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The Best Health Care Career Options

When it comes to health care you have plenty of options in front of you. In fact there are literally hundreds of careers that you could choose to pursue in medical filed. The sky is the limit in this regard! Some of the career choices require a number of years of schooling such as nursing or technical jobs while others, such as medical transcription may take anywhere from a few months to a year to study for. You have to really be clear with yourself about what you want, the type of personality you have, where your skills lie and how much time you are willing to devote to your education in order to determine your health care career path.

What is certain is that health care workers are needed tremendously. With the population aging rapidly and people living longer all of the time certified professionals are needed to provide medical attention and treatment. As people age they tend to have more health care concerns. As more baby boomers retire this also opens up more jobs for the younger generation.

Nursing is one of the best career options to pursue in today’s world. Within the nursing realm you have a variety of routes that you could choose to follow. If you want to choose the option that will involve the shortest period of schooling then choose to train to be a certified nursing assistant or a licensed practical nurse (LPN). It will take you a year of study for these nursing occupations.

If you want to become a registered nurse (RN) you will need to study for two years at a university level. Another level of the nursing career is that for nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists. After obtaining your RN degree you will need to study for an additional two to three years in order to pursue either one of these top paying nursing positions. These careers are very demanding and stressful but come with plenty of rewards.

If you lean more towards the technical side then there are plenty of options for you in the health care sector. Medical technologists and technicians play an integral role in the field of medicine. Specialized training is required for these positions as is the need to be very detail oriented. Those wishing to become medical technicians must complete their bachelor’s degree in the field that they wish to pursue. Examples of these types of jobs include laboratory research technicians who gather date to determine causes and treatments for health issues and cytotechnologists whose job it is to analyze blood for abnormalities and diseases.

There are health care careers that can be thought of as quick careers that do not take years and years of education and study but are still very viable health care careers. It may take you anywhere from a few months to a year to study for these careers but the pay will be well above minimum wage. Phlebotomists for instance are individuals who draw blood from patients. It generally takes one or two school semesters to get certified for this career path. This is just one of the many types of quick careers you can choose from. If you do a search over the Internet you will be presented with plenty of options to pick from.

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Home Health Care For the Elderly

As we age, we will find that we will require a little extra help then we may be willing to admit to. In some cases, we may require being transferred to a retirement home in order to get the support and additional care we require but in others, we can still maintain a certain level of independence with the aid of home health care.

The primary aim of home health care is to allow the individual to stay at home for as long as possible, or until it is unfeasible for them to be living at home. This is an ideal solution for those who do not require round the clock care but may need assistance with a few daily activities. There are a number of different types of home health care services that will allow the individual to maintain their independence and still reside within their home whilst utilizing outside, professional help.

Staying at home is always ideal as we will feel comfortable and at ease, surrounded by our own, familiar possessions. For this reason, as we age, many of us hope to be able to reside within our home for as long as possible. However, if we are aware that we will require some additional help, this is the time in which to look into home health care and how it will benefit us. By identifying the level of help you need and your budget, you will be more equipped to decipher if home health care will cater for your needs and if it is the best option for you in the long run.

When considering home health care over a residential home, you should firstly consider the location of your home in regards to whether you need access to a car in order to access community facilities. If there is public transport available, is it safe for you to use this by yourself? If you are located too far away to effectively complete your shopping or attend your medical appointments, you may need to move to a different residential are, or hire the help of a home health care worker who can help you complete these tasks. Next, investigate your home in regards to whether you are able to move around with ease. Do you have a lot of stairs within and outside of your home? If so, can these easily be modified in order to help you safely move around? If you have a rather large home, it may also be difficult for you to maintain yourself which may call for additional help in order to lighten the load.

There are some who will be fortunate enough to have family and friends who live in close proximity who can help them complete various tasks such as shopping and home maintenance. However, if you are somewhat isolated, you may be missing the human contact you desire. A home health care service can not only help you with various tasks, but can give you the interaction you strive for. This being said, moving into a residential home will enable you to meet and converse with a number of individuals which in turn, can help you build some new friendships if this is what you are lacking. Being unable to leave your home yourself or having no one nearby can lead to some feeling somewhat isolated which may develop further into depression. Home health care services can help eliminate this but it is something which needs to be strongly considered.

