Therapeutic Services

Career Pathways and Specialty Examples

Workers are focused primarily on changing the health status of the patient over time. Health professionals in this pathway work directly with patients.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
Anesthesiologist Assistant
Art/Music/Dance Therapist(s)
Athletic Trainer
Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Dental Assistant
Dental Hygienist
Dental Lab Technician
Dialysis Technician
Dietetic Technician
Emergency Medical Technician
Home Health Aide
Licensed Practical Nurse
Massage Therapist
Medical Assistant
Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ophthalmic Technician
Orientation & Mobility Specialist
Pharmacy Technician
Physical Therapist
Physical Therapy Assistant
Physician (MD/DO)
Physician Assistant
Radiation Therapist
Recreational Therapist
Registered Nurse
Rehabilitation Counselor
Respiratory Therapist
Social Worker
Speech Language Pathologist
Surgical Technologist
Veterinarian Technician
Wellness Coach

For a printable list from the National Consortium for Health Science Education, click here:
Health Science Career Specialties Chart.

UNMC’s Careers in Health Care booklet. Although this was published in 2010, this booklet may still have relevant information for students today.



National Health Science Standards

National Healthcare Foundation Standards & Accountability Criteria

National Consortium for Health Science Education Logo

May 2015

The National Health Science Standards provide a clear and consistent understanding of industry and post-secondary expectations for teachers and students. These standards are designed to provide the essential knowledge common across health professions to prepare and increase the number of students that are college and career ready.

Foundation Standard 1: Academic Foundation

Understand human anatomy, physiology, common diseases and disorders, and medical math principles.

1.1 Human Anatomy and Physiology
1.11        Identify basic levels of organization of the human body.

  1. Chemical
  2. Cellular
  3. Tissue
  4. Organs
  5. Systems
  6. Organism

1.12        Identify body planes, directional terms, cavities, and quadrants.

  1. Body planes (sagittal, mid-sagittal, coronal/frontal, transverse/horizontal).
  2. Directional terms (superior, inferior, anterior/ventral, posterior/dorsal, medial, lateral, proximal, distal, superficial, and deep).
  3. Cavities (dorsal, cranial, spinal, thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic).
  4. Quadrants (upper right, lower right, upper left, and lower left).

1.13        Analyze basic structures and functions of human body systems (skeletal, muscular, integumentary, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, nervous, special senses, endocrine, digestive, urinary, and reproductive).

  1. Skeletal (bone anatomy, axial and appendicular skeletal bones, functions of bones, ligaments, types of joints)
  2. Muscular (microscopic anatomy of muscle tissue, types of muscle, locations of skeletal muscles, functions of muscles, tendons, directional movements)
  3. Integumentary (layers, structures and functions of skin)
  4. Cardiovascular (components of blood, structures and functions of blood components, structures and functions of the cardiovascular system, conduction system of the heart, cardiac cycle)
  5. Lymphatic (structures and functions of lymphatic system, movement of lymph fluid)
  6. Respiratory (structures and functions of respiratory system, physiology of respiration)
  7. Nervous (structures and functions of nervous tissue and system, organization of nervous system)
  8. Special senses (structures and functions of eye, ear, nose and tongue; identify senses for sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch)
  9. Endocrine (endocrine versus exocrine, structures and functions of endocrine system, hormones, regulation of hormones)
  10. Digestive (structures and functions of gastrointestinal tract, chemical and mechanical digestion, structures and functions of accessory organs)
  11. Urinary (structures and functions of urinary system, gross and microscopic anatomy, process of urine formation, urine composition, homeostatic balance)
  12. Reproductive (structures and functions of male and female reproductive systems, formation of gametes, hormone production and effects, menstrual cycle, and conception)

1.2          Diseases and Disorders
1.21        Describe common diseases and disorders of each body system (such as: cancer, diabetes, dementia, stroke, heart disease, tuberculosis, hepatitis, COPD, kidney disease, arthritis, ulcers).

  1. Etiology
  2. Pathology
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment
  5. Prevention

1.22        Discuss research related to emerging diseases and disorders (such as: autism, VRSA, PTSD, Listeria, seasonal flu).
1.23        Describe biomedical therapies as they relate to the prevention, pathology, and treatment of disease.

