A mass exodus of healthcare workers moving into the next decade has experts projecting a shortage of over three million employees by 2026.
And while the data has some healthcare systems concerned over a diminishing workforce, it also presents new opportunities for those currently in training or considering a profession in healthcare as their future career.
If you’re wondering which occupations will be hiring the most, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about the top five in-demand healthcare jobs in Connecticut moving into 2023.
5 In-Demand Healthcare Jobs in Connecticut Moving into 2023
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of nurse practitioners to grow upwards of 40 percent from 2021 to 2031. The median annual wage for nursing fields such as nurse practitioners was $123,780 as of May 2021—more than double the median annual salary for most workers in the United States.
What exactly does a nurse practitioner do, and how is it different from a registered nurse, nurse anesthetist, and other types of nursing careers?
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They have met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements and can work independently or alongside physicians. In Connecticut, nurse practitioners are authorized to see patients, provide diagnoses, and prescribe medication.
Nurse practitioners perform the following duties:
- Order, perform, and interpret lab work
- Maintain patient records
- Educate patients and families
- Write prescriptions
- Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions
- Act as a primary care provider
Physician assistants are key providers in replacing doctor shortages and are in higher demand than ever before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts physician assistant employment to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031.
Similar to nurse practitioners, physician assistants can diagnose and treat illness as well as prescribe medication. Unlike nurse practitioners, however, physician assistants focus more on specific areas of medicine and diagnosis. They may work autonomously but must have an agreement to work under a physician.
Physician assistants perform the following duties:
- Examine patients and medical histories
- Diagnose injury or illness
- Order and interpret x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic tests
- Provide some treatments such as stitches or administering vaccines
- Prescribe medication
Many medical specialties are seeing their fair share of retirements. Of all healthcare specialties, gastroenterology is among the top of those with a rapidly declining workforce. And with the prevalence of diseases, the United States is in need of specialists in the gastroenterology field to treat increasing patient diagnoses.
Gastroenterologists study diseases of the entire gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and pancreas. The specialty is unique in that these physicians receive multifaceted training to not only perform endoscopic research but also interpret results and use them as direction for accurate diagnosis and treatment. This means most gastroenterologists remain alongside each patient from initial diagnosis through treatment and management—an ideal career for those wanting close, connected patient relationships.
Gastroenterologists perform the:
- Communicate with the patient’s primary doctor
- Analyze the patient medical history
- Collaborate with other specialists, such as oncologists, for specific patient cases
- Perform endoscopic procedures to inspect the digestive tract
- Order and oversee X-Ray, MRI, and ultrasound scanning
- Perform surgery in the gastrointestinal tract
- Perform preventative and diagnostic colonoscopies
The US Board of Labor Statistics projects that will be much faster than average through 2026.
Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative duties under the guidance of a physician. From scheduling appointments and maintaining records to taking blood samples and administering prescribed medications, medical assistants enjoy an on-the-go, dynamic career. Medical assistants can work under the direction of specialized physicians—such as a medical assistant in gastroenterology—or in places like a public health clinics, primary care offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and more.
Medical assistants perform the following duties:
- Greet patients
- Manage and schedule appointments
- Prepare exam rooms
- Assist during medical procedures
- Administer medication prescribed by a physician
- Collect and other lab specimens
- Take patient vitals
Other Advanced Practice Providers
In addition to nurse practitioners and physician assistants, other subsets of advanced practice providers are in high demand. One study from the Human Resources for Health found that utilizing advanced practice providers improved patient outcomes, reduced lengths of stay, and increased patient satisfaction.
According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, other types of advanced practice providers include:
- Clinical nurse specialist (CNS): Can diagnose, treat, and manage some diseases. These providers may also educate patients on behaviors to lower disease risk.
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA): Provides a full range of care for a patient’s anesthesiologist needs.
- Certified nurse-midwife (CNM): Offers obstetric and gynecological care including childbirth, postpartum, and family planning.
Learn More About Careers at PACT
Physicians Alliance of Connecticut (PACT) is a multi-specialty medical group led and operated by more than 50 physician members. We are committed to healthcare excellence, innovation, safety, and quality in private-practice patient care in the New Haven area of Connecticut.
When you join PACT, you join a health system owned and managed by physicians in Connecticut communities while maintaining the benefits of a large physician alliance group across Connecticut. We value career longevity, stability, and an inclusive environment. This allows us all to focus on what matters most—patient care. View our open jobs today.