As we age, we will need to make a number of decisions regarding our future. We will not only want to live in an environment where we will get the help we need, but we will look for interaction and a sense of independence which can be obtained through home health care. However, it is important to consider how much help you will require as this is not always a feasible solution. By identifying your needs and how these may change in the immediate future, you will be able to make an educated decision as to whether home health care will truly be beneficial.

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The Benefits Of Home Health Care

It can be extremely overwhelming to have a family member that requires constant care. A lot of us simply don’t have the time or the facilities to be on-hand at all times even though we might want to. You may experience feelings of guilt that you can’t do all that your family member needs and can’t be with them all the time. However, you are not alone. Today, millions of adults across the word are finding themselves in a position where they are juggling taking care of older relatives or parents and their own lives and career. Many people struggle so you shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty about your inability to do everything.

It can be hard to get the balance right between doing all you can for your elderly relative and looking after your own needs and this is why many people turn to home health care to help lighten the load. Home health care is a great way to ensure that you get the respite you need while making sure that your relative or parent is still looked after. In many cases, home health care is a necessity for families as it allows the career to get enough rest to ensure that they will be able to look after the elderly relative properly in the future.

There are many benefits involved in hiring home health care. The main advantage is that the person in question will be receiving the very best care possible. These people are trained medical staff and now how to look after your relative or parent properly. They will have years of experience and a wealth of expertise in dealing with emergency health situations so you really can trust them.

As well as providing essential medical care, home health care professionals will give the social interaction that your loved one really craves. No-one likes to be left on their own for long periods of time, and as much as they will love talking to you, they will also really enjoy interacting with other people. For some, home health care is their only connection to the world and without they feel lost.

The chances are you won’t always be available to help your loved one with their meals. If you worry that they aren’t eating nutritiously, that they aren’t eating at all or that they are skipping their medication then home health care could help. A member of staff can help your loved one with meal times and ensure that take their medication at the right times throughout the day.

Home health care workers can also help with any transport issues you may be having with your loved one. If you can’t get to them to take them to the doctors or any other appointment then they can do this for you and make sure that they get their safely.

There are so many more benefits to hiring home health care but the main one being that some of the pressure is taken off you and you can get back on track with your own life and responsibilities. Home health care really is a practical alternative to attempting to take on everything yourself. Home health care really can be a godsend for those people who don’t need continuous nursing help but who want to be cared for in the comfort of their own home. Most people feel most comfortable at home as it is the place where their family and friends can come and visit them and sometimes familiar surroundings can help aid recovery time. Home health care services vary depending on the personal needs of the person needing the care. For some, they just need some companion care whilst other suffer from more serious illnesses and require more complex medical monitoring.

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The Difference Between Home Health Care and Home Care

Most seniors prefer and feel comfortable retiring in their own homes as much as possible when the need for long term care arises, regardless of their health condition. They would choose to receive care at home even if their health becomes physically exhausting and financially devastating.

Everyone must have heard of home health care and home care, but can’t figure out the difference of the two. The two services seem so related with each other, although the differences could be very trifling. Home health care service is directly related to medical services in line with home chores, while the latter is restricted to housekeeping and other personal care for the patient. Home health care can be used to assist a person recover from illness or injury. This may also include but not limited to speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy that patients with chronic condition might need. Home health care requires registered nurses, therapists and home health aides to ensure the health and safety of patients.

Perhaps the biggest question is how to determine if you are receiving quality home health care services. There are so many agencies where you can find help, but you may likely end up in a substandard company if you can’t figure out the qualities of a good home health care.

When hiring an independent home health caregiver, make sure to conduct extensive background check on that person to ensure he or she has no criminal background. You must interview the applicant and ask for references that you may check afterward. Before the interview, make sure you had prepared a detailed list of what a sick spouse or loved ones need, and then ask what specific services he or she can deliver. The screening will be less strenuous if you know what to expect and the qualities you are looking for.

Hiring a home health care professional through an agency would be more efficient, because it could lessen the screening process. Normally, these agencies have available staff ready for the work the moment the client needs the services. Good thing about this arrangement is you can meet that individual and discuss everything you expect from the job before he or she formally starts working. You must tell the provider all the details about your loved one:

•Health condition – illnesses or disability
•The drugs or treatments used and how they must be taken
•Behavioral problems – if the senior has unmanageable depression, fear, anger etc.
•Nutritional requirements
•Likes and dislikes
•Special needs

Other than those things, there may be other special requirements your loved one might need. For example, tell the caregiver what kind of clothing he or she needs every day to prevent any discomfort. The health provider should also know your contact number and other immediate family members in case of an emergency. Common things like where to find food, emergency kits, and how to fix household or medical appliances must be instructed to lessen the worry. Anticipating all the possible risks and changing needs of your loved one can help you become more prepared when any unexpected events happen.

