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Concorde Career Institute

Opportunities Abound in Allied Health Technical Fields When young people in the past considered health care careers, they probably thought their options were limited to medicine, nursing or dentistry. Much has changed in health care in recent years, however. To meet the increased cost-effectiveness demands of managed care, it is most efficient for physicians and dentists to spend their time focused on the most advanced tasks in which they have expertise: physical examination, diagnosis and treatment. Skilled, allied health technical workers now perform many duties related to patient care and/or office administration. These workers have highly prized technical and problem-solving skills that command good salaries. And they can obtain entry-level jobs with only a few months to two years of training beyond high school. “Healthcare employers are recruiting intensively to hire workers with training in technical and support fields,” says Linda Weldon, director of Concorde Career Institute in North Hollywood. Concorde, which specializes in allied health technical career training, also has a campus in Anaheim. “It really is an employee’s job market.” Job outlook (growth) projections from the U.S. Department of Labor for the 1996-2006 period underscore the excellent job opportunities for graduates of allied health technical programs. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1998-99 Occupational Outlook Handbook cites statistics from the Department of Labor indicating that employment of respiratory therapists, dental assistants and medical assistants, for example, can be expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations during the 1996-2006 period. Much faster than average is defined as a 36 percent or greater increase in employment numbers. With employment in their fields expected to grow faster than average (21 to 35 percent), well-qualified surgical technologists, licensed practical (vocational) nurses and medical secretaries also will find good jobs easily, according to the Handbook. “When prospective students visit Concorde to ask about career training in these fields,” says Weldon, “they usually are most concerned about making certain they are well-suited to the demands of the work they would be doing.” Respiratory therapy technicians, surgical technologists and vocational nurses need to be particularly comfortable with science and math classes and — for some tasks — with using technical patient care or lab equipment, says Weldon. “A majority of the students at Concorde in North Hollywood are pursuing training in these fields,” says Weldon. “They are usually pleased to find that on-the-job applications of their science and math course material become very clear in class, which is motivating for most students.” In addition, workers in these fields need good communication skills in order to work well with patients and other healthcare professionals. “Allied health technical career fields all require good people skills and attention to detail,” Weldon explains. “In addition, workers in secretarial and office administration positions should enjoy learning to use a variety of computer software packages. Those who are more directly involved in patient care, such as dental assistants and medical assistants, need to feel comfortable with the idea of working more closely with people — some of whom may be sick — in a professional setting.” Developing the skills needed to enter an allied health technical career field requires hard work. The good news is that those who prefer a hands-on approach to learning, with direct job-related applications being very clear, are likely to find technical career training much more enjoyable than traditional academic programs that focus primarily on learning from books. But most important of all, students in allied health technical fields can rest assured that their skills will be in demand for years to come. ### This story provided by Concorde Career Institute.

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