It is no secret that Americans are living long lives. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the average life expectancy is 84.1 years for males and 86.8 years for females (according to the CDC, the average life expectancy is 78.8 years). Life expectancy is related to advances in medical science, technology and guidelines for improving patient care and the incidence of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The evolving landscape of healthcare is placing increased and rapidly-changing demands on providers. Aging populations; increases in the number of patients with chronic conditions; recent government changes; advances in medical technology; more informed, digital consumers and changes in intrapersonal connections all drive demand for healthcare services and impact the need for skilled healthcare providers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2 million new jobs over the decade”.

With the increasing complexity of healthcare, self-advocacy and healthcare literacy are essential skills for everyone. This lesson will examine the following aspects of healthcare and being a healthcare consumer:

At the end of this lesson you will examine if you might be interested in a healthcare profession.

  1. Making it Personal: According to the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator, how long is your life expectancy?