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engineering techniques, the biomedical engineer solves medical
and health-related problems. They may design and develop medical
equipment and instruments such as dialysis machines or pacemakers.
They may also develop equipment to measure various body functions.
Research may range from the study of biological systems and
their engineering aspects to the design and improvement of
medical devices. The minimum education required is a bachelor's
degree in engineering.
Equipment Technicians install, maintain, repair, calibrate,
and modify electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic
instruments and medical equipment. Eye-hand coordination,
manual dexterity, and mechanical aptitude are essential for
this position. The hazards in this occupation include injuries
while lifting or transporting heavy equipment and exposure
to electric shock, radiation, fumes, and communicable diseases.
This position is listed in "Emerging and Evolving Occupations
in Texas 1999." The employment outlook expected for this field
is a moderate growth rate of 20%. An associate's degree or
a certification from an approved and accredited vocational/technical
school is required to become a technician.
with health investigators, the biostatistician is essential
in designing studies to acquire health-related information.
They assist in deciding where and how to gather data, determining
the types and size of a sample group, developing a survey
questionnaire, and preparing instructions for workers gathering
the data. Independently, the biostatistician analyzes, interprets
and summarizes the data while applying mathematical principles.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum education, however most
often a master's degree is required.
BANK TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST
typing, and preparing blood and its components for transfusions
are the duties of blood bank technology specialists. They
are responsible for public safety of blood supplies. Blood
bank technology specialists perform specialized tests, screen
for transfusion-transmitted viruses, and identify antibodies.
A bachelor's degree in medical technology, one or more years'
work experience, and a one-year training program are required
to be a blood bank technology specialist.
Life Specialists provide play opportunities and other experiences
which foster growth and development of pediatric patients
and prevent adverse reactions to health care encounters. They
try to make the patient's life normal in the ways of childhood.
Their patients are birth to eighteen years of age and are
inpatients. Working with other health professionals and relating
to the patient's family are also essential in this position.
Child Life Specialists have a four-year degree in child development.
Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology are
approach to medical treatment stresses the overall health
and wellness of the patient and is concerned with the body's
muscular, nervous and skeletal systems. Chiropractors use
postural and spinal analysis, involving the correct alignment
of the vertebrae. Natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments
include water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric therapy
and heat therapy. Chiropractors also counsel patients about
wellness concepts such as nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes
and stress management. Two years of college level study are
required before admission to a four-year college of chiropractic
medicine. Licensing is required.
Nurse Specialists deliver advanced patient care, conduct clinical
studies, instruct staff and patients on clinical issues, consult
with other professionals, and provide leadership and supervision.
A clinical nurse specialist may specialize in any of the following
areas: addiction, disorders, critical care, adult health,
community health, emergency care, gerontonlogical care, high-risk
maternity care, maternal-child health, medical-surgical, neonatal,
oncology, pediatric, perioperative, psychiatric/mental health,
or women's health. This is an advance practice nurse who has
educational requirements of a master's degree.
REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETIST
Registered Nurse Anesthetists interview patients to gather
information on drug use, allergic reactions, and family history.
They care for patients before, during, and after surgical
procedures by blending nursing skills with the practice of
anesthesia. CRNAs administer spinal, intravenous and other
anesthetics to patients during surgical procedures, childbirth,
and special medical procedures. They also manage the patient's
airway, control breathing, and monitor vital signs while a
patient is under anesthesia. After being licensed as a registered
nurse and having one year of critical care nursing experience,
a master's degree is required as well as passing a national
certification examination. The job outlook is excellent due
to a current national shortage of CRNAs.
prepare and evaluate cell samples by examing the cells microscopically
for color, size, shape, structure, and patterns. The education
required to become a cytotechnologist is a bachelor's degree
and one year of special instruction in cytology from an accredited
program. The job market is excellent due to increased use
of cytologic testing to confirm disease and the shortage of
at chair-side, the duties of a dental assistant include: making
the patient comfortable; preparing the patient for examination
and treatment; obtaining dental records; providing the appropriate
instruments to the dentist; and using suction and other devices
to keep the patient's mouth dry and clear. Other responsibilities
are to sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment,
set up instrument trays, prepare materials for making impressions,
and process dental x-ray film. Training can be either a certificate
program or associate's degree from a community college.
teeth and providing other preventive dental care, as well
as teaching patients how to practice good oral hygiene, are
responsibilities of the dental hygienist. They examine patients'
teeth and gums, recording the presence of disease or abnormalities.
