hours. Opportunities for part-time and shift work also are available. Because technologists and technicians are on their feet for long periods and may lift or turn disabled patients, physical stamina is important. Technologists and technicians work at diagnostic machines, but may also perform some procedures at patients’ bedsides. Some travel to patients in large vans equipped with sophisticated diagnostic equipment.
Although radiation hazards exist in this occupation, they are minimized by the use of lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices, as well as by instruments monitoring radiation exposure. Technologists and technicians wear badges measuring radiation levels in the radiation area, and detailed records are kept on their cumulative lifetime dose. Radiologic technologists and technicians held about 174,000 jobs in 2002. Almost 1 in 5 worked part time. About half of all jobs were in hospitals.
Most of the rest were in offices of physicians; medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers; and outpatient care centers. Preparation for this profession is offered in hospitals, colleges and universities, vocational-technical institutes, and the U. S. Armed Forces. Hospitals, which employ most radiologic technologists and technicians, prefer to hire those with formal training. Formal training programs in radiography range in length from 1 to 4 years and lead to a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.
Two-year associate degree programs are most prevalent. Some 1-year certificate programs are available for experienced radiographers or individuals from other health occupations, such as medical technologists and registered nurses, who want to change fields or specialize in CT or MRI. A bachelor or master’s degree in one of the radiologic technologies is desirable for supervisory, administrative, or teaching positions. The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits most formal training programs for the field. The committee accredited 587 radiography programs in 2003.
Radiography programs require, at a minimum, a high school diploma or the equivalent. High school courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology are helpful. The programs provide both classroom and clinical instruction in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology. Federal legislation protects the public from the hazards of unnecessary exposure to medical and dental radiation by ensuring operators of radiologic equipment is properly trained.
Under this legislation, the Federal Government sets voluntary standards that the States, in turn, may use for accrediting training programs and certifying individuals who engage in medical or dental radiography. In 2003, about 38 States licensed radiologic technologists and technicians. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers voluntary registration. To be eligible for registration, technologists generally must have graduated from an accredited program and pass an ARRT examination. Many employers prefer to hire registered radiographers.
To be recertified, radiographers must complete 24 hours of continuing education every other year. Radiologic technologists and technicians should be sensitive to patients’ physical and psychological needs. They must pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and work as part of a team. In addition, operating complicated equipment requires mechanical ability and manual dexterity. With experience and additional training, staff technologists may become specialists, performing CT scanning, angiography, and magnetic resonance imaging.
Experienced technologists also may be promoted to supervisor, chief radiologic technologist, and, ultimately, department administrator or director. Depending on the institution, courses or a master’s degree in business or health administration may be necessary for the director’s position. Some technologist’s progress by leaving the occupation to become instructors or directors in radiologic technology programs; others take jobs as sales representatives or instructors with equipment manufacturers. Job opportunities are expected to be favorable.
Some employers report difficulty hiring sufficient numbers of radiologic technologists and technicians. Imbalances between the demand for, and supply of, qualified workers should spur efforts to attract and retain qualified radiologic technologists and technicians. As an example of such efforts, employers may provide more flexible training programs or improve compensation and working conditions. Radiologic technologists who also are experienced in more complex diagnostic imaging procedures, such as CT or MRI, will have better employment opportunities, as employers seek to control costs by using multiskilled employees.
Employment of radiologic technologists and technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand for diagnostic imaging. Although healthcare providers are enthusiastic about the clinical benefits of new technologies, the extent to which they are adopted depends largely on cost and reimbursement considerations. For example, digital-imaging technology can improve quality and efficiency, but remains expensive. Some promising ew technologies may not come into widespread use because they are too expensive and third-party payers may not be willing to pay for their use. Hospitals will remain the principal employer of radiologic technologists and technicians. However, a greater number of new jobs will be found in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers. Health facilities such as these are expected to grow rapidly through 2012, due to the strong shift toward outpatient care, encouraged by third-party payers and made possible by technological advances that permit more procedures to be performed outside the hospital.
Some job openings also will arise from the need to replace technologists and technicians who leave the occupation. Median annual earnings of radiologic technologists and technicians were $38,970 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,370 and $46,510. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,190 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,430. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of radiologic technologists and technicians in 2002 were as follows: Medical and diagnostic laboratories $42,470 General medical and surgical hospitals 39,580
Offices of physicians36,490 Physician Assistant Career The typical physician assistant program lasts about 2 years and requires at least 2 years of college and some healthcare experience for admission. People in these medical jobs treat patients directly, working under the supervision of doctors. Most applicants to physician assistant programs hold a bachelors or masters degree. Physician assistant career job opportunities should be good, particularly in rural and inner city clinics. With earnings are pretty high. Physician assistants (PAs) provide healthcare services under the supervision of physicians.
They should not be confused with medical assistants, who perform routine clinical and clerical tasks. Physician assistants are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications. They also treat minor injuries, by suturing, splinting, and casting. Physician assistants record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy.
