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Healthcare Career Map

Since 2014, Iowa Valley Community College District has 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, Poweshiek, Marshall, and Tama). Employers include representatives from hospitals, clinics, home health, hospice, and long-term care facilities. High growth, high demand positions have been identified by employers, and those positions became 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 job openings 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, specialized certifications, and licensure requirements. This information will assist youth and unemployed individuals with an accurate picture of training and skills required to be successful in their 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 the skills and competencies at that level and all of the preceding levels. They will also be accumulating the experience necessary for career advancement.

It is 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 individual plan; 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.

Healthcare Career Map
Foundational Skills & Competencies for Careers in Healthcare

Healthcare Job Description
Job Title
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) Assess injuries and administer IV fluids and certain medications. Can administer emergency medical care and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities. National Certification and State Registration required.
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. A member of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). National Certification required.
Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Provide basic patient care under the direction of nursing staff. Perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, move patients, or change linens. State Registration required in long-term care/skilled care.
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. In accordance with state laws, may assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training. State Licensure required.
Cook Culinary Produce all required food items based on information obtained from production sheets, catering requests, prep sheets and any other approved source. Plan and conduct daily work to meet food production and service time requirements.
Dietary Manager Plan and conduct 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.
Dietitian Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. National Certification and State Licensure required.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities. National Certification and State Registration required.
Food Service Worker Prepare, deliver and serve 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. dish washing machine, cash register, slicer, coffee machines).
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Care 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 Licensure required.
Medical Social Worker Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psycho-social support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers, 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) Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff. National Certification required.
Nurse Manager Must be an experienced licensed nurse. Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in departments throughout hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, home health agencies, or similar organizations.
Nurse Practitioner Diagnose and treat 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 registered nurses who have specialized graduate education. State Licensure required.
Occupational Therapist Assess, plan, organize, and participate 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 required.
Paramedic Educated in advanced airway management techniques and procedures as well as extensive patient assessment techniques. National Certification and State Registration required.
Pharmacist Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide 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 required.
Phlebotomist Trained to draw blood, either for laboratory tests or blood donations.
Physical Therapist Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
Physical Therapy Assistant (Aide) Focus on strength, mobility, pain,  etc. with heat, cold, stretch, and strength modalities. Works in PT clinics that are not associated with a long-term care 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 Licensure required.
Physician Assistant Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants. State Licensure required.
PSR/Business Office Collect information from incoming patients regarding services needed, insurance available, or financial status. May assist in completion of admissions or insurance forms. Contact insurance providers to verify coverage and obtain authorization for service.
Registered Nurse (RN) Assess patient health problems and needs, develop, implement and evaluate nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensure required.
Rehabilitation Aide Licensed CNA with 50 hours additional specialized training. Rehab aides work only in long-term care. Work with residents in the dining room with eating/feeding skills and work 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 plan of care.
Resident Aide Assist 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.
Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. National Certification and State Licensure required.

Healthcare Sector Board

College credit nursing programs are available at Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College.

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