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Future Of Health Care Has Questions But Few Answers

The questions about national health care having been nagging America for years. Some know that it is necessary no matter who has to pay for it and others believe that it is a slow roll to Socialism, which is something America has been fighting for years. Politicians have been battling with the issue for years and it has been a polarizing issue in both houses of Congress. You are either for it or against it, but the one thing that is clear is that something needs to be done to reform health care in the United States.

The naysayers say that the system has failed and that any sort of reform will force the United States government into bankruptcy, but others believe that there is a solution to be had. They just are not able to articulate what that system might be. Meanwhile, people are paying large costs to keep the current health care system afloat and no one knows what to do about it, especially the people paying high premiums and supporting those without health insurance.

It is easy to criticize the politicians who are trying to make health care easy and affordable to everyone, but it is also easy to defend the system. Many people think that the proposed health care system will bankrupt the entire country and turn it into a socialized nation, but there need to be some changes made without to much of a radical departure from what has been working on some levels, but not all, for a long time.

The answers about the health care system at this point very simply are not clear and there seems to be a cover up as to what is really happening. Most experts say that the current Health Care Reform Act is the very first step that needs to be taken by the government and one that is necessary for the survival of the entire U.S. economy. Experts fail to say what changes will have to come down the road for the system in order to ensure stability throughout the system but most agree that this is only the beginning of a larger reform to come.

Those who have health insurance are not often sympathetic to those who don’t have insurance. They don’t want their premiums to rise because they are trying to support those who are uninsured. Once the Health Care Reform Act is passed, and that is not guaranteed, nothing will be settled until everyone can agree on a plan for health insurance across all party lines.

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Building Your Family’s Health Care Team

We could learn a lesson from ancient Chinese physicians. They were only ever paid if the patient was healthy. When the patient became sick, they weren’t paid again until he was well. An interesting concept, don’t you think?

Our “health care system” really isn’t about health. It’s about sickness. We wait until we’re sick and then go to the doctor to fix whatever is wrong. It’s a “sick care system”. In fact, it’s been noted that if we were to take better care of ourselves on a regular basis, we would have less incidence of colds, flu, allergies, asthma, ADD/ADHD, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and many more illnesses and diseases. The challenge is that traditional western medicine doesn’t fulfill the need of parents to keep their families healthy – they are too overrun with the emergencies that clog their waiting rooms. As a result, many parents are turning to complimentary or alternative health care.

Parents have shown a much greater interest in integrative health care over the last decade. Creating a “health team” for their families is gaining popularity instead of relying on a single physician for all needs. The role of complimentary or holistic health care is not to focus on a symptom, illness, or disease. More importantly, the goal is to look at the overall health of an individual and assess how best to keep the person well instead of waiting for them to get sick and then treating the disease.

A July 2007 study out of “Pediatrics” followed 114 children in a pediatric out-patient clinic affiliated with a university general hospital in Quebec[1]. It was stated that 54% of these children received complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM), which included chiropractic, naturopathy, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, Reiki/energy care, hypnosis, osteopathic manipulation, and other hands-on techniques to promote health care. The most popular forms were chiropractic, naturopathy, and homeopathy, with chiropractic used most frequently at 24%.

In 2003, a survey of 2000 parents was conducted by UCLA in association with the American Academy of Pediatrics to discover their views on preventative care for their children[2]. The study showed that while topics such as vaccinations, feeding issues, and sleep patterns were discussed, topics such as child care, reading, vocabulary development and social development were not met with satisfaction. Parents who reported that they did not receive sufficient information noted that would be willing to pay for extra care, a marker of how strongly they valued guidance on the issues.

Creating your family’s integrative health team takes work. Interviewing chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, dentists, physicians, midwives, massage therapists, and other practitioners you would like to work with is a big job. Starting by choosing one and then asking for referrals to others is an easier way to build a team that you trust to take care of the health needs of your family.

