UAB School of Health Professions Current News
- Created on January 07, 2013
U.S. News & World Report came out with its 2013 list of “Best Healthcare Jobs” and several programs in the School of Health Professions made the top 20 list.
Thanks in part to an aging population, US. News said the medical professionals who plan and execute rehabilitative programs designed to improve patient mobility and lessen pain are in high demand. At number five, physical therapists are expected to see a 39 percent job growth or more than 77,000 more jobs by 2020, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The reported median annual wage for a PT was $78,000 in 2011.
As with PT’s, the growth in the elderly population will keep the occupational therapy job market favorable. Ranked no. seven, occupational therapists help patients perform daily living and working tasks so they can lead independent, satisfying lives. Those activities include eating, cooking, dressing and operating a computer.
“Occupational therapists are trained to understand the complex or at times unclear demands on people of all ages that cause them to be dysfunctional,” said Brian J. Dudgeon, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. “Such work needs creative and inventive practitioners who get satisfaction in finding and sharing solutions for those challenged in day to day life.”
The BLS reports the median annual wage for OT was $73,000 in 2011.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are more than 15 million adults in the U.S. who are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the name for conditions that limit air flow and cause breathing problems. Respiratory therapists, ranked no. 13, provide care for patients with lung and heart problems.
“Chronic lower respiratory diseases are listed as the third leading cause of death in the USA by the CDC, but new research and treatments are increasing the sophistication of care that respiratory therapists provide for these conditions,” said Jonathan Waugh, Ph.D., RRT, interim director of the Respiratory Therapy program. “This long-term trend along with continued threats to air quality will ensure the growing need for advanced respiratory therapists will continue.”
The expected growth in this occupation is more than 31,000 new positions by 2020. In 2011, the median salary for a RT was $55,000.
A radiologic technologist, ranked no. 15, can include an x-ray technician, computed tomography technologist, ultrasonographer, nuclear medicine technologist and a magnetic resonance. Technologists take body images, read and examine what those images reveal.
“As a melding of modern technology allows these imaging modalities to work together, individuals who have multiple certifications to work in the respective areas are proving to be valuable radiologic personnel who can help expedite diagnostic imaging and improve the information given to physicians to make an accurate diagnosis for patients in a more timely fashion than previously able,” said Norman E. Bolus, MSPH, CNMT, director of the Nuclear Medicine Technology program.
The need for trained specialists who are capable of spotting areas of bodily injury using high-tech equipment is on the rise. The BLS predicts a growth of 28 percent or 60,000 new technologists in the next eight years.
It is impossible to practice modern medicine without clinical laboratory professionals, who come in a no. 17. They are the professionals who not only perform a full range of laboratory tests used to diagnose and manage disease, but they also ensure the quality of the results, evaluate new test methodologies, and study the effectiveness of those laboratory tests.
“With the proliferation of new laboratory tests, the expansion of molecular-based testing, and an increasingly complex laboratory test menu for physicians, this profession is critical in reducing unnecessary testing and providing cost effective and high quality decision support to all healthcare providers,” said Janelle Chiasera, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.
Nearly 24,000 more clinical laboratory professionals are expected to be added by the end of the decade. The best-paid in this profession make around $57,000.
The criteria for the rankings are based on the number of openings, the chance to advance and be professionally fulfilled and the ability to meet financial obligations. U.S. News starts with data on jobs with the greatest hiring demand as categorized by the BLS.