In 47 States physician assistants may prescribe medications and physician assistants also may have managerial duties. Some order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment and may supervise technicians and assistants. Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician. However, physician assistants may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only 1 or 2 days each week. In such cases, the physician assistant with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed or as required by law.
Physician assistants also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing care facilities to check on patients, after which they report back to the physician. The duties of physician assistants are determined by the supervising physician and by State law. Aspiring physician assistants should investigate the laws and regulations in the States in which they wish to practice. Many people working in a physician assistant career work in primary care specialties, such as general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine.
Others specialty areas include general and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, and geriatrics. Physician assistants specializing in surgery provide preoperative and postoperative care and may work as first or second assistants during major surgery. Although physician assistants usually work in a comfortable, well-lighted environment, those in surgery often stand for long periods, and others do considerable walking. Schedules vary according to the practice setting, and often depend on the hours of the supervising physician.
The workweek of hospital-based physician assistants may include weekends, nights, or early morning hospital rounds to visit patients. These workers also may be on call. Physician assistants in clinics usually work a 40-hour week. Physician assistants held about 63,000 jobs in 2002. The number of jobs is greater than the number of practicing physician assistants because some hold two or more jobs. For example, some physician assistants work with a supervising physician, but also work in another practice, clinic, or hospital.
According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, almost 90 percent of certified physician assistants were in clinical practice in 2003. More than half of jobs for physician assistants was in the offices of physicians or other health practitioners and about a quarter were in hospitals. The rest were mostly in outpatient care centers, the Federal government, educational services, and employment services. All States require that new physician assistants complete an accredited, formal education program. In 2002 there were about 133 accredited or provisionally accredited education programs for physician assistants.
Sixty-eight of these programs offered a master degree, and the rest offered either a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree. Most physician assistants graduates have at least a bachelor’s degree. Admission requirements vary, but many programs require 2 years of college and some work experience in the healthcare field. Students should take courses in biology, English, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and the social sciences. Most applicants to physician assistants programs hold a bachelors or masters degree.
Many physician assistants have backgrounds as registered nurses, while others come from varied backgrounds, including military corpsman/medics and allied health occupations such as respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics. A physician assistant programs usually last at least 2 years and is full time. Most programs are in schools of allied health, academic health centers, medical schools, or 4-year colleges; a few are in community colleges, the military, or hospitals. Many accredited physician assistants programs have clinical teaching affiliations with medical schools.
Physician assistant’s education includes classroom instruction in biochemistry, pathology, human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, clinical pharmacology, clinical medicine, geriatric and home healthcare, disease prevention, and medical ethics. Students obtain supervised clinical training in several areas, including primary care medicine, inpatient medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and pediatrics. Sometimes, physician assistant students serve one or more of these rotations under the supervision of a physician who is seeking to hire a physician assistant.
The rotations often lead to permanent employment. All States have legislation governing the qualifications or practice of physician assistants. All jurisdictions require physician assistants to pass the Physician Assistants National Certifying Examination, administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and open to graduates of accredited physician assistants education programs. Only those successfully completing the examination may use the credential Physician Assistant-Certified.
In order to remain certified, physician assistants must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every 2 years. Every 6 years, they must pass a recertification examination or complete an alternative program combining learning experiences and a take-home examination. Some physician assistants pursue additional education in a specialty such as surgery, neonatology, or emergency medicine. Physician assistant postgraduate residency training programs are available in areas such as internal medicine, rural primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, neonatology, and occupational medicine.
Candidates must be graduates of an accredited program and be certified by the NCCPA. Physician assistants need leadership skills, self-confidence, and emotional stability. They must be willing to continue studying throughout their career to keep up with medical advances. As they attain greater clinical knowledge and experience, physician assistants can advance to added responsibilities and higher earnings. However, by the very nature of the profession, clinically practicing physician assistants always are supervised by physicians.
Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012, due to anticipated expansion of the health services industry and an emphasis on cost containment, resulting in increasing utilization of physician assistants by physicians and healthcare institutions. Physicians and institutions are expected to employ more physician assistants to provide primary care and to assist with medical and surgical procedures because physician assistants are cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team.
Physician assistants can relieve physicians of routine duties and procedures. Tele medicine using technology to facilitate interactive consultations between physicians and physician assistants also will expand the use of physician assistants. Job opportunities for physician assistants should be good, particularly in rural and inner city clinics, because those settings have difficulty attracting physicians. Besides the traditional office-based setting, physician assistants should find a growing number of jobs in institutional settings such as hospitals, academic medical centers, public clinics, and prisons.
