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Penn Foster Prepares Students to Meet Healthcare Employment Needs

SCRANTON, Pa., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Online training programs at Penn Foster help students prepare for some of the hottest careers in the medical profession today. In fact, healthcare remains both the largest and the fastest-growing industry in the nation, even besting the massive growth in business or technology. In 2006, Americans held an estimated 14 million medical-related occupations, with roughly 3 million jobs expected to follow by 2016. Online training at Penn Foster College prepares students for medical or veterinary positions. Online study at Penn Foster Career School prepares students for dental careers.

Though veterinarians, doctors, and dentists may get the glory, they need highly trained support staffs to support and share in their success. Veterinary technicians, medical assistants, and dental assistants all perform vital administrative and clinical duties that help their facilities run smoothly. These three medical careers are projected to grow by 30% or more. Here's why:

Veterinary Technician (Projected Growth Rate through 2016: 41%)

With an estimated 163 million dogs and cats owned by Americans in 2007, the need for qualified animal care professionals remains strong. Working mainly in private veterinary practices and animals hospitals, veterinary technicians perform a number of essential laboratory and clinical procedures. While duties may vary, most vet techs collect blood and tissue samples, prepare animals for x-rays, and prep lab equipment under the supervision of licensed veterinarians. Experienced veterinary technicians may even diagnose minor medical issues and discuss possible treatments with pet owners.

An online associate degree from Penn Foster College can help students interested in animal care transition into rewarding careers as veterinary technicians. Coursework for this degree includes animal anatomy and physiology, clinical pathology, business and technical writing, laboratory animal science, and more. Students also get the chance to gain hands-on experience at a veterinary hospital through two nine-week practicums.

Medical Assistants (Projected Growth Rate through 2016: 36%)

Employed by hospitals, insurance companies, and private practices, medical assistants help their workplaces operate efficiently. Although tasks may vary from office to office, medical assistants are often responsible for organizing medical records, arranging laboratory services, ordering equipment, and even processing tissue and blood samples. Medical assistants may also work closely with patients and their families to discuss diagnoses and potential treatments.

The Medical Assistant associate degree program at Penn Foster College prepares students to excel at these fundamental and necessary skills. Coursework in this program includes ethics, law, administrative procedures, medical terminology, word processing, and more. Students also learn how to communicate with both colleagues and clients to increase their chances of professional success.

Dental Assistants (Projected Growth Rate through 2016: 30%)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 270,000 Americans held jobs as dental assistants in 2006. Working primarily for private practices, dental assistants support dentists, oral surgeons, and dental hygienists by setting up material for patient treatment, taking x-rays, applying anesthetic, and helping during serious procedures.

Penn Foster Career School helps students enter the dental field with its online dental assistant program. The program begins with an introduction to the unique role that dental assistants play in an office setting. Coursework then moves to oral anatomy, preventive dentistry and nutrition, radiology, and anesthetics. Students may also select a more specialized career path, focusing on orthodontics, pediatrics, or oral surgery.

Distance Learning through Penn Foster Schools

The healthcare programs at Penn Foster College and Penn Foster Career School use the online format, helping students acquire the skills they need in a convenient and comfortable setting. Penn Foster also offers a wide range of Internet-based career services, including resume preparation and cover letter design, to help graduates transition smoothly into one of these fast-growing medical careers.


Bureau of Labor Statistics--Dental assistants

Bureau of Labor Statistics--Medical assistants

Bureau of Labor Statistics--The 30 Fastest-Growing Occupations, 2006-2016

Bureau of Labor Statistics--Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

SOURCE Penn Foster
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