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Health Professional: Overview of Adult Education Programs

If you have an interest in helping people in the health care industry and a desire to train for a career in high demand, consider a career in a health related profession. Read on for more information.

Here we explore the training required for a number of professions in the health industry, as well as for teachers of these professionals. Learn what these programs are like and what courses they have to offer, as well as the prospects of getting a job after graduation.

Program Information

Some fast-growing health related professions include medical assisting, surgical technology, dental assisting, medical laboratory technology and health information records technology. In most cases, training for these careers may be completed in one- to two-year training programs. Medical professionals who want to teach individuals preparing for the health professions can complete a graduate certificate program in adult education. More information is found below.

Programs At a Glance

Certificate in Adult Education in the Health and Medical Professions

  • This can be a 12-credit graduate program
  • The courses for this program are on-campus.

Medical Assistant

  • These programs may take four to six months to complete and may award graduates with a certificate.
  • Programs in medical assisting may be offered on-campus or online.

Coursework for Health Related Professions Programs

Because the students in an adult education for the health and medical professions program have medical knowledge, courses focus on teaching theory, especially as it pertains to adult education. Students take courses in medical education and adult learning, and may have the option of taking a class in their own area of interest.

Based on the specific area of study, courses can vary for programs in health related professions. Medical assisting topics include human anatomy and physiology, physical therapy and emergency care, and medical terminology. Surgical technology courses include techniques, clinical orientation, patient study, and fundamentals of surgical technology. Dental assisting course topics include oral anatomy, tooth structure, dental anesthesia, and proper patient positioning. Medical laboratory technology topics include phlebotomy, hematology and coagulation, immunology, urinalysis, and clinical lab management. Health information records technology courses include database management systems, electronic medical record implementation, security, privacy, and regulation issues in HIT, and fundamentals of health informatics.

For most medical related careers, students will need to pursue certification and licensure. In most cases the courses you take in an education program will help learn what you need to pass certification and licensure exams. They may also include clinical experience and training that will help you meet certification and licensure requirements.

Salary Information and Career Outlook for Health Related Professions

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for medical assistants was $31,540, as of May 2016; the median annual salary for surgical technologists was $45,160; the median annual salary for dental assistants was $36,940; the median annual salary for medical and clinical laboratory technicians was $38,950; and the median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians was $38,040.

Career growth in health related professions will continue to climb faster than in most professions over the next ten years. Technological advances in medicine, coupled with the rising costs of healthcare, will prompt more jobs in hospitals, long-term care facilities, health insurance companies, corporations, schools and health maintenance organizations, for health related professionals who graduate from one- to two-year training programs.

The BLS projected that medical assistants would experience a job growth rate of 23%, from 2014-2024. Over that same period, surgical technologists were projected to have a job growth rate of 15%, dental assistants were projected to grow at a rate of 18%, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians had a growth rate of 16%, and the projected job growth rate of medical records and health information technicians was 15%.

Certificate programs are available in a wide range of health related fields, all with promising job growth outlooks for the next few years. Medical professionals who wish to teach these students can pursue graduate certificates in adult education.


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