Hygienists also remove calculus, stains, and plaque from teeth;
take and develop dental x-rays; and apply cavity preventive
agents. Educating patients about how to brush and floss their
teeth, how to select toothbrushes, and the effect of diet
on oral health are important duties of the hygienist. The
job requires two years of an accredited college program and
order to make and repair dental appliances, such as crowns,
dentures, bridges, braces, and implants, which a dentist prescribes
for the patient, the technician uses both art and science.
Using impressions made by the dentist's office, they create
plaster models and then shape a wax model. From the model
they cast a metal framework and coat it with porcelain. Two
years of training in an accredited program leads either to
a certificate or an associate's degree.
diagnosing and treating health problems of the teeth, gums
and mouth are the primary responsibilities of the dentist.
They also drill and fill cavities, analyze X-rays, extract
teeth, fit patients for dentures, straighten teeth, perform
root canals, repair teeth, administer anesthetics and prescribe
medications. Ninety college hours are required before admission
to dental school. However, 95 percent of dental students have
a bachelor's degree. Dental school usually takes four additional
years to complete. Dentists must be licensed.
in the preparation, delivery, and serving of meals to patients
are duties of the dietary manager. In most cases the dietary
manager is a department head who supervises personnel, receives
and stores food supplies, and takes care of kitchen facilities.
This professional usually works under the supervision of a
registered dietician. Coursework required includes 120 hours
of academic programs and 150 hours of field experience.
scientifically evaluate clients' diets and develop nutrition
programs. They help prevent and treat illnesses by promoting
healthy eating habits. Dietitians usually supervise food service
systems for institutions, such as hospitals or schools. They
work as clinicians, researchers, administrators, educators,
and private practitioners. A bachelor's degree and supervised
practical experience are required to become a dietitian. Licensing
is also required.
the direction of a radiation therapist or a physician, a dosimetrist
plans and administers ionizing radiation. The primary duties
of a dosimetrist are tumor localization, providing immobilization
devices, providing radiation protection, planning or fabricating
modifying devices, calculating equipment settings, aligning
beams, detecting equipment problems, and assisting in inserting
radioactive substances inside body cavities for the treatment
of cancer. Either a person with a bachelor of science degree
and a medical background or a registered radiation therapy
technologist with two years of experience is eligible for
the certificate program.
laboratory and field tests allows the environmental health
specialist to monitor environmental resources and determine
the contaminants and sources of pollution. They may collect
samples to test for environmental problems such as water quality,
ecology, or food safety. They inspect public and community
locations such as nursing homes, recreational facilities,
or food establishments. Many environmental health specialists
receive an associate's degree from an accredited community
a disease as it occurs in a population, tracking the disease,
determining the cause(s), and working to develop methods to
prevent or control the spread of the disease are the primary
duties of epidemiologists. They usually specialize in either
infectious diseases or chronic illnesses. Concern with the
health of a community or population is the primary influence
in the work of epidemiologists. They use statistics, demographics,
and sound research methods. A master's degree, typically in
public health, is required.
specialize in working with elderly people. They provide and
coordinate services, conduct research on aging, and try to
improve the quality of life for the elderly. The minimum education
needed is an associate's degree, but may be as high as a doctorate,
in gerontology, nursing, sociology, psychology or other human-service
access to health-related information for health professionals
is the responsibility of the health sciences librarian. They
locate specialized and up-to-date medical reference information
in both print and on-line sources. They also select and purchase
books, journals, software, audiovisual materials and other
resources. Health Sciences librarians must have a master's
perform complex analysis such as identifying tissue structure
and cell components to be used in the diagnosis, prevention
or treatment of disease. They prepare slides of body tissue
for microscopic examination by freezing and cutting tissues,
mounting them on slides and staining them with special dyes
to make the details visible under the microscope. The training
required is a bachelor's degree and one year of additional
laboratory experience or completion of an accredited program.
