HealthCare Career Descriptions and Requirements

Nursing and Allied Health Careers

Registered Nurse

The registered nurse (RN) works in a variety of settings throughout the hospital providing care to patients. The field has a multitude of specialty areas in which the registered nurse may choose to specialize. Once considered a job for women, competitive salaries, advances in technology and job stability have transformed the nursing field as one open to both men and women alike.

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements to become an RN can be met by completing a hospital-based diploma program, Associate's Degree or Baccalaureate Degree program. All registered nurses must be licensed by the state board of nursing to be eligible to work. In Atlantic County, entry level nursing programs for RN candidates is available at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (BSN) and Atlantic Cape Community College.

Working as a Registered Nurse

The role of the registered nurse is vast and includes the care and treatment of patients, education of patients, their families and/or caregivers, provide emotional support to patients and their families, to administer medications, aid in the performance of diagnostic tests and interpret results. Registered nurses may also provide education and training to the public at large about medical procedures or treatments, wellness activities and the promotion of good health.

When caring for patients, the registered nurse plays an integral part in the development or revision of the plan of care for his or her patients. Individuals pursuing a career in nursing need to be caring and compassionate, have good critical thinking and analytical skills, the ability to multi-task and display exceptional interpersonal relationship skills to relate to their patients, colleagues and physicians.

For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for registered nurses, visit nln.org.

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Medical Imaging/Radiology

Radiologic Technologist

The Radiologic Technologist, or radiographer, produces medical images to be interpreted by a radiologist or other physician. The radiographer may also administer non-radioactive materials to patients to aid in the visualization of certain body parts. The radiographer is required to follow the strict order of the physician in the performance of examinations and may not alter the order without the physician's approval. The radiographer must practice radiation safety in the work environment for patients, visitors and colleagues, maintain equipment, records and prepare patients for their examination. He or she must complete an approved program of training that will lead to either a certificate, Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree in radiography. Individuals considering radiography as a career must be willing to perform patient care duties, including toileting and the starting of IVs. The candidate needs to have a solid foundation in science and computers to succeed as the technology in the radiology departments has advanced with most facilities utilizing digital image capture. After the completion of a radiography program some radiographers will continue their education to specialize in CT scanning, MRI scanning, Mammography or Special Procedures. Employment in the state of NJ requires that the technologist have a radiographer license from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Shore Medical Center has a School of Radiologic Technology that prepares students for the National Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Radiologic Technologists, please visit Jrcert.org.

Sonographer

The Sonographer is an individual who produces medical images for interpretation utilizing sound waves via a transducer to image and measure organs, tumors, as well as cardiac and vascular structures within the body. Since there is no radiation present, this imaging modality is used during pregnancy to evaluate the growth and development of the fetus or check for multiples. Shore Medical Center serves as a clinical site for students on clinical rotations from Gloucester County College and Thomas Jefferson University School of Health Professions. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Sonographers, please visit Jrcdms.org.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is an individual who utilizes radio-isotopes to study the function of organs. Since each radioisotope is tagged for collection by a particular organ or group of organs, the technologist utilizes a camera to gather data from the patients "uptake" of the isotope. Nuclear Medicine Technologists utilize both dynamic and static images to provide medical images for diagnosis and interpretation. There are two paths to become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The first is a dedicated program that provides a comprehensive program to develop a technologist, usually in an Associate Degree program. The second path is an extra year of training for an individual who has achieved the Radiologic Technologist education and is extending his/her education into this more advanced field. Shore Memorial serves as a clinical site for students on clinical rotations from Gloucester County College and Thomas Jefferson University School of Health Professions. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Nuclear Medicine Technologists, please visit Jrcnmt.org.