  1. Gene testing
  2. Gene therapy
  3. Human proteomics
  4. Cloning
  5. Stem cell research

1.3          Medical Mathematics
1.31        Demonstrate competency in basic math skills and mathematical conversions as they relate to healthcare.

  1. Metric system (such as: centi, milli, kilo)
  2. Mathematical (average, ratios, fractions, percentages, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
  3. Conversions (height, weight/mass, length, volume, temperature, household measurements)

1.32        Demonstrate the ability to analyze diagrams, charts, graphs, and tables to interpret healthcare results.
1.33        Demonstrate use of the 24-hour clock/military time.

Foundation Standard 2: Communications

Demonstrate methods of delivering and obtaining information, while communicating effectively.

2.1          Concepts of Effective Communication
2.11        Model verbal and nonverbal communication.
2.12        Identify common barriers to communication.

  1. Physical disabilities (aphasia, hearing loss, impaired vision)
  2. Psychological barriers (attitudes, bias, prejudice, stereotyping)

2.13        Identify the differences between subjective and objective information.
2.14        Interpret elements of communication using basic sender-receiver-message-feedback model.
2.15        Practice speaking and active listening skills.
2.16        Modify communication to meet the needs of the patient/client and be appropriate to the situation.

2.2          Medical Terminology
2.21        Use common roots, prefixes, and suffixes to communicate information.
2.22        Interpret medical abbreviations to communicate information.

  1. Common abbreviations
  2. Joint Commission official “Do Not Use List”

2.3          Written Communication Skills
2.31        Utilize proper elements of written and electronic communication (spelling, grammar, and formatting).
2.32        Prepare examples of technical, informative, and creative writing.

Foundation Standard 3: Systems

Identify how key systems affect services performed and quality of care.

3.1          Healthcare Delivery Systems
3.11        Compare healthcare delivery systems.

  1. Non-profit and for profit (such as: hospitals, ambulatory facilities, long-term care facilities, home health, medical and dental offices, mental health services)
  2. Government (such as: CDC, FDA, WHO, OSHA, Public Health systems/Health Departments, Veteran’s Administration)
  3. Non-profit (such as: March of Dimes, American Heart Association)

3.12        Describe the responsibilities of consumers within the healthcare system (such as: self-advocacy, patient compliance, provider and consumer obligations).
3.13        Assess the impact of emerging issues on healthcare delivery systems (such as: technology, epidemiology, bioethics, and socioeconomics).
3.14        Discuss healthcare economics and common methods of payment for healthcare.

  1. Private health insurance (such as: Blue Cross, Affordable Care Act – ACA)
  2. Managed care (such as: HMOs, PPOs, medical home)
  3. Government programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and Workers’ Compensation)

Foundation Standard 4: Employability Skills

Utilize employability skills to enhance employment opportunities and job satisfaction.

4.1          Personal Traits of the Health Professional
4.11        Identify personal traits and attitudes desirable in a member of the career ready healthcare team.

  1. Acceptance of criticism
  2. Competence
  3. Dependability
  4. Discretion
  5. Empathy
  6. Enthusiasm
  7. Honesty
  8. Initiative
  9. Patience
  10. Responsibility
  11. Self-motivation
  12. Tact
  13. Team player
  14. Willingness to learn

4.12        Summarize professional standards as they apply to hygiene, dress, language, confidentiality and behavior.

4.2          Employability Skills
4.21        Apply employability skills in healthcare.

  1. Chain of command
  2. Correct grammar
  3. Decision making
  4. Flexible
  5. Initiative
  6. Integrity
  7. Loyalty
  8. Positive attitude
  9. Professional characteristics
  10. Prompt and prepared
  11. Responsibility
  12. Scope of practice
  13. Teamwork
  14. Willing to learn

4.3          Career Decision-making
4.31        Research levels of education, credentialing requirements, and employment trends in health professions.
4.32        Distinguish differences among careers within health science pathways (diagnostic services, therapeutic services, health informatics, support services, or biotechnology research and development).