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Health Care Information Exchange

Health information exchange describes the process of mobilizing health information through electronic means across various concerned organizations within a given hospital system, community or region. This process involves moving clinical information through different health care information systems while ensuring that the integrity and meaning of the information is maintained exactly as it was in its original state. The smooth and seamless exchange of clinical data and information is critical for delivering high quality health care information.

Why it’s Important and How the Government is Promoting It

Health information exchange describes the process of mobilizing health information through electronic means across various concerned organizations within a given hospital system, community or region. This process involves moving clinical information through different information systems while ensuring that the integrity and meaning of the information is maintained exactly as it was in its original state. The smooth and seamless exchange of clinical data and information is critical for delivering high quality care. Thus it also plays a major role in determining the effectiveness of organizations.

Although the advantages of efficient sharing of health care information among concerned parties, including patients and physicians and other authorized members are understood and desired by most people who are involved in health care system, very few organizations have actually gone ahead and taken full advantage of the technological progress made in the area of health informatics and computer science. Health care information exchange involves various technology based systems like interoperability, business information systems, standards utilization, and harmonization. All of these need to be established on local, state and national level to provide a seamless network of information.

According to David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, if a standardized system of electronic health records can be put into widespread use it can lead to highly improved levels of efficiency and patient safety, and significantly better quality.

An efficient information system has got several benefits to offer to all parties involved in the field of health care whether they are service providers or consumers. It allows health care professionals to conveniently access and retrieves relevant and complete medical data which helps them in providing patient-centered care that is more efficient, effective and timely. A well established health related information exchange system would also provide public health officials with a ready and in-depth database of public information which they can reliably use in analyzing health of the population effectively.

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Small Business Medical Insurance – Six Health Care Reform Questions, and Answers

Health care reform is back in the headlines as a recent court struck it down as unconstitutional and Congress continues to debate its future. Regardless of the outcome, medical insurance for small business is certainly going to be impacted, one way or another, in the coming months and years. Below are six important questions about health reform as it relates to small employers.

Question #1:

What is required of small employers with less than 10 who do not offer health insurance?

A: There are no specific requirements of employers with less than 10 employees – they are not required to offer coverage. Employers with greater than 50 employees are subject to penalties if they do not offer coverage, $2,000 per full-time employee over 30 employees.

Question #2:

What about illegal immigrants? The government wouldn’t be able to regulate their coverage so they would still be uninsured, right? Would hospitals still have to treat them?

A: Correct. Health Care Reform does not apply to illegal immigrants. Yes, hospitals would still be required to treat and the cost of uninsured would be passed to those that are insured through higher charges by hospitals. This is exactly what is happening today.

Question #3:

Is Health Care Reform counting employees as Full Time Employee status, or by total head count? Many smaller employers are aming the system to classify staff as part-time employees and paying overtime versus providing health benefits.

A: The calculation to determine full time “equivalent” employees will be based on total hours worked by “all employees” divided by 30 hours. Part time employees are included in the calculation.

Question #4:

What is the benefit of a health plan being grandfathered in versus those that are not?

A: Grandfathered plan do not have to provide 100% preventive coverage, treat emergency care the same in and out of network, comply with new internal and external appeal requirements and apply broader definition of “primary care physicians”

Question #5:

The Cadillac Tax proposal seems to ignore traditional practice of charging higher premiums on older employees. What may look like a Cadillac plan for a 30 year old is likely a very ordinary plan for a 56 year employee.

A: Correct. Health Reform includes a requirement that health insurance premiums can not vary by more than a 3:1 ratio for age. Still many health plan premium for larger groups is based on claim experience and older workers have higher utilization that will be reflected in their premiums. It is expected that these inequities will be worked out before the tax goes into effect in 2018.

Question #6:

With insurance companies, like Blue Shield, asking for a 59% increase, how do the employees see a benefit before the main provisions kick in by 2014?

A: There is very little in the Health Reform law that addresses costs. It is expected that health care costs will continue to increase at 12% to 15% annual health care inflation. Health Care Reform requires insurers to submit premium increases to state department of insurance for review and must meet new health care ratios, i.e. 80 % to 85% of premium must be spent on health care.

As more and more details of health care reform are clarified, the administration and details relating to medical insurance for small business is likely to become less cloudy and more defined. Continue to watch the news as the story unfolds.

