Working as a Health Science Technology Professional

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1 Working as a Health Science Technology Professional Teacher Edition Note to the Teacher: Students choosing to enter a non-traditional career field need to be encouraged. There will be many people that ask them why with a tone of doubt, but as their teacher it is your responsibility to encourage their choice. Many times students entering fields that are non-traditional for them is actually very beneficial to themselves and the field. Not only will students be hired at a faster pace, but many fields are looking for non-traditional employees to increase the diversity in the field. Anyone can do anything, if they put their mind to it and they work hard! National Health Science Technology Standards ( Foundation Standard 4: Employability Skills 3. Compare careers within the health science career pathway (diagnostic services, therapeutic services, health informatics, support services, or biotechnology research and development). 4. Evaluate levels of education, credentialing requirements, employment opportunities, workplace environments, and career earnings. Student Objectives 1. Students will be able to explore different careers in health science technology. 2. Students will be able to make an educated decision about which health science technology career they would choose. 3. Students will be able to explain details about specific health science technology careers. 4. Students will create a plan of action in order to pursue a specific career in health science technology. 5. Students will develop a poster describing the details of a specific career in health science technology.

2 Explore It I Let s start your career search with what you are good at and what you like to do! 1. List 8 things that you are good at and what you like to do. Have students write down at least 8 of their strengths, the more the better. Allow the students to come up with this list on their own. If they are really struggling you can guide them to their strengths. Examples: good at math, quick learner, good communicator, Can think on your feet, Organized, Friendly, technologically savvy, etc. 2. Think about what you want out of a career. You will be working in a career field for a long time, what do you want out of a career? List 12 aspects of a career that you would like below, if you can t think of 12 that is okay, but try your best to fill in all 12 lines. STUDENTS SHOULD COME UP WITH THESE ON THEIR OWN! There should be little to no help from the teacher or peers during this part. Examples could be: Salary, Need to Travel, Opportunities for Advancement, Enjoyable, Years of college/further education, Ability, Need for workers, etc. 3. Now we are going to create a Decision Matrix. A Decision Matrix is a table with columns and rows that will help you make a decision on what career is going to be the best fit for you. The columns will have the aspects of a career that you listed above as the column heading. The rows will be career titles that you will chose to research. There is a blank Decision Matrix below that you will need to fill in. 4. Take the aspects of a career that you would like and need (in Question 2) and put them in the column headings of the empty decision matrix below. One of the column headings is already filled in as an example. The categories that the students generated above now go into the column headings. The example given is Salary. 5. Now each of the column headings needs a point value. This point value is how important a certain aspect is to you. For example, if Salary is a very important aspect in a career for me, then it is going to have a high point value such as 100. Now if there are other aspects of a career that are not as important to me as salary they will have a point value less than 100. You can come up with your own point scale, and make sure it matches how important each aspect of a career is important to you. STUDENTS SHOULD COME UP WITH THE POINT VALUES ON THEIR OWN. There should be little to no help from the teacher or peers during this part. Each column should have a point value that correlates to how important that category is to the student. For example: If I want a job that pays $50,000 a year, and I weighed salary at 50 points(because it is important to me), and

3 a job only pays $30,000 a year, I might give that job 25 points out of 50 because it doesn t pay well enough. Whereas the need to travel isn t as important to me, therefore it is only weighted 30 points. An example Decision matrix is located below. Sample health science technology jobs are located in the row headings, and important aspects in a job are located in the column headings with sample point values. Health Science Technology Jobs Salary (50pts) Need to Travel (30pts) Years of Experience (10 pts) Close to Home (100 pts) Enjoyable (100 pts) College Degree Needed (75 pts) Ability (25 pts) Raw Total (390) % Score Geneticist % 1 Pathologist 2 Industrial Hygienist 3 Audiologist 4 Certified Nurse Assistant Biomedical Chemist Medical Assistant Respiratory Therapist Toxicologist Medical Coder Surgical Technologist Microbiologist Radiologic Technologies RANK Discuss It I Make sure students Matrixes are filled out properly, and then have the students answer the following discussion questions. 1. Which of the aspects of career that you want or need is the most important to you? Why is it so important to you?

