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Published: June 29, 2011

Health-occupations education

The training and formal instruction required for a variety of health-related jobs that usually do not demand a professional degree. Required instruction may range from on-the-job training to certificates or associate degrees from junior or community colleges and technical institutes. Among the many health occupations requiring only a high school diploma are dispensing opticians, emergency medical technicians (paramedics) and licensed practical nurses. Among occupations requiring an associate degree are electrocardiograph technicians, dental hygienists, medical laboratory technicians, medical record technicians and radiological (X-ray) technicians.
Training to become a registered nurse is available in both two-year associate degree programs at community colleges and threeyear diploma programs at hospitals. Pressures are growing, however, to make the R.N. a fouryear bachelor’s degree program because of the expanding patient-care responsibilities doctors are ceding to registered nurses. In all areas of health care, registered nurses must graduate from one of the approximately 1,500 accredited programs and obtain licenses available only after passing a national examination administered by each state.