The 2004-2014 Kansas Occupational Outlook found that five of the 10 fastest growing occupations in the state are health care jobs. According to the report, the fastest growing industry jobs in Kansas are expected to be those of medical assistants, home health aides, dental hygienists, dental assistants and physician assistants.
Associate dean of Fort Scott Community College’s Pittsburg campus Judy Collins said that the need for dental hygienists in Kansas is something they have long been aware of. She went on to say that “the need was emphasized to us years ago by the Kansas Dental Association and local dentists.”
The report found that the number of healthcare jobs for Kansas dental hygienists are expected to increase from 2004’s 1,850 to 2,620 by 2014. Despite the anticipated 42 percent increase in available positions, the FSCC Dental Hygiene School, which is affiliated with the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, is only able to admit 12 students a year. Still, Collins says that accepted will have no troubles finding employment due to the number of opportunities available.
In the southeastern region of the state, the fastest growing healthcare jobs are expected to be those registered nurses and nursing aides, orderlies and attendants. The number of Rns needed in this area is anticipated to increase by 22 percent over the next few years, going from 1,800 jobs in 2004 to an expected 2,200 in 2014. Barbara McClaskey, a professor at the Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing, says that the college is accepting as many students as possible at this time. At this time, 100 percent of those that graduate from the program have been able to find jobs.
The healthcare industry is expected to be fastest growing sector in southeast Kansas and the second fastest in the state, behind transportation equipment manufacturing, according to the report.