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Zeroing In On A Healthcare Career

  • Article by: Nancy Crotti
  • Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • November 18, 2009 - 12:28 PM

Which branch of healthcare do you want to go into? How about becoming a histotechnologist, a polysomnographic technologist or an electroneurodiagnostic technologist?

These are just three of the myriad choices available to would-be healthcare workers in the Twin Cities, and they won't have to travel far for college, according to educators at two area community colleges.

Histotechnology, offered at North Hennepin Community College (www.nhcc.edu) in Brooklyn Park, is the science of treating laboratory specimens with chemicals and dyes to reveal tissue structure. In polysomnography, offered at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (www.minneapolis.edu), students learn to conduct sleep studies. MCTC also offers electroneurodiagnostic technology, in which students learn to perform diagnostic neurological studies and tests.

Career Websites Can Help

(www.mnscu.edu).

"So many are computer-savvy that directing them to a reputable online site as an initial response is very helpful," says Krasowski, dean of Health and Service Programs. "I think it may help them to think of careers they didn't know existed."

Krasowski also recommends that students spend time discerning whether they want to be involved in direct patient care. "People really do have to think carefully about what they feel comfortable with or uncomfortable with, and either pursue that or avoid it," she says.

College career services offices also offer career and personality assessments that are designed to help students figure out which educational path to follow, she adds.

Check Out A Book

For a hands-on guide, Janis Hollenbeck of MCTC recommends students request a copy of the MnSCU guidebook "Go Places," which plots each school's courses of study on a grid according to field of interest.

Hollenbeck suggests asking the colleges for information on the curriculum, what's involved in the profession or vocation, where graduates work, salary ranges and whether they can recommend someone in the field to shadow.

"Talking to such a person gives you a good idea of the lifestyle," says Hollenbeck, interim dean of MCTC's Nursing and Allied Health Programs. In addition, "some professions, you could rotate shifts or be on-call on the weekends."

Healthcare has more to offer than many students imagine, according to Krasowski. "It isn't only the nurses and the doctors who do all the care," she says. "There are many things behind the scenes that people ought to explore."

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