Native American Village @ Blogspot

The blog companion to the Native American Village, the free community and careers site for indigenous peoples, part of the Multicultural Villages network.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Work, Leadership in Healthcare Not Just for Doctors & Nurses

So, you want to be a doctor?

A little while ago, we reported the findings of a recent survey on the career preferences of diverse college students, conducted by Universum and reported in our sister publication, THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine.

Among the interesting, but maybe not surprising findings: Asked to define the preferred industry suiting their career goals, American Indian/Alaska Native students were the only group whose majority preference lay in public service or educational sectors rather than in the financial or management arenas. -- even when factoring the MBAs. For the AI/AN group, the most desirable careers were in either the Government/Public service (23%) or Healthcare (23%) sectors. Tied for second place among their preferences were careers in Education/Teaching (15%) or Academic Research (15%).

In additional research we uncovered while redesigning our Healthcare Industry Career Channel, these interests marry well among those Native executives already entrenched in the industry. According to the American College of of Healthcare Executives, Native American healthcare executives overall are focused in small, government hospitals, and have the highest percentage working at public health agencies or military (non-hospital) services. Some 81 percent of Native American healthcare executives report working at a government-owned facility of some kind. They are also by far the most likely of all ethnic groups to work at smaller hospitals (median number of beds from 35 for women to 75 for men).

On the flip-side, they are also least likely to work at a freestanding hospital or as private consultants, where compensation is generally higher.

With healthcare among the fastest-growing industries in the country, certainly the opportunities for those who wish to help others in need are multiplying, and the needs of employers are swelling as well. Rural locations, in particular, face serious shortages of doctors, dentists, nurses and other professionals, including much of Indian Country.

At a time when funding for Indian health is rocky, finding dedicated healthcare professionals may become even more difficult and competitive than it already is.

But what our research reminds us is that not everyone is cut out to be doctor, and that those devoted to working in healthcare on principle have many and increasing paths, regardless of the school major or previous career paths. Technicians, IT, office management, billing and support staff and more are in increasing demand in this sector, and much of the growth centers on smaller, non-hospital entities such as home care services or nursing homes. In fact, in one of the Channel's recently published articles, Employment Outlook: Top Fields for Job Hunters by the CareerJournal, healthcare is listed as the top for 2007, but the focus is on nonclinical jobs.

We've expanded our Channel with additional information about some of the healthcare-related positions that don't require a specialized medical degree, and we'll keep adding to it with outlook and earnings reports, and more in future updates.


“I commend Senator Byron Dorgan, the new chairman of the Senate Committee on
Indian Affairs, who is working on legislation to increase clinic hours and
doctor availability on reservations and encourage more low-cost health care for
American Indians and Alaska Natives. But the battle from last year is
still underway. When we win it, we will see the Indian health care system
brought into the 21st century to address matters at the heart of family and
community life: mental health, substance abuse, youth suicide, and the challenge
of attracting and retaining health care professionals of the first rank.”

- NCAI President Joe Garcia Delivers 5th Annual State of Indian Nations Address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., January 25, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

Census, Tribes Get Going on 2010 Count

The U.S. Census Bureau has begun to mail out advance informational booklets to all federally recognized tribal governments asking for assistance in providing updated addresses for their reservations and off-reservation trust lands.

This early, concerted effort is part of the Census Bureau’s plan to make the 2010 Census as accurate as possible, says the Bureau's release.

The Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota was one of only two sites nationwide selected by the Census Bureau to participate in a 2006 Census Test designed to improve counting methods for the 2010 Census. Additionally, the Census Bureau plans to conduct a series of American Indian and Alaska Native consultation meetings this year with federally recognized tribes across the country in preparation for the 2010 Census.

Learn more at the Census Bureau or check out our homepage.