Recession-Proof Careers in Healthcare

By
healthcare jobs
Image via iStock.

By Ann Phalen

Looking for a career where you can help people, but not sure what you can do?

You are probably already aware of the many opportunities in the Nursing field, but did you know that there are a number of healthcare careers that not only give you the option to help people, but are recession-proof?

With the aging population and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare professions are expected to grow exponentially through the next decade, offering you a recession proof selection of career paths.

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing & Health Professions offers a wide array of programs within the realm of healthcare.

Respiratory Care

Respiratory therapists (RTs) are medical professionals who specialize in treating patients with lung diseases and disorders that result from a variety of issues.

During a typical day, RTs perform a wide range of duties including meeting with and examining patients with pulmonary diseases, disorders, or complications. RTs are also in charge of administering inhalated medications, operating mechanical ventilators and other machines, and evaluating treatment progress.

RTs can work in a number of settings, including hospitals, pulmonary rehabilitation clinics, in-home care, and sleep disorder centers. Common and ideal skills of RTs are compassion, good judgment and quick decision-making abilities, and physiological knowledge.

In May 2021, the median pay for an RT was $61,830, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries are higher in the mid-Atlantic region. Employment is expected to grow 14 percent, much faster than average, through 2031.

At GMercyU, earn your Associate of Science in Respiratory Care degree or Bachelor of Health Science in Respiratory Care degree to become a respiratory therapist. Learn more about how to become a respiratory therapist on gmercyu.edu.

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Occupational science focuses on the understanding of the meaning and purpose of daily activities of persons with and without disabilities, while occupational therapists enable persons to perform these daily activities so that they can participate in the things where they live, learn, work, and play.

Occupational therapists assist people in a number of ways. They may help older adults who have suffered from a stroke or traumatic brain injury perform household activities and self-care so they can have a safe return home from the hospital or nursing facility.

Occupational therapists may also provide strategies to adolescents struggling with severe mental illnesses to help aid them in finding and sustaining employment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median pay for occupational therapists was $85,570 in May 2021, with expected job growth of 17 percent through 2031.

Additionally, the profession of occupational therapy ranked #31 in “100 Best Jobs of 2022” and #11 in “Best Health Care Jobs in 2022” by U.S. News and World Report.

GMercyU offers a Pre-OT program where students can earn their Bachelor Health Science (BHS) in Occupational Science and a Master of Science in (MS) in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). Occupational Science students can enter into the Occupational Therapy program their senior year without having to apply. Learn more about becoming an occupational therapist on gmercyu.edu.

Medical Laboratory Science (MLS)

Are you interested in healthcare, but want to work behind the scenes? Becoming a medical laboratory scientist is the right path for you!

As a medical laboratory scientist, you will work to prepare, investigate, and analyze samples of biological material from the human body to identify the source of diseases and determine the validity of data. Medical laboratory scientists then report their results to physicians to make patient diagnoses.

Medical laboratory scientists (MLS) can also be called clinical laboratory scientists (CLS) or medical technologist (MT).

Becoming an MLS requires certain skills or characteristics, including an interest in healthcare, good communication skills, strong scientific knowledge, basic physical requirements, and a flexible schedule.

At GMercyU, MLS students will gain real-life experience through one of our affiliate programs:

  • Pennsylvania Hospital’s School of MLS
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children School of MLS
  • Reading Hospital’s School of MLS
  • Jersey Shore University Hospital’s School of MLS (Neptune, NJ)

Aside from hospitals or clinicals, MLSs work in a number of other settings including public health laboratories, pharmaceutical establishments, research institutions, and veterinary clinics.

Many times, employers will require that MLSs receive certification prior to employment. Certifications can be obtained by passing a medical laboratory science exam through accredited organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in May 2021 was $57,800 with 75 percent at $69,650 and employment is projected to grow 7 percent through 2031. To learn more what it takes to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist, visit gmercyu.edu.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapists are medical professionals who administer radiation therapy treatments to cancer patients are part of an interdisciplinary team of oncologists, medical physicists, and oncology nurses working together to plan and administer treatments, and monitor patient conditions.

In May 2021, the median pay reported was $82,790 with expected job growth of 6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

GMercyU offers two paths to become a radiation therapist: Bachelor of Science Degree in Radiation Therapy and Bachelor of Health Science (BHS- for registered radiographers) in Radiation Therapy.

Both programs are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

GMercyU’s radiation therapy students participate in a minimum of three clinical placements and receive individualized attention with our low 13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students also have access to our state-of-the-art VERT (Virtual Environment of a Radiotherapy Treatment room), which offers a safe, simulated radiotherapy treatment room with 3D views and life-size visualizations.

The five-year average job employment of GMercyU’s radiation therapy graduates was 97 percent within 12 months of graduation.

To learn more about becoming a radiation therapist, visit GMercyU’s website.

Radiologic Technology

As healthcare professionals, radiologic technologists use sophisticated equipment and computer systems to take images of patients’ bodies, helping radiologists diagnose diseases and conditions.

In May 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median pay for radiologic technologists was $61,980, and overall employment is expected to grow 6 percent through 2031.

GMercyU offers a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology.

At GMercyU, radiologic technology students will gain real-life experience through one of our affiliate programs:

  • Einstein Medical Center’s School of Radiologic Technology
  • York/WellSpan Medical Center’s School of Radiologic Technology
  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center/Widener University School of Radiologic Technology
  • St. Francis Medical Center’s School of Radiologic Technology (Trenton, NJ)
  • Shore Medical Center’s School of Radiologic Technology (Somers Point, NJ)
  • The Philadelphia School of Radiologic Technology at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

GMercyU students have gone to work in hospitals, outpatient centers, urgent care centers, and physician offices after graduation. Some of the top jobs include radiologic technologist (radiographer, x-ray technologist), cat scan (CT) technologist, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist.

In 2019 and 2020, GMercyU’s radiologic technology graduates passed the National American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) Examination in Radiography with a 100 percent success rate.

To learn more about careers in radiology, visit gmercyu.edu.

Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) focus on the prevention, assessment, & treatment of communication and swallowing disorders. SLPs work with people at all stages of life from infants to the elderly in a variety of settings including medical, educational, and private practice settings.

SLPs are needed now more than ever. In fact, the profession of speech-language pathology is a top-rated career ranked in the 2022 US News and World Report jobs issue as #3 of best health care jobs & #10 of the best jobs in America.

GMercyU is proud to announce plans to launch 2 new SLP academic programs. First, an online Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program will launch in Fall 2023. The program is designed to equip students with the undergraduate prerequisites needed to enroll in a speech-language pathology graduate program. The program is designed for college graduates who are interested in a career in the field of speech-language pathology, but did not major in communication disorders or speech-language pathology as an undergraduate student.

The SLPP program consists of consists of seven 3-credit courses that can be completed in as little as one year. Our SLPP program accommodates to the needs of students who have work or regular commitments, with online courses aligned in 7-week intervals.

Students who complete at least three of the seven required courses will earn preferred application status to our Master of Science (MS) Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program, which is planned to launch in Fall 2024. GMercyU’s MS SLP program is a current Applicant for Candidacy Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology.

Have additional questions? Contact Admissions at admissons@gmercyu.edu or contact an admissions counselor.


About the Author

Ann Gibbons Phalen is a certified nurse practitioner and registered nurse. She has been in the healthcare industry for over 40 years. Dr. Phalen received her PhD and Masters in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and her BSN from Misericordia University. She has been the Dean at Gwynedd Mercy University since 2018.

Connect With Your Community

Subscribe for stories that matter!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Advertisement