The job outlook is excellent due to a shortage of histotechnologists.
counselors assist people with personal, family, educational,
mental health and career problems. They emphasize prevention
and work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental
To determine the best method of treating the client, the counselor
gathers information through interviews, observations and tests.
The minimum education required is a master's degree. State
licensing is required for professional counselors. In addition
to a master's degree, a counselor must have three years of
experience in mental health counseling, and pass a written
exam to become to be licensed.
basic bedside care to patients is the LVN's duty. They do
such things as applying dressings, changing IVs, taking vital
signs, and giving medications. They respond to directions
given by physicians and registered nurses. There is a projected
increase in the demand for LVNs, with an expected growth rate
of 24%. Training programs are one year in length. Passing
a state board examination is required.
RESONANCE IMAGING TECHNICIAN
the radiology department, there are various types of advanced
computer-aided imaging equipment. The MRI system measures
energy reflected by the body and does not use radioactive
elements. This is a non-invasive procedure that provides excellent
contrast detail of soft tissue. There are three planes in
which MRIs can display images of a cross section of the body.
The technologist's main duties are to position the patient
and obtain the desired images.
talent is essential for medical illustrators.
They create images or models of medical subjects using many
types of tools. Frequently they use computer technology to
accomplish their tasks. The art they create is used in instructional,
research or cosmetic functions. Usually, a medical illustrator
holds a master's degree.
Technologists analyze human blood, tissues, and body fluids.
They are also responsible for supervising the performance
of many medical laboratory tests. Medical technologists exercise
independent judgement, correlate test results and interpret
the findings. Medical technologists generate information that
is used by physicians to determine the presence, extent, and
possible cause of disease. The training is a bachelor's degree
in medical technology.
medicine technologists prepare, measure, and give radiopharmaceuticals
to patients either by mouth or injection. They also analyze
the interaction of blood and urine samples with radioactive
materials to determine drug and hormone levels. They must
also calculate the correct dose of radiopharamceuticals and
then administer them to the patient. The minimum training
in nuclear medicine is an associate's degree. The job outlook
is good with a projected increase of 31%.
Practitioners independently practice health care under the
supervision of a physician. They treat patients and obtain
medical histories, perform physical examinations, prescribe
medications, monitor patients with chronic diseases, as well
as order and interpret lab tests and x-rays. They also provide
family planning and prenatal care. Because this is an advanced
practice nurse, it requires a master's degree in nursing.
nurse aides have one year of experience at University Hospital
in San Antonio, they can become trained as a nursing technician.
Nurse technicians provide care such as bathing, walking, feeding
and dressing patients. They also make beds, assist patients
getting in and out of bed, and taking vital signs. As a nursing
technician, they have more responsibilities and receive more
pay. The training program lasts 15 weeks.
therapist teaches patients daily living skills after illness,
injury or disability. Physical and psychological rehabilitation
is pursued using compensation or adaptation of current abilities.
The occupational therapist's goal is to help the patient regain
independence and self-reliance. They evaluate and treat both
children and adults. The job market for this position is expected
to increase dramatically. The minimum education needed is
a bachelor's degree from an accredited program.
with an occupational therapist, occupational therapy aides
treat patients who have a disability resulting from physical
injury or trauma, disease, aging, mental illness, or alcohol/substance
abuse. They help individuals learn or relearn daily living
skills and self-care. A two-year associate's degree is required
to become an occupational therapy aide. Both a certification
exam and a licensing exam must be passed to practice. The
job outlook is excellent because there are not enough certified
personnel to meet the current demand.
medical histories, administering eye medication, instructing
the patient in care and use of corrective lenses, performing
ophthalmic tests, assisting in ophthalmic surgery, and taking
ophthalmic photographs are duties of the ophthalmic technologist.
