North Central AHEC Guidance Counselor Workshop

3/20/13-North Central AHEC Guidance Counselor Workshop

One of the most pressing issues facing our health care system is the ongoing shortage of health care workers.  From dentists to medical assistants to nurse practitioners, the demand is increasing just as many workers reach retirement age and leave the workforce.  The shortage is also expected to worsen as the population ages and the demand for health care workers increases. 

Because guidance counselors are in a unique position to help students decide on their future occupation, the North Central Area Health Education Center seeks to inform guidance counselors about the current shortages of healthcare workers, and provide information on a number of health professions in high demand. Practicing health professionals and college faculty members will discuss the following health care professions/occupations:  physical therapy assistant, dentist, nurse practitioner, medical assistant and nurse practitioner.  Areas addressed for each profession will include a description of the work done by each profession, educational preparation, licensure/certification, salary levels, employment projections, and high school courses that would be helpful.  Academic, personal and experiential criteria necessary for admission to these health career programs will also be addressed.


As a result of attending this program, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe current shortages of health care workers in Kentucky and the nation.
  2. Describe the nature of the work, training and education, working conditions, job outlook and salary levels for the following:    physical therapy assistant, dentist, nurse practitioner, medical assistant and physician assistant.  
  3. Describe the academic, personal and experiential criteria that will enable students to be admitted to highly competitive academic programs.
  4. Utilize a variety of printed and web based resources to inform students about health careers.
  5. Assist students who are considering a health career by accurately describing the realities of the demanding educational programs and the realities of work in a health care setting.

 Recommended Follow-up for Participants:

Following this workshop, participants are encouraged to:

  1. Utilize the on-site resources of the AHEC program (e.g. school presentations by AHEC staff) to inform and encourage students to enter a health career;
  2. Utilize printed and on-line resources about health careers with their students;
  3. Participate with their students in the yearly Health Careers Showcase; and
  4. Encourage interested students to volunteer and observe in local health care facilities.