Ari is the Director of Marketing at CPEhr, a leading Los Angeles based Human Resources services consulting firm. CPEhr specializes in providing and managing medical insurance for small business, along with an array of comprehensive HR services for small employers. With 15,000 serviced employees nationwide, CPEhr is one of the largest privately-held PEOs in the nation.

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Health Care Job Choices

If you are someone looking for a career change, or are just starting to embark on adult life and just don’t know what path you want to take, these are tough times to be in. But one career path that is growing consistently is the health care industry.

According to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, starting at the beginning of 2011, the trailing 12 months saw health care job creation at a steady 22,000 per month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects a 24 percent growth in health care jobs, with four million new jobs by 2018. In fact, private health care jobs are at an all-time high in its share of the overall job market. Health care jobs are at 10.7 percent of the total employment in the U.S.

If this sort of record growth is enough for you to explore your options for a career in the health care field, here are some careers you can choose from:

Home Health Aides

Home health aides provide routine daily personal health-related tasks for the elderly or disabled. This can include things like bathing, dressing, or grooming at the home of the patient or in residential care facilities. This career only requires short-term job training. Their earnings are somewhere between $7 and $12 an hour.

Medical Assistants

While duties for medical assistants vary from office to office, they usually handle both administrative and clinical duties. That could include anything from updating patients’ medical records to In cases where a medical practice handles its own medical billing duties, the medical assistant may be involved in that as well.

The clinical duties for medical assistants usually take care of recording medical histories and taking vital signs of patients. They may also explain treatment procedures to patients as well. The earning power of medical assistants varies, like any job, based upon their experience. But the upper half of the scale averages roughly between $25,000 and $40,000 a year.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses, or “RNs” for short, assess a patient’s health problems and what they need during an ailment or medical procedure. They administer care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. Among their many other duties are developing and implementing nursing care plans, and maintaining medical records. They may also advise patients on how to take care of the health needs during and after their stay in a hospital.

Licensing or registration required and there is room for significant growth within the nurse job ladder. Specialties include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

The Registered Nurse has been a stable well-paying career for many years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle 50 percent of nurses earned between $51,640 and $76,570.

Physicians and Surgeons

At the top of the career ladder are physicians and surgeons. We all know what surgeons and physicians do, and we also know that as long as people are around they will get sick. In 2008, primary care physicians had a median annual salary of $186,044. Physicians in medical specialties earned a median annual salary of $339,738.

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Check These Items Before Hiring a Home Health Care Provider

When selecting a home health care provider to assist either yourself or a loved one it is important to get all the facts in regards to a specific provider before you sign on the dotted line. Because the provider will be charged with taking care of someone who has special needs, you want to be sure that those needs will be met in the best possible way. Failure to sufficiently look into a home care provider can have disastrous results that could end up leaving you or your loved one in a very rough spot.

Here are some items to check before you hire a home health care provider:

1. Are They Licensed: Some states will require special licensing in order for a home health care provider to operate in a legitimate manner. If you live in such a state then you need to ask the home health care provider you are considering to furnish you with proof of their licensing before you hire them.

2. Are They Accredited: There are certain types of accreditation that home health care providers can earn. Some of the more well know accreditations are JCAHO, CHAP, and Medicare. If the home care provider you are looking into has one or more of these accreditations that means they have passed rigorous standards and tests in order to obtain them.

3. What Does the Patient’s Bill of Right Look Like: A patient’s ‘Bill of Rights’ will cover all the expected responsibilities of the caregivers, the agency, and the patients alike. It is in your best interest to read through this thoroughly and make sure that you will be okay with all the provisions contained within.

4. How Do They Supervise: Some home care providers will assign supervisors to oversee the activates of certain staff members and some act more like a referral service with no monitoring whatsoever. Be sure to find out how the home health care service you are looking at operates so you can be assured that you or your loved one’s caregiver will have someone overseeing them and making sure they are doing an adequate job.

5. What’s Their Accountability: What happens if a staff member misses an appointment? What happens if a staff member calls in sick? Does the home health care provider you are considering have an accountability plan in place to ensure that there will always be someone to assist you or your loved one with the your required needs? This is critical to find out ahead of time as the last thing you want is to have someone who requires special assistance be unable to get it due to a lack of accountability. Home health care is a wonderful resource to use provided you find a worthy home health care provider. By knowing the answers to some key questions beforehand, you can rest assured that you or your loved one will be provided with the very best care form a home health care service you will be able to trust.