Two years of training in an accredited program is usually
needed to become an ophthalmic technologist.
opticians interpret eyeglass prescriptions and assist patients
in selecting eyewear. They measure the patient's eyes, for
example, the distance between the centers of the pupils. Opticians
adjust and fit the eyeglasses to the patient. Training is
either a one-year certificate program or an associate's degree.
the optometrist, the technician prepares patients for tests,
puts drops in patients' eyes, and administers vision tests
and training. The technician may also perform clerical duties
such as scheduling appointments, filing, maintaining medical
records, and bookkeeping. Usual training for technicians is
a two-year associate's degree.
vision care that most people need is provided by optometrists.
They examine, diagnose, treat, and manage eye diseases and
disorders. Optometrists also prescribe eyeglasses, contact
lenses, and provide vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation.
They use instruments and observation to examine eye health,
and to test patients' visual acuity, depth and color perception
and their ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. To become
an optometrist, a person must earn a bachelor's degree and
complete a four-year accredited program at a college of optometry.
Licensing is required.
perfusionist operates very sophisticated technological equipment
that temporarily functions as the patient's heart and lungs
during open-heart surgery. Perfusionists monitor the patient's
circulation and condition during the procedure and in some
cases provide long-term support of the patient's circulation
after the operation. They are in constant communication with
the physician during surgery. Perfusionists must have a four-year
bachelor's degree and one to two years of perfusionist education.
There is one school of perfusion technology in Texas that
admits approximately 20 students per year. A certifying examination
is required for licensure in Texas. The outlook for perfusionists
is good and the average starting salary is $44,500 per year.
technicians assist in mixing and preparing prescriptions under
the direct supervision of a pharmacist. They label prescriptions
and determine medication charges. Pharmacy technicians help
maintain inventory and keep patients' medication records.
The two-year associate's degree prepares a pharmacy technician
but training may also be acquired on-the-job or through a
certificate program. The job outlook is one of faster than
are responsible for interpreting physician prescriptions for
medications. Pharmacists also dispense prescribed medications.
They prepare ointments, powders, and capsules. Pharmacists
play a vital role in educating and counseling patients. They
must effectively communicate with all types of individuals.
The education needed to become a pharmacist is a bachelor's
degree. After completing the degree, a licensing examination
is required. Due to many factors, the need for pharmacists
draw blood samples by venipucnture, skin puncture, or arterial
collection for medical tests and blood donations. Proper technique
protects the patient and provides accurate test results. The
primary biomedical hazard for this occupation may occur when
improper treatment techniques are used with patients with
blood transmitted diseases. Training programs run from 16
to 34 weeks in length. Due to advances in biotechnology the
number of laboratory test ordered by physicians has increased,
which increases the need for phlebotomists.
to provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health care
services, Physician Assistants (PA) are supervised by a physician
and share many of the primary care duties. These professionals
take medical histories, examine patients, order and interpret
laboratory tests and x-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe
some medications. They also treat minor injuries by suturing,
splinting and casting. After health care experience and approximately
two years of college, a PA completes an accredited program
about two years in length. Licensing is required.
physicians provide health care for a wide variety of ill or
injured people on an emergency basis. They are trained to
work in an intense environment and usually are high-energy
people who can make quick, educated guesses that can save
lives. Many ER physicians treat a high number of severe trauma
cases on a regular basis. The workload of an ER physician
changes constantly however, and there are times when the caseload
is less acute. The education is typically a four-year bachelor’s
degree, four years of medical school, three years of residency,
and a subspecialty fellowship of two or more years. It is
anticipated that there will be a shortage of ER physicians,
so the need for these specialists is expected to increase.
Therapists evaluate a patient's physical ability and initiate
treatment to restore function, relieve pain or prevent disability.
Testing helps the therapist design a program of treatment.