4.4          Employability Preparation
4.41        Develop components of a personal portfolio.

  1. Letter of introduction
  2. Resume
  3. Sample Projects
  4. Writing Sample
  5. Work-based Learning Documentation
  6. Oral Report
  7. Service Learning/Community Service
  8. Credentials
  9. Technology Skills
  10. Leadership Examples

4.42        Identify strategies for pursuing employment (social media, personal networking, job sites, internships).

Foundation Standard 5: Legal Responsibilities

Describe legal responsibilities, limitations, and implications on healthcare worker actions.

5.1          Legal Responsibilities and Implications
5.11        Analyze legal responsibilities and implications of criminal and civil law.

  1. Malpractice
  2. Negligence
  3. Assault
  4. Battery
  5. Invasion of privacy
  6. Abuse
  7. Liable
  8. Slander

5.2          Legal Practices
5.21        Apply standards for the safety, privacy and confidentiality of health information (HIPAA, privileged communication).
5.22        Describe advance directives.
5.23        Summarize the essential characteristics of a patient’s basic rights within a healthcare setting.
5.24        Define informed consent.
5.25        Explain laws governing harassment and scope of practice.

Foundation Standard 6: Ethics

Understand accepted ethical practices with respect to cultural, social, and ethnic differences within the healthcare environment.

6.1          Ethical Practice
6.11        Differentiate between ethical and legal issues impacting healthcare.
6.12        Identify ethical issues and their implications related to healthcare (such as: organ donation, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, scope of practice, ethics committee).
6.13        Utilize procedures for reporting activities and behaviors that affect the health, safety, and welfare of others (such as: incident report).

6.2          Cultural, Social, and Ethnic Diversity
6.21        Discuss religious and cultural values as they impact healthcare (such as: ethnicity, race, religion, gender).
6.22        Demonstrate respectful and empathetic treatment of ALL patients/clients (such as: customer service, patient satisfaction, civility).

Foundation Standard 7: Safety Practices

Identify existing and potential hazards to clients, co-workers, and self. Employ safe work practices and follow health and safety policies and procedures to prevent injury and illness.

7.1          Infection Control
7.11        Explain principles of infection control.

  1. Chain of infection
  2. Mode of transmission (direct, indirect, vectors, common vehicle [air, food, water], healthcare-associated infections [nosocomial], opportunistic)
  3. Microorganisms (non-pathogenic, pathogenic, aerobic, anaerobic)
  4. Classifications (bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses, parasites)

7.12        Differentiate methods of controlling the spread and growth of microorganisms.

  1. Aseptic control (antisepsis, disinfection, sterilization, sterile technique)
  2. Standard precautions
  3. Isolation precautions
  4. Blood borne pathogen precautions
  5. Vaccinations

7.2          Personal Safety
7.21        Apply personal safety procedures based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regulations.
7.22        Demonstrate principles of body mechanics.

7.3          Environmental Safety
7.31        Apply safety techniques in the work environment.

  1. Ergonomics
  2. Safe operation of equipment
  3. Patient/client safety measures (check area for safety,

7.4          Common Safety Hazards
7.41        Observe all safety standards related to the Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals Standard (Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)). (
7.42        Comply with safety signs, symbols, and labels.

7.5          Emergency Procedures and Protocols
7.51        Practice fire safety in a healthcare setting.
7.52        Apply principles of basic emergency response in natural disasters and other emergencies (safe location, contact emergency personnel, follow facility protocols)

Foundation Standard 8: Teamwork

Identify roles and responsibilities of individual members as part of the healthcare team.

8.1          Healthcare Teams
8.11        Evaluate roles and responsibilities of team members.

  1. Examples of healthcare teams
  2. Responsibilities of team members
  3. Benefits of teamwork

8.12        Identify characteristics of effective teams.

  1. Active participation
  2. Commitment
  3. Common goals
  4. Cultural sensitivity
  5. Flexibility
  6. Open to feedback
  7. Positive attitude
  8. Reliability
  9. Trust
  10. Value individual contributions

8.2          Team Member Participation
8.21        Recognize methods for building positive team relationships (such as: mentorships and teambuilding).
8.22        Analyze attributes and attitudes of an effective leader.

