Health Sciences

Kearney High School has a variety of programs of study in the Health Sciences (HS) SLC. These include Biotechnology Research and Development, Diagnostic Services, Health Informatics, Support Services, and Therapeutic Services. Its designated color at Kearney High School is RED.

Biotechnology Research and Development Overview

Careers in the Biotechnology Research and Development pathway involve bioscience research and development as it applies to human health. These scientists may study diseases to discover new treatments or invent medical devices used to directly assist patients or to improve the accuracy of diagnostic tests.

Biotechnology research plays a key role in scientific advancements that improve people?s quality of life. Skilled professionals will be needed to help develop new treatments for diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer?s disease. In agriculture, biotechnology research will be used to create genetically engineered crops that provide greater yields and require less pesticide and fertilizer. Efforts to discover new and improved ways to clean and preserve the environment also will continue to add to job growth. Most career opportunities in this pathway are available in universities, research institutions, government agencies, specialty laboratory facilities and major health organizations.

Diagnostic Services Overview

Careers in the Diagnostic Services pathway use tests and evaluations that aid in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries or other physical conditions.

As the large baby-boom population ages and the number of individuals who have access to health insurance continues to increase, the need to diagnose medical conditions will increase the demand for diagnostic careers. The median annual salary of radiologic technologists is $55,870 and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists is $67,090, while nuclear medicine technologists earn a median annual salary of $72,100, and radiation therapists a median salary of $80,090.

Health Informatics Overview

Careers in the Health Informatics pathway include many different levels of health care related employment. This pathway includes health care administrators who manage health care agencies as well as individuals responsible for managing all patient data and information, financial information, and computer applications related to health care processes and procedures.

Based on an aging population and an increase in the number of individuals who have access to health insurance, the demand for these workers will remain high through 2024. Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 15 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, will lead to an increased need for technicians to organize and manage the associated information in all areas of the healthcare industry.

Support Services Overview

Careers in the Support Services pathway provide a therapeutic environment for the delivery of health care. Support Services offers a full range of career opportunities from entry level to management, including technical and professional careers.

Job growth is projected for careers in this pathway as the health care industry expands. The demand for entry-level workers, qualified managers and supervisors will provide numerous job opportunities. Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 16 percent through 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. In recent years, interest in the role of food and nutrition in promoting health and wellness has increased, particularly as a part of preventative healthcare in medical settings. The median annual wage for dietitians and nutritionists is $56,950.

Therapeutic Services Overview

Health professionals in this pathway work directly with patients; they may provide care, treatment, counseling and health education information. Careers in the Therapeutic Services pathway are primarily focused on changing the health status of the patient over time.

The demand for health care workers will remain high through 2024 due to the aging population. As the role of therapeutic careers changes, professionals in this pathway will find increased opportunities to work independently. Additionally, an increasing number of career opportunities are becoming available outside of the traditional hospital setting. Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent through 2024 and speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 21 percent, while the employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 41 percent over the next decade.