Additional physician assistants may be needed to augment medical staffing in inpatient teaching hospital settings as the number of hours physician residents are permitted to work is reduced, encouraging hospitals to use physician assistants to supply some physician resident services. Opportunities will be best in States that allow physician assistants a wider scope of practice. Median annual earnings of physician assistants were $64,670 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $49,640 and $77,280.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,410 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90,350. Median annual earnings of physician assistants in 2002 were $65,910 in general medical and surgical hospitals and $64,170 in offices of physicians. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, median income for physician assistants in full-time clinical practice in 2003 was about $72,457; median income for first-year graduates was about $63,437. Income varies by specialty, practice setting, geographical location, and years of experience.
EMT – Emergency Medical Technician Career An emergency medical technician career is not for everyone. Job stress is common in this medical career because hours of work are irregular and workers often must treat patients in life-or-death situations. Formal training and certification are required for an emergency medical technician career, and State requirements vary. Employment is projected to grow faster than average as paid emergency medical technician positions replace unpaid volunteers.
Competition will be greater for jobs in local fire, police, and rescue squad departments than in private ambulance services; opportunities will be best for those who have advanced higher education and training. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) and paramedics (EMT’s with additional advanced training to perform more difficult pre-hospital medical procedures). Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, drowning, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention.
EMT’s and paramedics provide this vital attention as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility. In an emergency, EMT’s and paramedics typically are dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator, and often work with police and fire department personnel. Once they arrive, they determine the nature and extent of the patient’s condition while trying to ascertain whether the patient has pre-existing medical problems. Following strict rules and guidelines, they give appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patient.
Some paramedics are trained to treat patients with minor injuries on the scene of an accident or at their home without transporting them to a medical facility. Emergency treatment for more complicated problems is carried out under the direction of medical doctors by radio preceding or during transport. EMTs and paramedics may use special equipment, such as backboards, to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility.
Usually, one EMT or paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives additional care as needed. Some EMT’s work as part of the flight crew of helicopters that transport critically ill or injured patients to hospital trauma centers. At the medical facility, EMT’s and paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency room staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, EMT’s and paramedics replace used supplies and check equipment.
If a transported patient had a contagious disease, EMT’s and paramedics decontaminate the interior of the ambulance and report cases to the proper authorities. Beyond these general duties, the specific responsibilities of EMT’s and paramedics depend on their level of qualification and training. To determine this, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) registers emergency medical service (EMS) providers at four levels: First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic.
Some States, however, do their own certification and use numeric ratings from 1 to 4 to distinguish levels of proficiency. The lowest-level workers first responders are trained to provide basic emergency medical care because they tend to be the first persons to arrive at the scene of an incident. Many firefighters, police officers, and other emergency workers have this level of training. The EMT-Basic, also known as EMT-1, represents the first component of the emergency medical technician system. An EMT-1 is trained to care for patients at the scene of an ccident and while transporting patients by ambulance to the hospital under medical direction. The EMT-1 has the emergency skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac, and trauma emergencies. The EMT-Intermediate (EMT-2 and EMT-3) has more advanced training that allows the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of manual defibrillators to give lifesaving shocks to a stopped heart, and the application of advanced airway techniques and equipment to assist patients experiencing respiratory emergencies.
EMT-Paramedics (EMT-4) provides the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to carrying out the procedures already described, paramedics may administer drugs orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs), and perform endotracheal intubations, and use monitors and other complex equipment. EMTs and paramedics work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. They are required to do considerable kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. These workers risk noise-induced hearing loss from sirens and back injuries from lifting patients.
In addition, EMTs and paramedics may be exposed to diseases such as hepatitis B and AIDS, as well as violence from drug overdose victims or mentally unstable patients. The work is not only physically strenuous, but also stressful, involving life-or-death situations and suffering patients. Nonetheless, many people find the work exciting and challenging and enjoy the opportunity to help others. EMTs and paramedics employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week. Those employed by hospitals frequently work between 45 and 60 hours a week and those in private ambulance services, between 45 and 50 hours.
Some of these workers, especially those in police and fire departments, are on call for extended periods. Because emergency services function 24 hours a day, EMTs and paramedics have irregular working hours that add to job stress. EMTs and paramedics held about 179,000 jobs in 2002. Most career EMTs and paramedics work in metropolitan areas. There are many more volunteer EMTs and paramedics, especially in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. These individuals volunteer for fire departments, emergency medical services EMS), or hospitals, and may respond to only a few calls for service per month or may answer the majority of calls, especially in smaller communities. EMTs and paramedics work closely with firefighters, who often are certified as EMTs as well and act as first responders. Full-time and part-time paid EMTs and paramedics are employed in a number of industries. About 4 out of 10 worked as employees of private ambulance services. About 3 out of 10 worked in local government for fire departments, public ambulance services, and EMS.
Another 2 out 10 were found in hospitals, working full time within the medical facility or responded to calls in ambulances or helicopters to transport critically ill or injured patients. The remainder worked in various industries providing emergency services. Formal training and certification is needed to become an EMT or paramedic. All 50 States have a certification procedure. In most States registration with the NREMT is required at some or all levels of certification. Other States administer their own certification examination or provide the option of taking the NREMT examination.
