5 In-Demand Healthcare Jobs That Pay a Living Wage

A third guest blog written by Lauren Perry.  One area of my consulting is career development, and Healthcare is a great field to go into if making a positive impact in others’ lives is important to you in your work.  Also there is an increasing demand for all types of healthcare professionals.

In today’s fast-evolving healthcare landscape, the demand for skilled professionals is at an all-time high. Amidst this growth, certain roles stand out not only for their critical importance but also for offering sustainable, living wages. These positions are vital cogs in the healthcare machinery, ensuring efficient and compassionate patient care. As we explore five such in-demand jobs, it becomes clear that healthcare careers are about more than just employment; they’re about making a meaningful impact. This article sheds light on these roles, illustrating how they combine financial viability with the fulfillment of contributing to community health.

1. Registered Nurse: The Backbone of Patient Care. Registered nurses (RNs) are pivotal in the healthcare system, providing essential patient care and support. They work closely with doctors, offering critical insights into patient care plans and outcomes. With their extensive training, RNs are equipped to handle various medical situations, from emergency response to routine check-ups. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% growth in RN employment from 2021 to 2031, reflecting their increasing demand. Their role goes beyond medical tasks; they are often the main point of emotional support for patients and families, embodying the human touch in healthcare.

2. Medical Assistant: A Versatile Pillar in Healthcare.  Medical assistants play a versatile role in healthcare, adeptly handling both administrative and clinical tasks. They are key in streamlining operations in medical offices, ensuring that patient care is both efficient and compassionate. In clinical settings, they assist with patient examinations, record vital signs, and prepare samples for laboratory tests. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual medical assistant salary was $37,190 in May 2021. This role is not just financially rewarding but also offers a dynamic work environment, ideal for those seeking a multifaceted career in healthcare.

3. Medical Laboratory Technician: Unsung Heroes of Diagnostics.  Medical laboratory technicians are crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, often working behind the scenes. They perform a variety of tests on patient samples, providing data that is essential for accurate diagnoses. Their expertise spans multiple disciplines, including hematology, microbiology, and clinical chemistry. The demand for these professionals is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 7% increase in employment from 2021 to 2031. Medical laboratory technicians not only contribute significantly to patient care but also enjoy a stable and fulfilling career.

4. Radiologic Technologist: Capturing Critical Images.  Radiologic technologists are indispensable in modern diagnostics, expertly capturing images that are crucial for medical evaluations and patient care. They are skilled in operating advanced imaging equipment, such as X-rays, MRI machines, and CT scanners, playing a pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment planning process. Their responsibilities extend to ensuring patient safety during imaging procedures, and meticulously adhering to strict protocols to minimize radiation exposure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights a projected 9% job growth for this field from 2021 to 2031, emphasizing their growing significance in the healthcare sector. Radiologic technologists not only possess technical expertise but also provide compassionate patient care, making them a vital part of healthcare teams in various medical settings.

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) play a crucial role in helping patients regain and improve their daily living skills.

5. Occupational Therapy Assistant: Enhancing Daily Living.  Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) play a crucial role in helping patients regain and improve their daily living skills. They work under the supervision of occupational therapists, implementing therapeutic plans to enhance patients’ quality of life. OTAs are instrumental in aiding recovery from injuries and adapting to physical limitations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a notable 34% growth in OTA employment from 2021 to 2031. This growth reflects the increasing recognition of the value OTAs bring to rehabilitative care and patient empowerment.

Conclusion.  The healthcare sector offers a unique blend of personal satisfaction and financial stability through these in-demand roles. Each position we’ve explored contributes profoundly to the well-being of patients and the efficiency of medical services. Pursuing a career in any of these fields means joining a community dedicated to healing and helping. They provide a promising pathway for those seeking a meaningful and financially rewarding career in healthcare. Ultimately, these jobs are more than just positions; they are opportunities to make a real difference in people’s lives.

An LGBTQIA Inclusion Story – Heroes and Villains

LGBTQ Mini-library: before and after

There was a sad local news story from Wake Forest, North Carolina, which is about 20 miles north of my home in Raleigh.  An LGBTQIA mini library (see photo) was vandalized and stolen from in front of a supportive local business.

Who are the heroes in this story?

First, this mini LGBTQIA was lovingly built by a local Girl Scout troop as a community service project.  Kudos to the Girl Scouts of the USA who continue to emphasize a fully inclusive environment for all and training our female leaders of the future to be respectful and inclusive of all.

Second, a local business, Heritage Flowers of Wake Forest, who agreed to have the mini-library installed on their property.  They are the ones who reported this vandalism and vowed to assure the library is replaced.

Who are the villains in this story?

First, obviously the person or people who vandalized this mini-library.  It is a nasty criminal act and hopefully the perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  And if caught, this should be prosecuted as a hate crime since it is not just a criminal act against the business owner’s property, but against the entire LGBTQ+ community.  UPDATE DEC 14: They have arrested the perpetrator (link).

Second, national, state and local politicians and leaders who continue to demonize the LGBTQ+ community and use it as wedge issue to gain votes from bigots and homophobes.  They use the queer community as bait to create division among citizens of our country.  And they pass laws which deny equal rights to LGBTQ+ people and that actually harm segments of our community.

And third, anyone who stands by and is not enraged by this is also a villain.  Are you speaking out about this kind of hate?  Do you refuse to vote for and support politicians who feed this hate?  People who stand by and indifferently watch injustice like this and refuse to act, or worse yet, tacitly support this hate with how they vote, are complicit.

So are you a hero or villain?  There is no middle ground on this issue.

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Stan C. Kimer is a retired IBM executive who formed his own diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy, Total Engagement Consulting, in 2010.  He is a former President of the North Carolina Council of Churches and currently a member of the Raleigh LGBT Center’s Board of Trustees.