Must-know terms to jumpstart your health career training


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If you’ve decided the time is right for you to prepare for the health care industry, you’re not alone. Many first-time job seekers and career changers are finding opportunities in this rapidly growing field.

Health care is expected to generate 3.2 million new jobs between now and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition. While that’s a national estimate, and conditions in your location may vary, that growth is still more than any other industry – good news for anyone considering health careers. Most of those jobs require less than four years of education, according to the bureau.

If you’re starting out in health care, however, you may find yourself confused by the sheer number of opportunities – and the terms those in the industry use to describe some common jobs. Knowing something about available opportunities, and common terms used in health care fields, can help you get a head start on your health career training. The health care industry experts at Sanford-Brown offer some insight into must-know terms:

* Medical billing – This occupation involves submitting health insurance claims for health care services provided by a licensed health professional. Medical billing requires less lengthy training than other health careers.

* Allied health professionals – Many people beyond just doctors and nurses are involved in patient care, whether directly or in support capacities. Allied health professionals provide a range of services, including technical, therapeutic, support and direct patient services.

* Sonography/sonographer – Sonographers use ultrasound technology to help doctors examine the function and integrity of structures within the body, from tendons and muscles to the heart. Their work can be very challenging and requires specific training.

* Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI professionals use sophisticated technological tools to help doctors obtain detailed images of internal organs, bones and other bodily structures; frequently this includes the brain, heart and muscles.

* Radiography – Technicians who specialize in radiography use X-rays to help doctors examine inside the body of a patient.

* Dialysis technician – Also known as renal replacement therapy, dialysis helps replace or enhance the functioning of failing kidneys. Supervised by doctors or registered nurses, dialysis technicians may provide patient care and maintain the equipment used in dialysis treatments.

* Health information management – Professionals who specialize in health information management help hospitals, doctors’ offices, health departments and other health care facilities maintain health records, either electronically or through paper-based systems.

* Medical laboratory technician – Supervised by a pathologist, medical laboratory technicians use microscopes, chemicals, computers and other lab equipment to run lab tests on blood, bodily fluids and tissues. They may also provide reports on the results of their tests, and maintain records and equipment in the lab.

The health care industry offers numerous other job opportunities, from occupational therapist and respiratory therapist, to pharmacy technician and paramedic. Health care training schools like Sanford-Brown provide educational training for a wide range of health careers.

Sanford-Brown does not guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.