  1. Characteristics (interpersonal skills, focused on results, positive)
  2. Types (autocratic, democratic, laissez faire)
  3. Roles (sets vision, leads change, manages accountability)

8.23        Apply effective techniques for managing team conflict (negotiation, assertive communication, gather the facts, clear expectations, mediation).

Foundation Standard 9: Health Maintenance Practices

Differentiate between wellness and disease. Promote disease prevention and model healthy behaviors.

9.1          Healthy Behaviors
9.11        Promote behaviors of health and wellness (such as: nutrition, weight control, exercise, sleep habits).
9.12        Describe strategies for prevention of disease.

  1. Routine physical exams
  2. Medical, dental, and mental health screenings
  3. Community health education outreach programs
  4. Immunizations
  5. Stress management
  6. Avoid risky behaviors

9.13        Investigate complementary and alternative health practices as they relate to wellness and disease prevention (such as: Eastern medicine, holistic medicine, homeopathy, manipulative and natural therapies).

*Foundation Standard 10: Technical Skills

Apply technical skills required for all career specialties and demonstrate skills and knowledge as appropriate.

10.1        Technical Skills
10.11     Apply procedures for measuring and recording vital signs including the normal ranges (temperature, pulse, respirations, blood pressure, pain).
10.12     Obtain training or certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED), foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) and first aid.
*Additional technical skills may be included in a program of study based on career specialties.

Foundation Standard 11: Information Technology Applications

Utilize and understand information technology applications common across health professions.

11.1        Key Principles of Health Information Systems
11.11     Identify types of data collected in Electronic Health Records/Electronic Medical Records (EHR or EMR) (such as: history and physical, medications, diagnostic tests, patient demographics).
11.12     Explore different types of health record data collection tools (such as: patient monitoring equipment, telemedicine, phone application, and medical wearable devices).
11.13     Identify the types and content of an EHR/EMR (such as: pharmacy, laboratory, radiology).
11.14     Create documentation in EHR/EMRs that reflect timeliness, completeness, and accuracy.
11.15     Adhere to information systems policies, procedures, and regulations as required by national, state, and local entities.

11.2        Privacy and Confidentiality of Health Information
11.21     Apply fundamentals of privacy and confidentiality policies and procedures (HIPAA).
11.22     Identify legal and regulatory requirements related to the use of personal health information (such as: Health Information Technology Act [HITECH Act], American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA]).
11.23     Identify common policies and procedures for proper access, disclosure and protection of personal health information (such as: passwords, administrative safeguards, database security).
11.24     Describe consequences of inappropriate use of health data in terms of disciplinary action.
11.25     Understand the principle to correct inaccurate information/errors entered into an EHR/EMR (such as: adding, clarifying, and correcting information).

11.3        Basic Computer Skills
11.31     Apply basic computer concepts and terminology necessary to use computers and other mobile devices.
11.32     Demonstrate basic computer troubleshooting procedures (such as: restart, check power supply, refresh browser, check settings).
11.33     Demonstrate use of file organization and information storage.
11.34     Identify uses of basic word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications.
11.35     Evaluate validity of web-based resources.
11.36     Demonstrate appropriate usage of email and social media in a work environment (such as: work-related communications, personal texting on own time, appropriate language and content, use full language sentences).




© Nebraska Department of Education


Career Education Standards

Standards & Programs of Study

Health Sciences Clusters

2015-16 CTE Course Standards and Programs of Study

NCE 2017-18 NCE Course Codes & Clearing Endorsements (Formerly called Appendix D)
Starts on page 63


Rule 47
Regulations for Career Academy Programs Established by School Districts
(Effective 11/19/13)
Rule 47 defines a career academy program as: A sequence of credit-bearing academic and career technical courses which reflect a Career Cluster selected in response to local, regional or state employment needs and demand for expertise.


Rule 10
Regulations and Procedures for the Accreditation of Schools
(Revised 9/15/12)
004.04B6 Career Education. The curriculum includes 80 instructional units in Career Education that include instruction in any of the following career fields: (1) Arts, Communication, and Information Systems, (2) Business, Marketing, and Management, (3) Environmental and Agricultural Systems, (4) Health Sciences, (5) Human Services and Resources, and (6) Industrial, Manufacturing, and Engineering Systems.