To maintain certification, EMTs and paramedics must re-register, usually every 2 years. In order to re-register, an individual must be working as an EMT or paramedic and meet a continuing education requirement. Training is offered at progressive levels: EMT-Basic, also known as EMT-1; EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-2 and EMT-3; and EMT-Paramedic, or EMT-4. EMT-Basic coursework typically emphasizes emergency skills, such as managing respiratory, trauma, and cardiac emergencies, and patient assessment. Formal courses are often combined with time in an emergency room or ambulance.
The program also provides instruction and practice in dealing with bleeding, fractures, airway obstruction, cardiac arrest, and emergency childbirth. Students learn how to use and maintain common emergency equipment, such as backboards, suction devices, splints, oxygen delivery systems, and stretchers. Graduates of approved EMT basic training programs that pass a written and practical examination administered by the State certifying agency or the NREMT earn the title Registered EMT-Basic. The course also is a prerequisite for EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic training. EMT-Intermediate training requirements vary from State to State.
Applicants can opt to receive training in EMT-Shock Trauma, wherein the caregiver learns to start intravenous fluids and give certain medications, or in EMT-Cardiac, which includes learning heart rhythms and administering advanced medications. Training commonly includes 35 to 55 hours of additional instruction beyond EMT-Basic coursework, and covers patient assessment as well as the use of advanced airway devices and intravenous fluids. Prerequisites for taking the EMT-Intermediate examination include registration as an EMT-Basic, required classroom work, and a specified amount of clinical experience.
The most advanced level of training for this occupation is EMT-Paramedic. At this level, the caregiver receives additional training in body function and learns more advanced skills. The Technology program usually lasts up to 2 years and results in an associate degree in applied science. Such education prepares the graduate to take the NREMT examination and become certified as an EMT-Paramedic. Extensive related coursework and clinical and field experience is required. Due to the longer training requirement, almost all EMT-Paramedics is in paid positions, rather than being volunteers.
Refresher courses and continuing education are available for EMTs and paramedics at all levels. EMTs and paramedics should be emotionally stable, have good dexterity, agility, and physical coordination, and be able to lift and carry heavy loads. They also need good eyesight (corrective lenses may be used) with accurate color vision. Advancement beyond the EMT-Paramedic level usually means leaving fieldwork. An EMT-Paramedic can become a supervisor, operations manager, administrative director, or executive director of emergency services.
Some EMTs and paramedics become instructors, dispatchers, or physician assistants, while others move into sales or marketing of emergency medical equipment. A number of people become EMTs and paramedics to assess their interest in healthcare, and then decide to return to school and become registered nurses, physicians, or other health workers. Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012. Population growth and urbanization will increase the demand for full-time paid EMTs and paramedics rather than for volunteers.
In addition, a large segment of the population, such as the aging, and baby boomers will further spur demand for EMT services, as they become more likely to have medical emergencies. There will still be demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas. In addition to those arising from job growth, openings will occur because of replacement needs; some workers leave the occupation because of stressful working conditions, limited potential for advancement, and the modest pay and benefits in private-sector jobs.
Most opportunities for EMTs and paramedics are usually found in private ambulance services. Competition will be greater for jobs in local government, including fire, police, and independent third-service rescue squad departments, in which salaries and benefits tend to be slightly, better. Opportunities will be best for those who have advanced certifications, such as EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic, as clients and patients demand higher levels of care before arriving at the hospital. Earnings of EMTs and paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individuals training and experience.
Median annual earnings of EMTs and paramedics were $24,030 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,040 and $31,600. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,530 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $41,980. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of EMTs and paramedics in 2002 were local government $27,440, General medical and surgical hospitals 24,760, Other ambulatory health care services 22,180. Those in emergency medical services who are part of fire or police departments receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers.
For example, many are covered by pension plans that provide retirement at half pay after 20 or 25 years of service or if the worker is disabled in the line of duty. Medical Assistant Career This medical career is projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the 2002-12 period. Some medical assistants are trained on the job, but many complete 1- or 2-year programs in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges, and begin their medical assistant career upon graduating.
Medical assistant career job prospects should be best for those with formal training or experience, particularly those with certification. Medical assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. They should not be confused with physician assistants, who examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the direct supervision of a physician. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner’s specialty.
In small practices, medical assistants usually are generalists, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators. Medical assistants perform many administrative duties, including answering telephones, greeting patients, updating and filing patients medical records, filling out insurance forms, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admission and laboratory services, and handling billing and bookkeeping.
Clinical duties vary according to State law and include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination. Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments.
They instruct patients about medications and special diets and prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for x rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings. Medical assistants also may arrange examining-room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean. Assistants who specialize have additional duties.
