The health care industry, including doctors, nurses, insurance agents, home health aides, and allied health care workers, accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy, making it the largest industrial sector in the United States. The Miami, Florida area boasts a large number of schools that offer degree programs in various healthcare related services.
Allied health professions are clinical and administrative health care professions distinct from medicine, dentistry, and nursing. Allied health professionals make up 60 percent of the total health workforce. Allied health professionals work in health care teams to make the healthcare system function by providing a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care and support services. These services are often critical to the other health professionals they work with and the patients they serve.
Registered nurses assess patient needs and health problems, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. They also administer care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. Nurses regularly advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. In the United States (and more specifically the state of Florida) licensing or registration is required.
Nursing careers available in Miami also include advance practice nurses such as: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, neonatal nurses, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advanced practice nursing is practiced by RN's who have specialized formal, post-basic education and who function in highly autonomous and specialized roles.
As you begin your health care career and apply for jobs, consider the work environment, the size of the organization, its status as a profit or non-profit institute (pay scale can be less at a non-profit), benefits, requirements for mandatory overtime, typical working hours, and pay scale.
Ways to look for jobs include:
- your school's career development office
- web sites for professional associations; hospitals, laboratories, and medical centers; medically-based staffing agencies and recruiters; general health-related sites; and career web sites (look for ones geared toward health or medical professions)
- state and federal government web sites
Many employers actively recruit students while they are in school and offer incentives (tuition reimbursement, signing bonuses, loan repayment, etc.) for an agreement of future employment for specific periods of time. Some arrangements require students to take their clinical at an institution with a guarantee of employment after successful graduation.
Career development offices at school also have up-to-date listings for many jobs in the community that are not posted anywhere else, so it's a good idea to check with them for opportunities as your graduation date nears. They also arrange for on-campus interviews or career fairs for groups of employers.
Outlook & Salary
According to the latest numbers, seven of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S. are health care related. An aging population and the retirement of current workers means employment in the health care industry will grow by 22 percent through 2016 in the U.S. Many positions will be open in a variety of areas -- from radiographers to clinical lab technologists.
The health care income ranges posted by the American Medical Association lists some of the better known allied health specialties and their associated salaries. According to their numbers, anesthesiologist assistants make the largest starting salary -- $95,000 - $120,000. But that is unusual. Most non-MD health care positions pay around $50,000. Those with more responsibility for patient care, such as dentists, surgical assistants, physician assistants, and pharmacists, may make more.
Where will the jobs be? Employment at hospitals will grow by 13 percent, but that is the slowest pace in health care. The future is particularly bright for smaller home health care services, which are predicted to grow by 55 percent through 2016.
Other areas with expected growth include physician and other health practitioner offices (24.8 and 28.3 percent growth respectively), outpatient care centers (24.3 percent growth), and ambulatory health care services (32.3 percent growth).
And, as group practices integrate and medical records are electronified, the need for office and administrative support will grow accordingly.
Choosing a health care school is similar to choosing schools in any discipline. Location, credentials, and faculty quality should all be considered when selecting your school.
The health care field is growing by leaps and bounds. Don't let the school you choose leave you unprepared. Learn more about school facilities and programs by requesting more information from any of the schools listed on HealthCareDegrees.org.
Top Schools in Miami for Healthcare Degree Programs
- University of Phoenix
Health Administration, Health Care Management
- ATI Career Training
Diagnostic Ultrasound Technician, Medical Assisting Technician, Medical Office Administration, Respiratory Therapy
- DeVry University
Biomedical Engineering Technology, Biomedical Informatics, Health Information Technology
- Brown Mackie College
- Medical Assisting, Medical Assistant
- Keiser University
Medical Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Nuclear Medicine Technology
- Miami Dade College
- University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine