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Health Careers

Healthcare classroom

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In 2014, Iowa Valley Community College District invited a group of employers, educators, and economic developers to serve on a Healthcare Sector Board for the purpose of discussing their workforce concerns and issues in Region 6 (Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama Counties). Employers included representatives from hospitals, clinics, home health, hospice, and long-term care facilities. High growth, high demand positions were identified by employers, which laid the foundation for the accompanying career pathways map. The map does not identify all occupations within healthcare, but it does give information to potential new workers about current jobs needed in the region. The jobs are not specific to any one employer but do reflect the current needs of participating healthcare employers as aggregated in Region 6.

In addition to the occupations in demand, the pathways map also includes information on the minimum skills and competencies needed to be successful in the positions including education degrees, specialized certifications and licensure requirements. This information will assist youth and unemployed individuals by providing an accurate picture of training and skills required to be successful in the job search. Students may want to use this as they plan for future careers.

The starting wage ranges included on the map are also aggregated from the participating employers and provide information on the wages for each step on the pathway. To be qualified for the higher level jobs, individuals will need to have the skills and competencies at that level and all preceding levels. They will also be accumulating the experience necessary for career advancement.

It is also important to recognize that the wages listed do not include benefits. On average, benefits comprise approximately 35% of the total compensation package. Each employer provides its own customized plan. These benefits may include insurance, retirement, paid time off (vacation and sick leave), paid holidays, tuition assistance, and clothing allowance.

Careers in healthcare require individuals who can succeed in a fast-paced environment and want to make a difference in the lives of their patients. Healthcare employees may find themselves in emotionally challenging and highly stressful situations. Job seekers from non-healthcare occupations are encouraged to consider these careers because they can bring a wealth of experience and transferrable skills to these positions.

Job Title
Food Service Worker Prepares, delivers, and serves food with accuracy and efficiency. Works assigned positions with accuracy and efficiency. Restocks food items to specified levels. Operates cafeteria and kitchen equipment (i.e. dishwashing machine, cash register, slicer, coffee machines).
Resident Aide Assists the elderly, convalescents, or persons with disabilities with daily living activities at the person’s home or in a care facility. Duties performed at a place of residence may include keeping house (making beds, doing laundry, washing dishes) and preparing meals. May provide assistance at non-residential care facilities. May advise families, the elderly, convalescents, and persons with disabilities regarding such things as nutrition, cleanliness, and household activities.
Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Provides basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Performs duties such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, or moving patients, or change linens. State registration is required in long-term care/skilled care.
PSR/Business Office Collects information from incoming patients regarding services needed, insurance available, or financial status. May assist in completion of admissions or insurance forms. Contacts insurance providers to verify coverage and obtain authorization for service.
Cook Culinary Produces all required food items based on information obtained from production sheets, catering requests, prep sheets and any other approved source. Plans and conducts daily work to meet food production and service time requirements.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Assesses injuries, administers emergency medical care, and extricates trapped individuals. Transports injured or sick persons to medical facilities. National certification and state registration are required.
Phlebotomist An individual trained to draw blood, either for laboratory tests or for blood donations.
Rehabilitation Aide Licensed CNA with 50 hours additional specialized training. Rehab aides work only in long-term care. Works with residents in the dining room with eating/feeding skills and works with patients to maintain or improve function in basic life skills through exercise, strength, ROM (Range of Motion), etc. that is part of the individual patient’s plan of care.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Cares for ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. State licensing is required.
Dietary Manager Plans and conducts food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Performs administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Is a member of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). National certification is required.
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) Assesses injuries and administers IV fluids and certain medications. Can administer emergency medical care and extricate trapped individuals. Transports injured or sick persons to medical facilities. National certification and state registration are required.
Paramedic Educated in advanced airway management techniques and procedures as well as extensive patient assessment techniques. National certification and state registration are required.
Registered Nurse (RN) Assesses patient health problems and needs; develops, implements and evaluates nursing care plans; and maintains medical records. Administers nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensure is required.
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Assists occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training. State licensing is required.
Physical Therapy Assistant (Aide) Focuses on strength, mobility, pain,  etc. with heat, cold, stretch, and strength modalities. Works in PT clinics that are not associated with a LTC facility but are stand-alone clinics or associated with a hospital, etc. Documents the progress of treatment and modifies specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. State licensing is required.
Assesses, treats, and cares for patients with breathing disorders. National certification and state licensing are required.
Dietitian Plans and conducts food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. National certification and state licensure are required.
Medical Social Worker Provides individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.
Medical Technologist (Lab) Performs complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff. National certification is required.
Nurse Manager Must be an experienced licensed nurse. Plans, directs, or coordinates medical and health services in departments throughout hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, home health agencies, or similar organizations.
Occupational Therapist Assesses, plans, organizes, and participates in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. State licensure is required.
Nurse Practitioner Diagnoses and treats acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be a registered nurse with specialized graduate education. State licensure is required.
Pharmacist Dispenses drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provides information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications. State licensure is required.
Physician Assistant Provides healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conducts complete physicals, provides treatment, and counsels patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants. State licensure is required.
Physical Therapist Assesses, plans, organizes, and participates in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

Participating Employers:

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