Podiatric medical assistants make castings of feet, expose and develop x rays, and assist podiatrists in surgery. Ophthalmic medical assistants help ophthalmologists provide eye care. They conduct diagnostic tests, measure and record vision, and test eye muscle function. They also show patients how to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses, and they apply eye dressings. Under the direction of the physician, ophthalmic medical assistants may administer eye medications. They also maintain optical and surgical instruments and may assist the ophthalmologist in surgery.
Medical assistants work in well-lighted, clean environments. They constantly interact with other people and may have to handle several responsibilities at once. Most full-time medical assistants work a regular 40-hour week. Some work part time, evenings, or weekends. Medical assistants held about 365,000 medical assistant jobs in 2002. Almost 60 percent worked in offices of physicians; about 14 percent worked in public and private hospitals, including inpatient and outpatient facilities; and almost 10 percent worked in offices of other health practitioners, such as chiropractors and podiatrists.
The rest worked mostly in outpatient care centers, public and private educational services, other ambulatory healthcare services, state and local government agencies, medical and diagnostic laboratories, nursing care facilities, and employment services. Most employers prefer graduates of formal programs in medical assisting. Such programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Postsecondary programs usually last 1-year, resulting in a certificate or diploma, or 2 years, resulting in an associate degree.
Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology, as well as typing, transcription, record keeping, accounting, and insurance processing. Students learn laboratory techniques, clinical and diagnostic procedures, pharmaceutical principles, the administration of medications, and first aid. They study office practices, patient relations, medical law, and ethics. Accredited programs include an internship that provides practical experience in physician’s offices, hospitals, or other healthcare facilities. Two agencies recognized by the U. S.
Department of Education accredit programs in medical assisting The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). In 2002, there were 495 medical assisting programs accredited by CAAHEP and about 170 accredited by ABHES. The Committee on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel approved 14 programs in ophthalmic medical assisting. Formal training in medical assisting, while generally preferred, is not always required. Some medical assistants are trained on the job, although this practice is less common than in the past.
Applicants usually need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Recommended high school courses include mathematics, health, biology, typing, bookkeeping, computers, and office skills. Volunteer experience in the healthcare field also is helpful. Although medical assistants are not licensed, some States require them to take a test or a course before they can perform certain tasks, such as taking x rays. Employers prefer to hire experienced workers or certified applicants who have passed a national examination, indicating that the medical assistant meets certain standards of competence.
The American Association of Medical Assistants awards the Certified Medical Assistant credential; the American Medical Technologists awards the Registered Medical Assistant credential; the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants awards the Podiatric Medical Assistant Certified credential; and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology awards credentials at three levels: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, Certified Ophthalmic Technician, and Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist.
Medical assistants deal with the public; therefore, they must be neat and well groomed and have a courteous, pleasant manner. Medical assistants must be able to put patients at ease and explain physician’s instructions. They must respect the confidential nature of medical information. Clinical duties require a reasonable level of manual dexterity and visual acuity. Medical assistants may be able to advance to office manager. They may qualify for a variety of administrative support occupations or may teach medical assisting.
With additional education, some enter other health occupations, such as nursing and medical technology. Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012 as the health services industry expands because of technological advances in medicine, and a growing and aging population. Increasing utilization of medical assistants in the rapidly growing healthcare industries will result in fast employment growth for the occupation. In fact, medical assistants are projected to be the fastest growing occupation over the 20012 period.
Employment growth will be driven by the increase in the number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that need a high proportion of support personnel, particularly the flexible medical assistant who can handle both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants work primarily in outpatient settings, which are expected to exhibit much faster-than-average growth. In view of the preference of many healthcare employers for trained personnel, job prospects should be best for medical assistants with formal training or experience, and particularly for those with certification.
The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. Median annual earnings of medical assistants were $23,940 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $20,260 and $28,410. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,640 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $34,130. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of medical assistants in 2002 were as follows: General medical and surgical hospitals $24,460, Offices of physicians 24,260, Outpatient care centers 23,980, Other ambulatory health care services 23,440, Offices of other health practitioners 21,620.
Police officer The work can be dangerous and stressful education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree or higher. Job opportunities in most local police departments will be favorable for qualified individuals, while competition is expected for jobs in State and Federal agencies. Bilingual applicants with college training in police science or with military police experience will have the best opportunities. Police officers and detectives protect lives and property. Law enforcement officer’s duties depend on the size and type of their organizations.
Police and detectives pursue and apprehend individuals who break the law and then issue citations or give warnings. A large proportion of their time is spent writing reports and maintaining records of incidents they encounter. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate any suspicious activity they notice and they also respond to calls from individuals. Detectives, who often are called agents or special agents, perform investigative duties such as gathering facts and collecting evidence.
The daily activities of police and detectives vary with their occupational specialty such as police officer, game warden, or detective and whether they are working for a local, State, or Federal agency. Duties also differ substantially among various Federal agencies, which enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records that will be needed if they testify in court. State and Local Law Enforcement and uniformed police officers have general law enforcement duties.