Physical Therapists use movement exercises, electrical stimulation,
water, ultrasound, and massage to develop endurance, coordination,
and muscle strength. A master's degree and passing a national
exam is required to practice. The aging population, increased
participation in sports and fitness, and technological/medical
advances have all contributed to the demand for physical therapists.
with a physical therapist, the aide assists in the patient's
treatment program, exercises, and use of special equipment.
The aide implements the treatment plan designed by the physical
therapist. A two-year accredited program must be completed
and an examination passed. Licensing is required. The job
outlook is good.
doctor who prevents, diagnoses, and treats disorders of the
feet and legs is a podiatrist. They prescribe drugs, order
physical therapy, order x-rays and laboratory tests, set fractures,
and perform surgery. Often the foot is the first area to show
signs of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis and the podiatrist
is a vital link to other health care professionals. A bachelor's
degree, four years of podiatric medicine school, residency,
and licensing are all required to be a podiatrist.
developing, and making replacement limbs for patients who
have lost a limb due to accident or disease is the work of
the prosthetist. Orthotists use the same skills to fit and
make orthopaedic braces.
Prosthetists concentrate on measurement, impression taking,
model refitting, postoperative management, and external power
and alignment of sockets related
to various levels of amputation. A bachelor's degree, specific
training courses in orthotics and prosthetics, and at least
one year of supervised experience in the field are needed
to become a prosthetist or orthotist.
doses of radiation to treat patients afflicted with cancer
is the primary duty of a radiation therapy technologist. Maintaining
radiation safety for patients, personnel, and themselves while
preparing, handling and administering radioactive materials
is very important in this job. Training programs may be one,
two, or four years in length. Licensing is required.
use x-ray equipment to create images of the internal body
to diagnose injury and disease. Their responsibilities include
positioning the patient between the x-ray source and the film,
adjusting the equipment, providing protection to unaffected
areas, determining the proper intensity and exposure time
for x-rays, processing film and keeping patient records. Listed
in the “Emerging and Evolving Occupations in Texas 1999,”
the outlook for employment is good with a projected growth
rate of 32-35%. After completing a two-year certificate program
or an associate’s degree, one must pass an examination
and become licensed. Options for career advancement through
training include radiation therapy, dosimetry, sonography,
nuclear medicine, computerized tomography, mammography, subtraction
angiography, or magnetic resonance imaging.
recreational therapist uses medically approved recreational
programs to physically and socially rehabilitate patients
who have chronic physical, psychological, and social handicaps.
Their methods include art, music, dance, sports, games, drama,
and horticulture. The recreational therapist uses motivational
and creative programs to encourage behavior change, improve
coordination, and increase social skills. The job outlook
is very good and includes a 40% projected growth. A bachelor's
degree in therapeutic recreation is essential in this occupation.
registered nurse coordinates patient care, assesses symptoms,
interprets symptoms, and responds to reactions and progress.
They administer medications, perform therapeutic procedures
and instruct patients and families in proper health care practices.
A nurse is also responsible for the supervision of aides and
licensed vocational nurses. The minimum education required
to become a nurse is an associate's degree. After completing
an approved program, the nurse must pass a comprehensive examination
to become licensed. The need for registered nurses is expected
to grow by more than 25%.
These scientific researchers are interested in medicine and
health. They work on basic research into normal biological
systems to understand the causes of diseases and to discover
the prevention or treatment of diseases. Research scientists
work in laboratories and use microscopes, computers, and other
equipment. They study genetics, diseases, microorganisms,
drugs, the environment and other areas related to human health.
For most research science positions, the Ph.D. degree in science
is the minimum education required.
Therapists treat patients who have difficulties with breathing
because of cardiopulmonary problems. These professionals conduct
tests of cardiopulmonary functions and give patients appropriate
treatment, as ordered by a physician. They also set up and
operate equipment including oxygen, gas and mist inhalation
equipment, tents, mechanical ventilators, masks, catheters,
and incubators used in administering prescribed doses of medicinal
gases and drugs. Patients may require temporary or long-term
care and in some cases, emergency care. Education for a respiratory
care therapist is either a two-year associate's degree or
a four-year bachelor's degree. The field is growing rapidly
with an expected 36% increase because of the growing middle-age
and elderly populations.
workers conduct psychotherapy and assist individuals with
problems such as poverty, illness, substance abuse, lack of
financial management skills, or inadequate housing. They help
people find the resources to solve financial, health care,
family and other problems. Becoming licensed requires obtaining
a bachelor's degree in social work and passing an examination.
