As is the case in the educational sector, health care offers a breadth of opportunities beyond those most often associated with the field.
Bruce Wilhelm is the Director of Human Resources at Bassett Healthcare. With over 2,800 employees, Bassett has any number of positions available encompassing a wide range of skill sets.
According to Wilhelm, there are more than six-hundred job titles in the Bassett Healthcare system including “entry-level positions like housekeeping and food services, up through nursing and allied positions like RN, radiologic technologist, lab technologists, physical therapists and the like.”
There are a significant number of employment opportunities in the health care field, and they aren’t limited to those with a medical degree.
Maggie Barnes, Director of Community Affairs for A.O. Fox Hospital and FoxCare agrees.
“The things we’re really looking for in these recent times are the therapies: respiratory therapists, cancer care technicians, dental technicians, folks to work in radiology. It’s not nursing, per se, but it is direct patient care, and they are the hot professions. You can go for a two year certification in radiology and get a job immediately that pays well and has excellent benefits.”
Beyond those opportunities in care giving, she continues, is the ever present need for support staff. “The support and allied personnel in housekeeping, maintenance, nutrition services, receiving are hugely important. We would literally come to a standstill without those folks, and we are always in the market for good people who want to make a career there.”
While the health care field offers many employment opportunities, it is also a sector of the local economy that continues to provide stability and job security.
Glenn Nealis, Economic Developer for Delaware County points to the aging population as a particularly strong indicator of growing health care opportunities in the area.
“Delaware County is one of the fastest aging counties in New York State,” he declares. “In addition, with the influx of second home owners who are generally retirees, there is going to be more and more of a need for services that are geared towards health care in the elderly market. We’re starting to experience that now with new interest and potential investment in assisted living facilities.”
Bassett Healthcare’s 23 facilities throughout the region have added more than 400 positions over the last 3 years. According to Bassett HR Director, Bruce Wilhelm, “We continue to add positions. And we anticipate with the baby-boomers aging, that health care – not only at Bassett, but at other regional facilities – will continue to expand.”
Edmund Marchi, Administrator for Otsego Manor, the county’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, puts it bluntly.
“Anybody who gets into health care in any capacity will always have a job. Especially in this area where we are under-served in some of the health care disciplines.”
Health care employees are in such demand that they are treated with a deference and respect barely imagined in other sectors of the economy.
“In our organization,” Marchi continues, “and other organizations are at the same point, we’re paying more attention to the needs of the staff. Those needs have changed over the years. We have lots of single mothers, for instance, and we’re looking at opportunities to provide more flexibility.”