They maintain regular patrols and respond to calls for service. Much of their time is spent responding to calls and doing paperwork. They may direct traffic at the scene of an accident, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are assigned to a specific type of duty. Many urban police agencies are involved in community policing a practice in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime.
Police agencies are usually organized into geographic districts, with uniformed officers assigned to patrol a specific area. Officers in large agencies often patrol with a partner. They attempt to become familiar with their patrol area and remain alert for anything unusual. Suspicious circumstances and hazards to public safety are investigated or noted, and officers are dispatched to individual calls for assistance within their district. During their shift, they may identify, pursue, and arrest suspected criminals; resolve problems within the community; and enforce traffic laws.
Some agencies have special geographic jurisdictions and enforcement responsibilities, such as public colleges, university police forces, public school, and agencies serving transportation systems and facilities. Most law enforcement workers in special agencies are uniformed officers. Some police officers specialize in a particular field, such as chemical and microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction, or handwriting and fingerprint identification. Others work with special units, such as horseback, bicycle, motorcycle, or harbor patrol; canine corps; special weapons and tactics. SWAT); or emergency response teams. A few local and special law enforcement officers primarily perform jail-related duties or work in courts. Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs usually are elected to their posts and perform duties similar to those of a local or county police chief. Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small, most having fewer than 50 sworn officers. Deputy sheriffs have law enforcement duties similar to those of officers in urban police departments. Police and sheriffs’ deputies who provide security in city and county courts are sometimes called bailiffs.
State police officers, sometimes called State troopers or highway patrol officers, arrest criminals statewide and patrol highways to enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations. State police officers often issue traffic citations to motorists. At the scene of accidents, they may direct traffic, give first aid, and call for emergency equipment. They also write reports used to determine the cause of the accident. State police officers frequently are called upon to render assistance to other law enforcement agencies, especially those in rural areas or small towns. State highway patrols operate in every State.
Most full-time sworn personnel are uniformed officers who regularly patrol and respond to calls for service. Others work as investigators, perform court-related duties, or carry out administrative or other assignments. Detectives are plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. Some are assigned to interagency task forces to combat specific types of crime. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids or arrests. Detectives usually specialize in investigating one type of violation, such as homicide or fraud.
They are assigned cases on a rotating basis and work on them until an arrest and conviction is made or until the case is dropped. Fish and game wardens enforce fishing, hunting, and boating laws. They patrol hunting and fishing areas, conduct search and rescue operations, investigate complaints and accidents, and aid in prosecuting court cases. Federal law enforcement. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are the Government’s principal investigators, responsible for investigating violations of more than 200 categories of Federal law and conducting sensitive national security investigations.
Agents may conduct surveillance, monitor court-authorized wiretaps, examine business records, investigate white-collar crime, or participate in sensitive undercover assignments. The FBI investigates a wide range of criminal activity, including organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, bank robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, espionage, drug trafficking, and cybercrime. There are many other Federal agencies that enforce particular types of laws. U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents enforce laws and regulations relating to illegal drugs. U. S. arshals and deputy marshals provide security for the Federal courts and ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents enforce and investigate violations of Federal firearms and explosives laws, as well as Federal alcohol and tobacco tax regulations. The U. S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security special agents is engaged in the battle against terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security also employs numerous law enforcement officers within several different agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.
S. Secret Service. U. S. Border Patrol agents protect more than 8,000 miles of international land and water boundaries. Immigration inspectors interview and examine people seeking entry into the United States and its territories. Customs inspectors enforce laws governing imports and exports by inspecting cargo, baggage, and articles worn or carried by people, vessels, vehicles, trains, and aircraft entering or leaving the United States. Federal Air Marshals provide air security by guarding against attacks targeting U. S. aircraft, passengers, and crews. U. S. Secret Service special agents and U. S.
Secret Service uniformed officers protect the President, the Vice President, their immediate families, and other public officials. Secret Service special agents also investigate counterfeiting, forgery of Government checks or bonds, and fraudulent use of credit cards. Other Federal agencies employ police and special agents with sworn arrest powers and the authority to carry firearms. These agencies include the Postal Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service. Work environment. Police and detective work can be very dangerous and stressful.
Police officers and detectives have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injury and illness. In addition to the obvious dangers of confrontations with criminals, police officers and detectives need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening situations. Many law enforcement officers witness death and suffering resulting from accidents and criminal behavior. A career in law enforcement may take a toll on their private lives. Uniformed officers, detectives, agents, and inspectors usually are scheduled to work 40-hour weeks, but paid overtime is common.
Shift work is necessary because protection must be provided around the clock. Junior officers frequently work weekends, holidays, and nights. Police officers and detectives are required to work whenever they are needed and may work long hours during investigations. Officers in most jurisdictions, whether on or off duty, are expected to be armed and to exercise their authority when necessary. The jobs of some Federal agents, such as U. S. Secret Service and DEA special agents, require extensive travel, often on very short notice. These agents may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers.