004.04B6d Health Sciences. The curriculum in this career field includes areas such as nutrition and food, family health, medical terminology, certified nursing assistant, and health care sciences.



Rule 24
Regulations for Certificate Endorsements
(Revised 7/2/2014)
006.12 Career Education
006.12A Grade Levels: 9 -12
006.12B Endorsement Type: Subject
006.12C The endorsement shall be valid only for a career education area where no preparation program is offered by an approved teacher training institution in Nebraska or for which a school system submits documentation that it has not found a qualified teacher for the career education teaching certificate.

006.12D This endorsement shall require:
006.12D1 Completion of a prescribed course of study in a career education area at the postsecondary level, or
006.12D2 Completion of an apprenticeship program in the career education area, or
006.12D3 Demonstrated proficiency in the career education area based upon five (5) years of practice in the career area, or
006.12D4 Demonstrated proficiency by passing a competency examination approved by the industry or career education area, or
006.12D5 Current employment by a community college as an instructor to teach the career education area.

006.30 Health Occupations
006.30A Grade Levels: 7–12
006.30B Endorsement Type: Subject
006.30C Persons with this endorsement may teach and manage a health occupations education program in grades 7 through 12 and function as a resource person in health within the total educational system.
006.30D Certification Endorsement Requirements: This endorsement shall require a minimum of 24 semester hours of health occupations and vocational education coursework plus work experience.

006.30D1 Health Occupations Experience: Prospective health occupations teachers must complete a minimum of 100 clock hours of observation (shadowing) of health care workers, including persons in an acute care facility, out-patient setting, and community health agency setting, OR have work experience in a health care occupation equivalent to one (1) full year within the last five (5) years.

006.30E Endorsement Program Requirements: Nebraska teacher education institutions offering this endorsement program must have on file, within the institution, a plan which identifies the courses and the course completion requirements which the institution utilizes to grant credit toward completion of this endorsement.


Our Team

Carol Packard
Career Area Specialist Health Sciences
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Phone: 402.471.4813
Fax: 402.471.4565

Terri Donahue
Professional Assistant
Phone: 402.471.4815
Fax: 402.471.4565


Nebraska HOSA

Nebraska HOSA

Nebraska State HOSA Advisor

Cori Combs
Professional Assistant
Phone: 402.471-0953




Diagnostic Services

Career Pathways and Specialty Examples

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

Blood Bank Technician
Cardiovascular Technologist
Clinical Laboratory Technician
Computer Tomography (CT) Technologist
Cytogenetic Technologist
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Electrocardiographic (ECG) Technician
Neurodiagnostic Technologist
Exercise Physiologist
Genetic Counselor
Magnetic Resonance (MR) Technologist
Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Occupational Therapist
Ophthalmic Assistant/Technician/Technologist
Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician
Physical Therapist
Polysomnographic Technologist
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Technologist
Radiologic Technician
Respiratory Therapist

For a printable list from the National Consortium for Health Science Education, click here:
Health Science Career Specialties Chart.

UNMC’s Careers in Health Care booklet. Although this was published in 2010, this booklet may still have relevant information for students today.



Biotechnology Research and Development

Career Pathways and SpecialtyExamples

Workers study diseases to discover new treatments or invent medical devices used to directly assist patients or to improve the accuracy of diagnostic test.

Bioinformatics Associate
Bioinformatics Scientist
Bioinformatics Specialist
Biomedical Chemist
Biomedical/Clinical Engineer
Biomedical/Clinical Technician
Cell Biologist
Clinical Data Management Associate/Consultant
Clinical Pharmacologist
Clinical Trials Monitor
Clinical Trials Research Associate
Clinical Trials Research Coordinator
Laboratory Assistant-Genetics
Laboratory Technician
Medical Editor/Writer
Molecular Biologist
Pharmaceutical/Clinical Project Manager
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Pharmaceutical Scientist
Product Safety Associate/Scientist
Process Development
Processing Technician
Quality Assurance Technician
Quality Control Technician
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Research Assistant
Research Scientist

For a printable list from the National Consortium for Health Science Education, click here:
Health Science Career Specialties Chart.

UNMC’s Careers in Health Care booklet. Although this was published in 2010, this booklet may still have relevant information for students today.