Radiation Therapist

The Radiation Therapist is specially trained to deliver radiation therapy utilizing a linear accelerator to patients with cancer. The Radiation Therapist is a member of the Radiation Oncology team comprised of the therapists, a radiation oncologist and a dosimetrist. The Therapist will participate in the planning of the radiation therapy delivery, maintenance of treatment records, as well as the education of patients undergoing therapy. The therapist will treat the patient five days per week for two to nine weeks, depending on the treatment plan. During this time, the therapist needs to be aware of the physical and emotional well being of the patient. If any adverse affects are observed, appropriate personnel may be added to the team such as a dietitian, social worker or registered nurse to meet the patient's needs. There are two paths to become a Radiation Therapist. The first is a dedicated program that provides a comprehensive program to develop a therapist, either in a Bachelor's Degree, Associate's Degree or certificate program. The second path is an extra year of training for an individual who has achieved the Radiologic Technologist education and is extending his/her education into this more advanced field. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Radiation Therapists, please visit Aart.org.

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Laboratory Professions

The Laboratory has a variety of professionals that comprise the staff.

Medical Technologist

The Medical Technologist (MT) is an individual with a Bachelors Degree in Medical Technology, performs analysis on blood and body fluids to provide reports to physicians for clinical decision making. While some Medical Technologists specialize in a particular area of a laboratory, others are considered generalists and work through the lab.

Medical Laboratory Technician

A Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) is an individual with an Associates Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. The MLT also performs analysis on blood and other body fluids to provide physicians with diagnostic tools for the treatment of patients. The MLT may specialize or work as a generalist in the laboratory.

Both the MT and MLT educational programs contain a clinical component to the formal training received during their schooling.

All Laboratory Techs utilize microscopes, cell counters and other sophisticated laboratory equipment to provide results to patients. The MT or MLT may also collect blood or body fluid samples directly from patients to analyze. The collection of samples may also be done by a phlebotomist, a physician or other clinical health care providers. Individuals working in laboratories must pay strict attention to detail in the collection, labeling and preparation of samples. They must also perform daily calibration testing on the instruments utilized in the lab.

Subspecialties within the laboratory include Blood Bank, hematology, microbiology, cytology, histology and immunology to name but a few.

For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Clinical Laboratory Technician and Technologist programs, please visit The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

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Respiratory Care Practitioners

Respiratory Care Practitioners or Respiratory Therapists evaluate, care for and treat individuals with breathing and/or cardiopulmonary diseases and issues. The therapist must work under the direction of a physician to administer treatments or perform testing, but is primarily responsible to prepare breathing treatments, maintain mechanical ventilation equipment, perform a variety of pulmonary tests and treatments as well as test arterial blood for blood gas levels. Respiratory Care Practitioners must complete at a minimum, an Associate's Degree in Respiratory Care and must be licensed by the Board of Respiratory Care Practitioners in the State of NJ. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for Respiratory Therapists, please visit Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education.

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Health Information Technology

Health Information Management

Health Information Management (HIMS) is the department responsible to maintain all patient medical records and information. This is sensitive information and the patient's confidentiality must be maintained at all times. There are a variety of occupations available within the HIMS department ranging from file clerks to data managers to coders. Each title has a specific role in the acquisition, maintenance and interpretation of the patient's record. Education for positions in the HIMS department ranges from on-the-job training to masters degree levels.

Medical Coder/Abstractor

The medical coder/abstractor is responsible for assigning a code to each diagnosis and procedure during a patient visit or stay. The coder utilizes his/her training and knowledge of diagnosis related groups or DRGs and assigns them to the medical record. These DRG determine the reimbursement amounts for the care provided and assist the hospital in billing for services rendered. It is for this reason that a strong attention to detail is an asset to individuals pursuing an education in coding. For more information on accredited and approved educational programs for medical record and health information technicians, or medical coders, please visit the American Health Information Management Association.

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Hospital Support Positions

In addition to the positions highlighted above, hospitals employ a number of individuals in support positions. In most cases, training is available locally through the Atlantic Cape Community College Health Professions Institute, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology or the Cape May County Vocational Technical School. It is beneficial to gain formal training from one of the mentioned programs for individuals to have a solid foundation in medical terminology, patient care techniques, infection control and computer training. In the fast paced hospital environment, employees need to make sound clinical decisions that benefit both the employee and the patient.

Physician Assistant/Advance Practice Nurse

Shore physicians are credentialed and offered admitting privileges. Some physicians employ Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) within their practices. If you are either a PA or NP practicing with a local physician and need to obtain the appropriate forms for credentialing, please contact Shore Medical Center's Medical Affairs Department.

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