Some special agents, such as those in the U. S. Border Patrol, may work outdoors in rugged terrain and in all kinds of weather. Education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree or higher. Most police and detectives learn much of what they need to know on the job, often in their agency’s training academy. Civil service regulations govern the appointment of police and detectives in most states, large municipalities, and special police agencies, as well as in many smaller jurisdictions. Candidates must be U. S. citizens, usually at least 21 years old and meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications.
Education and training applicants usually must have at least a high school education, and some departments require 1 or 2 years of college coursework or, in some cases, a college degree. Physical education classes and participation in sports are also helpful in developing the competitiveness, stamina, and agility needed for many law enforcement positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many Federal agencies and urban departments. State and local agencies encourage applicants to take courses or training related to law enforcement subjects after high school.
Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have completed some formal postsecondary education, and a significant number are college graduates. Many junior colleges, colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement or administration of justice. Many agencies pay all or part of the tuition for officers to work toward degrees in criminal justice, police science, administration of justice, or public administration and pay higher salaries to those who earn one of those degrees. Before their first assignments, officers usually go through a period of training.
In State and large local police departments, recruits get training in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14 weeks. In small agencies, recruits often attend a regional or state academy. Training includes classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, state laws and local ordinances, and accident investigation. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, and use of firearms, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response. Police departments in some large cities hire high school graduates who are still in their teens as police cadets or trainees.
They do clerical work and attend classes, usually for 1 to 2 years, until they reach the minimum age requirement and can be appointed to the regular force. Fish and game wardens also must meet specific requirements. Most States require at least 2 years of college study. Once hired, fish and game wardens attend a training academy lasting from 3 to 12 months, sometimes followed by further training in the field. Federal agencies require a bachelor’s degree, related work experience, or a combination of the two. Federal law enforcement agents undergo extensive training, usually at the U.
S. Marine Corps base, or the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. To be considered for appointment as an FBI agent, an applicant must be a college graduate and have at least 3 years of professional work experience or must have an advanced degree plus 2 years of professional work experience. An applicant who meets these criteria also must have one of the following: a college major in accounting, electrical engineering, information technology, or computer science; fluency in a foreign language; a degree from an accredited law school; or 3 years of related full-time work experience.
All new FBI agents undergo 18 weeks of training at the FBI Academy on the U. S. Marine Corps base. Other qualifications require the civil service regulations that govern the appointment of police and detectives in most States, large municipalities, and special police agencies, as well as in many smaller jurisdictions. Candidates must be U. S. citizens, usually must be at least 21 years old, and must meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications. Physical examinations for entry into law enforcement often include tests of vision, hearing, strength, and agility.
Eligibility for appointment usually depends on one’s performance in competitive written examinations and previous education and experience. Candidates should enjoy working with people and meeting the public. Because personal characteristics such as honesty, sound judgment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility are especially important in law enforcement, senior officers interview candidates and their character traits and backgrounds are investigated. A history of domestic violence may disqualify a candidate. In some agencies, candidates are interviewed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist or given a personality test.
Most applicants are subjected to lie detector examinations or drug testing. Some agencies subject sworn personnel to random drug testing as a condition of continuing employment. The requirements for Federal agents are generally more stringent and the background checks are more thorough. There are polygraph tests as well as interviews with references. Jobs that require security clearances have additional requirements. Police officers usually become eligible for promotion after a probationary period ranging from 6 months to 3 years.
In large departments, promotion may enable an officer to become a detective or to specialize in one type of police work, such as working with juveniles. Promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usually are made according to a candidate’s position on a promotion list, as determined by scores on a written examination and on-the job performance. Federal agents often are on the General Services (GS) pay scale. Most begin at the GS-5 or GS-7 level. As agents meet time-in-grade and knowledge and skills requirements, they move up the GS scale. Promotions at and above GS-13 are most often managerial positions.
Many agencies hire internally for these supervisory positions. A few agents may be able to enter the Senior Executive Series ranks of upper management. Continuing training helps police officers, detectives, and special agents improve their job performance. Through police department academies, regional centers for public safety employees established by the states, and federal agency training centers, instructors provide annual training in self-defense tactics, firearms, use-of-force policies, sensitivity and communications skills, crowd-control techniques, relevant legal developments, and advances in law enforcement equipment.
Police and detectives held about 883,600 jobs in 2008. Local governments employed about 79 percent, state police agencies employed about 11 percent. Various Federal agencies employ police and detectives. According to the U. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, police and detectives employed by local governments worked primarily in cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants. Some cities have very large police forces, while thousands of small communities employ fewer than 25 officers each.
Job opportunities in most local police departments will be favorable for qualified individuals, whereas competition is expected for jobs in state and federal agencies. As fast as average employment growth is expected. Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 10 percent over the 2008–18 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population growth is the main source of demand for police services. Overall opportunities in local police departments will be favorable for individuals who meet the psychological, personal, and physical qualifications.
