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Long Term Care Careers
By an allied health world contributing writer
Published: January, 13 2010
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With the average salary of long-term care providers in America at $58,000, the fact that the demand for these providers is projected to steadily increase is great news. Longtermcareliving.org says that by the year 2030, there will be 33 million seniors in the United States, and 20 percent of them may require some kind of long-term care. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the 85-years-and-older age group is the fastest-growing age group in the country. Therefore a long term care career has great potential with growth and stability forecasted.
Long-term care providers may need to have a good understanding of the procedures and practices of long-term health care before they begin their training in this field. Desired qualities in long-term care providers include compassion, empathy, patience, attention to detail, personal motivation, and stability in one’s emotions. They should also be able to ease the minds of elderly patients and be able to effectively communicate with them. Finally, they should be team players and be able to function well in a crisis situation.
Long-Term Care Occupations
Careervoyages.gov reports that the most common occupations in the long-term care field include certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and registered nurse. There are some long-term care facilities that also hire resident assistants who provide personal care services directly to residents, along with qualified medical assistants who may assist with the administration of treatments and medications to patients.
Registered nurses – the most common long-term care occupation – must become registered by completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the nursing field. Every nursing program offers laboratory and classroom instruction, along with clinical experiences in a supervised environment. Course subjects include pharmacology, psychology, gerontology, physical therapy, and nutrition. Aspiring registered nurses must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and complete continuing education requirements that are unique to their state.
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