Are Healthcare Jobs Actually Stable?

Written by on November 14, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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091018-F-8314S-108With all the recent hubbub and controversy about healthcare reforms, insurance, and medical care, many ask the question of whether or not jobs in the health industry are still a stable and reliable profession. The answer is a mixed review.

Many researchers are still conflicted in their results, since the Affordable Care Act [ACA] has only recently begun implementation, and the economy is still struggling in its own right.

In general, the stability of healthcare jobs simply depends on the jobs themselves. Read on to find out which professions are worth pursuing, and which ones might not be as lucrative as one would hope.

Steady

The trends in stable healthcare jobs show that outpatient care is being emphasized more and more, providing many job opportunities for the future. This could be the case because hospitals are trying to have a higher patient turnover, emptying their beds for new patients, instead of keeping patients in their hospital beds for weeks on end.

The ACA has also increased demand for preventative and recovery care, since insurance providers will no longer be able to deny those services to consumers. Here are 4 professions that are projected to be in high demand over the next few years:

  • Medical Assistants

While doctors might not be on this list, their assistants certainly are! Medical assistants help keep a practice or office running smoothly, specializing in patient relations and service. With more projected patients with the insurance mandate, higher levels of organization will be necessary. In addition, medical assisting requires shorter formal education than other medical careers, so it is a plausible option for many people.

  • Home Health Aides

Reflecting the emphasis on outpatient care, home health aides will be in higher demand. Aides help customers recover from medical procedures in their own homes, or provide seniors with an alternative to living in an assisted living facility.

  • Physical Therapists

With physical therapy and recovery services included in many new insurance options, patients can’t be denied needed physical therapy and training. Naturally, more therapists will be needed to satisfy the demand. However, the training and education for physical therapists is very extensive.

  • Sonographers

Included in the area of preventative care, sonographers are key in early diagnosing of potential health problems.

Unsteady

  • Hospital Workers (including Doctors)

The most inconstant professions in healthcare right now are in hospitals. This is largely due to the ACA cutting the fees paid to doctors and hospitals, reducing hospitals’ abilities to keep a large support staff. The support staff may include janitors and custodians, valet parking, and other customer comfort providers.

  • Registered Nurses

While registered nurses have previously taken a solid place on the “best careers” list, the economic downturn from the past few years has somewhat changed this outlook. In the past, nurses could easily find jobs soon after graduation, take time off to raise a family, then return to the workforce to retire in their 50s.

However, with difficult economic times, fewer nurses were taking time off from their careers, trying to support their families. This has resulted, though, in new graduates not being able to find a nursing job.

This trend might lessen in a number of years, when nurses who would have been gone for child-rearing will prepare for retirement. However, that is still a few years down the road, spelling out difficult for nursing grads in the near future.

  • Medical Device Manufacturer

Similar to the plight of hospitals, medical device manufacturing companies are being laid with a heavy tax by the ACA. To compensate for this tax, many companies are having to lay off employees, or reduce them to part-time status.

In general, the jury is still out on the overall security of jobs in the healthcare industry. As you can see, some professions are flourishing while others are declining. It is important to consider the amount of training and investment is required for certain options, compared to the placement and employment opportunities.

Edson Senna is a business student. He enjoys applying what he has learned by writing about investing, finance, entrepreneurship, and other business-related topics. Edson also spends time helping people find the best educational and business opportunities for them, from Alberta Business & Educational Services to small colleges in the South. 

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