In addition to openings from employment growth, many openings will be created by the need to replace workers who retire and those who leave local agencies for federal jobs and private-sector security jobs. Jobs in local police departments that offer low salaries, or those in urban communities, in which the crime rate is relatively high, may be the easiest to get. Some smaller departments may have fewer opportunities as budgets limit the ability to hire additional officers. Bilingual applicants with military experience or college training in police science will have the best opportunities in local and state departments.
There will be more competition for jobs in Federal and State law enforcement agencies than for jobs in local agencies. Bilingual applicants with a bachelor’s degree and several years of law enforcement or military experience, especially investigative experience, will have the best opportunities in federal agencies. The level of government spending determines the level of employment for police and detectives. The number of job opportunities, therefore, can vary from year to year and from place to place. Trained law enforcement officers who lose their jobs because of budget cuts usually have little difficulty finding jobs with other agencies.
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers had median annual wages of $51,410 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,850 and $64,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,070 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,680. Median annual wages were $46,620 in federal government, $57,270 in state government, $51,020 in local government and $43,350 in educational services. In May 2008, median annual wages of police and detective supervisors were $75,490. The middle 50 percent earned between $59,320 and $92,700.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $46,000 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $114,300. Median annual wages were $89,930 in federal government, $75,370 in state government, and $74,820 in local government. In May 2008, median annual wages of detectives and criminal investigators were $60,910. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,930 and $81,490. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,500 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,870. Median annual wages were $73,170 in federal government, $53,910 in state government, and $55,930 in local government.
According to the International City-County Management Association’s annual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures Survey, average salaries for sworn full-time positions in 2008 were as follows: Positionminimum salarymaximum salary w/o longevity Police chief$90,570$113,930 Deputy chief$74,834$96,209 Police captain$72,761$91,178 Police lieutenant$65,688$79,268 Police sergeant$58,739$70,349 Police corporal$49,421$61,173 In addition to the common benefits, paid vacation, sick leave, medical, and life insurance most police and sheriffs’ departments provide officers with special allowances for uniforms.
Many police officers retire at half-pay after 20 years of service; others often are eligible to retire with 30 or fewer years of service. Reference page Radiology Technician Career http://www. medicalcareerinfo. com/radiologic_technician. htm http://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos105. htm https://www. asrt. org/content/recruitmentretention/career_brochure. aspx http://becomingaradiologist. org/ http://www1. salary. com/radiology-technician-Salary. html Physician Assistant Career http://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos081. htm http://www. physicianassistantsite. com/ http://physiciansassistantprogram. org/physician-assistant-job-description/ http://www. ollegegrad. com/careers/proft81. shtml http://www. medicalcareerinfo. com/physician_assistant. htm Medical Assistant Career http://www1. salary. com/Medical-Assistant-salary. html http://www. salary. com/learning/layouthtmls/leal_searchjob_HC07000094. html http://www. medicalassistant. net/what_is_medical_assistant. htm http://www. medicalassistantjobsonline. org/ http://www. medicalcareerinfo. com/ http://www. medicalassistantcertification. com/ http://www. insertt. com/medical-assistant/medical-assistant-salary. html EMT Emergency Medical Technician Career http://www. medicalcareerinfo. com/emt. htm ttp://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos101. htm http://www1. salary. com/Emergency-Medical-Technician-salary. html http://www. nhtsa. gov/people/injury/ems/pub/emtbnsc. pdf http://www. emttrainings. com/ http://www. learn4good. com/alliedhealth/emt_training_emergency_medical_technician_paramedic_careers. htm Police Officer, Detective or Agent http://www. careerpoliceofficer. com/ http://www. criminaljusticeusa. com/police-officer. html http://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos160. htm http://www. bls. gov/oco/ocos160. htm#addinfo http://www. michigan. gov/documents/StatePoliceDetective_13064_7. pdf http://www. lapdonline. rg/join_the_team/content_basic_view/9127 My priority list for jobs started about 8 years ago in 2003. I was a high school drop out in 1994 so when I lost my job I decided to go back to college. In order for me to go back to college I also needed a high school diploma or GED. I was a dual enrolled student at the college, which was rough, but I did it. I went to the alternative school for my high school diploma and also went to college for Michigan corrections officer, and law enforcement. I graduated college with my associates in applied science, certificate for Michigan corrections and my high school diploma in 2005.
I then realized I did not want to work with prisoners and I was to prejudice to be a police officer. The reason for being prejudice as a police officer or corrections officer results in my accident. The people that hit me and changed my whole life around did not get enough time in jail, just a minor slap on the hand. I feel that being a corrections officer or a police officer I had to much anger at that time to pursue something in that field. I have since calmed down quite a bit and have forgiven what was done to me and the people who did it. So my priority list has changed a little bit over the years.
I love to help people when they need the help, I am a big people person I guess you can say. #1 priority Radiology Technician career is my. #2 priority is in Medical Ass
Cite this Career Investigation Essay
Career Investigation Essay. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/career-investigation/