Demand for social workers is expected to increase by 26% annually.
medical sonographers direct high-frequency sound waves into
specific areas of a patient's body to produce images of the
shape, position, or movements of organs, fluid accumulations,
masses, or fetuses. They select and set up appropriate equipment
for the test, explain the procedure to patients, help patient
to assume the correct physical position, and put patients
at ease. Sonographers observe the sound-wave display screen,
adjust equipment to ensure a clear image, and maintain a log
of ultrasonic tests. Specialization in sonography includes
neurosonograpy (the brain), vascular (blood flows), echocardiography
(the heart), abdominal (liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen),
obstetrics and gynecology (the female reproductive system),
or opthamology (the eyes). Training is one, two or four years
in length. The one-year program is for those who have met
qualification requirements in health care.
Evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and swallowing
problems is the work of a speech pathologist. Speech problems
may be the result of hearing loss, brain injury or deterioration,
cerebral palsy, stroke, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental
retardation, or emotional problems. Speech pathologists use
written and oral tests, as well as special instruments to
diagnose the nature and extent of impairments. They develop
an individualized plan of treatment.A master's degree and
licensing is required to be a speech pathologist.
diagnose medical conditions and perform surgery. They use
medical instruments, radiographic images and other recordings
of internal organs to examine and treat patients. Surgeons
also prescribe medications and dietary and activity programs.
New technology allows doctors to perform more tests and procedures,
and in some cases, surgeons can now treat conditions that
were previously seen as untreatable. The education is typically
a four-year bachelor's degree, four years of medical school,
three years of residency, and a subspecialty fellowship of
two or more years. The job outlook is better than average
job of a surgical technologist is to set up the operating
room for surgery by preparing the patient, maintaining sterility,
laying out the needed instruments, and assisting surgical
staff into gowns, masks, and gloves. During surgery the surgical
technologist passes instruments to the physician, keeps an
accurate count of gauze, sponges and other supplies used,
and may assist in various other ways, such as retracting tissues,
cutting sutures and operating special equipment. Traits that
are important to performing this job effectively include good
manual dexterity, the ability to stand for long periods of
time, high levels of concentration, the ability to act with
speed and accuracy, and the ability to remain calm and continue
working in emergency situations. Training can last from 8
months up to 2 years after high school. Some surgical technologists
receive on-the-job training. The outlook for employment as
a surgical technologist is very good. The middle point in
the salary range for 1997 in Texas was $10.67 per hour, or
$22,193.60 per year, full time.
clerical position is essential in keeping a patient care unit
running smoothly. The unit clerk performs a variety of clerical
tasks which includes answering the telephone, maintaining
patient files, and ordering supplies. Previous experience
in an office is helpful. The need for unit clerks is constant.
Working with animals, the veterinarian diagnoses and controls
animal diseases, treats sick animals, and prevents the transmission
of animal diseases to people. In addition to caring for animals,
some veterinarians are involved in research and others are
involved in human food safety. They test for and vaccinate
against diseases, treat and dress wounds, set fractures, and
perform surgery. To become a veterinarian a person must complete
a bachelor's degree, graduate from a school of veterinary
medicine and obtain a license.
Helping with animal care, feeding, watering, comforting, bathing,
grooming, and exercising are the duties of the veterinary
assistant. They observe as animals recover from surgery, change
bedding, and clean and disinfect to maintain sanitary conditions.
Most veterinary assistants are trained on-the-job.
Veterinary technicians take animals to treatment rooms, restrain and
calm them during examination, or treatment, and prepare animals for
surgery. They also sterilize instruments, take and develop x-rays,
prepare vaccines, give medications, and perform laboratory tests. An
associate's degree is the education needed to become a veterinary
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