4 2. Which of the aspects of a career that you want or need is the least important to you? Why is it not very important for you? 3. How will the aspects you want out of a career change as you grow up? a. What will they be when you graduate high school? Explore It II b. What will they be like if you have a family? Now that you have filled in the column headings of the decision matrix, it is time to research some health science technology careers. 1. First, find a list of health science technology careers, use the buzz words your teacher provides to help with your search. Buzz words could include: List of Health Science Technology Jobs/Occupations/Careers, this is just to help the students stay on track when trying to find health technology jobs. A good website for lists of careers is: 2. Once you have found a list of health science technology careers, figure out which careers interest you, and write them down in the row headings of your decision matrix. The title of the career should be the heading of each row. Once the students have found health science technology careers that interest them, they should put the job titles into the row headings, just to the right of Health Science Technology Jobs. Tell students that they can change out jobs if they continue research and find a different job that is interesting 3. When choosing your careers to research, make sure you choose 3 careers that are out of your comfort zone! It is always good to explore options that you would usually never think of!

5 This forces students to think outside the box, maybe they will find something that they never thought they would like, but they actually would like to pursue it. 4. Now that you have chosen your 12 health science technology careers, do some further research in order to give each career point values in each of the columns. For example, in order to find how much you will make in a certain career you will need to do research. a. If you decided that salary is very important to you and you gave it a 100 point value, then you need to decide how the salary of each career (in the rows) meets what you want. For example, if you want a career that makes at least $40,000 a year, then a career that makes $40,000 or more a year will get the full 100 points. Now, if a career makes $20,000 a year that career may get a point value of 50 points because it doesn t meet you $40,000 a year salary that you want out of a career. b. Use the Occupational Outlook Handbook (an online resource) and other resources to help you decide point values for each career. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a resource that will tell the students a lot of quantitative data about the careers that they have chosen (salary, education required, work experienced needed, and job outlook). A simple Google search should be a good start for students to get information about their specific careers. 5. Finish your decision matrix by adding up all the point values in each column for a single career. For example, in a row called Health science technology Career #1 it gets the point values: 10, 40, 75, 20, 5, 20, 45, 60, 90, and 100, then in the Raw Score column Health science technology Career #1 would get a score of 465. Do this for all of the career titles in the row headings. Students will go row by row adding up the points in each column to form a raw score for each job. This should be recorded in the Raw Total column. It may be useful to have students record the total points possible in parentheses under the words Raw Total, as you can see in the above example of the decision matrix. 6. Finally, based on the raw score, rank the careers from 1-10 (#1 being the career with the highest scores, and 10 being the career with the lowest scores). Students then rank the jobs based on the scores it received. If their total possible score is 100 points, and a job gets 100 points and 100% then that will be ranked #1, where a job that gets 30 and 30% will be ranked closer to 12. These numbers should be placed in the RANK column.

6 Discuss It II Have students answer the discussion questions below once they have completed their decision matrix completely. Now that your Decision Matrix is complete, answer the discussion questions below. 1. Why do you think the top 3 careers ranked higher than the other careers? 2. Based on your decision matrix, what would be your top 3 choices for a health science technology career? (They do NOT need to be the top 3 ranked careers!) Label them in the matrix! REMIND students that their top 3 choices don t necessarily have to be the jobs that ranked in the top 3. They are free to choose whichever jobs are their top 3 choices. 3. Out of your top 3 choices (in question 2), what would be your absolute favorite career to do? Why? 4. Do you think the health science technology field will always have careers available for the career that you chose? Why? This question can be answered by looking at the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The idea of the outlook of a career may need a little bit of explaining. Definition of Career Outlook: the prospect of demand and availability for a particular job or career in the workforce ( 5. How will the career path you have chosen work for the lifestyle you wish to have later in life? (Will you make enough money? Do you have to move? Are you going to have a family? Etc.) 6. What will be some of the challenges you will have to overcome when you are working in this career field? How you overcome these challenges? Students should discuss the challenge of being a non-traditional employee, and how they will overcome that factor. Some good websites to help students understand this question better:

7 7. What do you need to accomplish in order to become a professional in this career? 8. List 3 interesting facts about the career path you have chosen. Apply It Now that you have completed research, and you have chosen a career that you would like to do for the rest of your life (hopefully!) it is time to picture yourself doing that career! 1. You are going to create a poster of yourself as a professional in the health science technology career that you have chosen as your favorite in the discussion questions above. This poster is going to be of you doing your career, but the setting of the poster is going to be 10 years down the road from now. 2. Create a new Microsoft Word Document, and name it: Yourlastname_yourfirstname_CareerExplorationPoster 3. Give your poster a creative title; this can be done after you add all the other steps if you can t think of a title now. 4. The poster needs to have a picture of yourself (at least your face) doing a part of the career that you have chosen. (Example: If you chose a geneticist, you could get a picture of someone in a lab setting working with laboratory tools and paste a picture of your face on top of their face.) They can find a picture on the internet and superimpose a picture of their face onto the professional in the picture. They could also take a picture of themselves doing the activity that a professional would be doing in the field they choose. 5. Then you need to write a biography of yourself doing that career and how you got there. Some information to include in your biography is listed below. Add as much information as you want though; don t feel limited to the list below! a. How much education you had to complete (Associates, Bachelors, Masters Degree, or a certification) b. Where did you get your further education c. How much money do you make d. What are you doing in the picture (Be Specific!) e. What are some other tasks you do for your career f. Do you own a home or car, etc.

8 g. Do you rent your home or car, etc. h. Do you have a family i. How do you use your salary Have students answer the question: What will you be doing as a professional in the field in 10 years? Does the career require college, or a certain degree, or a certain certification? Students should take into account the categories that they put at the column headings of their decision matrix. This will encourage them to reflect on what their values are and how their future career can tie into them. 6. You also need to write a small paragraph about three of the important aspects of a career that you chose as your column headings in your Decision Matrix. a. If you chose salary as an important aspect of a career then explain why it is important. Also explain why you gave salary the point value you did. This needs to explain why salary is important to you or not. b. This explanation needs to occur for three of the important aspects of a career in the column headings of your Decision Matrix. This will force students to describe why they chose the important aspects that they did and why. This can explain their values when it comes to a career path. Rationalization of why certain aspects are important and why others aren t. 7. Make sure your poster is REALISTIC! You can look at the sample poster the teacher has as an example of what your poster should look like. Be CREATIVE and have FUN! Use the sample poster provided in a separate file titled SampleHSTCareerPoster. 8. Make sure you save the poster the way your teacher says to! Make sure you specify how you want the students to save their file so that you can view it and grade it. Expand It 1. Find someone in the career you chose and interview them! Think up some questions you would ask a professional in the field and write them below. Have the students come up with interview questions and then allow them to go into the field and interview the professional. Other avenues for interviews may need to be explored, such as Skype, , or phone calls. If you know anyone in the health science technology field that your student wishes to interview you could suggest your peer. Make sure the student s questions are reasonable and appropriate before they interview the professional.

9 2. Research into a college or university that has a program that would get you with the degree you need in order to get the health science technology career you have chosen. (Certification programs can also be researched if a college degree is not necessary) Have the students find colleges and universities that fit their needs, and have a program that would help them get into the career field they have chosen. It could be beneficial to have them look into financial aid, and other aspects of the college experience so they can understand that it is possible for them to go to college and be successful. 3. Create a timeline of events that show steps you would need to follow in order to get the career you have chosen. Have students draw out a time line of the sequence of events that would need to occur in order to have their dream of becoming a professional in the career they chose. This could act as a 2, 4, 5, or 10 year plan for the student to have. 4. Create a budget based on your yearly salary. Think about how much you will earn, and the expenses (rent, groceries, car insurance, cell phone, etc.) you will have. (Going to take that trip to Hawaii in December?) This will give students a good idea of how their career will support them financially.

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