Do you have an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare? This is a good time to enter this career field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare occupations are growing much faster than the average of all other occupations.
The BLS expects 2.4 million new jobs in healthcare between 2016 and 2026. The future growth of the aging populations is increasing the demand for more healthcare providers.
Is a Career in Healthcare Right for You?
Do you want a career focused on helping people? Are you highly organized? Do you feel confident when you perform tasks?
A career in healthcare may be a great fit for you. For additional information, explore sites about various healthcare opportunities.
- Think About Why You Want to Work in Healthcare
Individuals express interest in becoming healthcare workers for a variety of reasons. A frequent answer is, “To help make a difference in people’s lives.” This represents a common and realistic reason to enter these occupations.
Whether you are providing direct patient care, performing tests, maintaining precise records, or assisting with insurance payments, you are helping people. Every job matters for the patient.
You may begin in one specialty and move to many others throughout your career. This makes a great choice for those with varied interests. The experiences and skills found in healthcare are only limited by your desires and hard work.
At the end of the day, you will know that you made a difference in someone’s life.
- Decide If You Are Willing to Work Different Shifts
Illness and injury do not stop in the evening or at night. Nor do they take weekends or holidays. Depending on your position, you may need to work during these times.
Not all positions need you to work off shifts and weekends. Yet, if your schedule has limitations, find out about the routine work hours for the career you are considering. If shifts and weekends are required, you may want to look at other healthcare occupations.
- Think About Where You Want to Work
Healthcare providers are found throughout the workforce. They are not limited to hospitals and doctor’s offices. Examples of non-traditional jobs include:
- School nurses, speech-pathologists, and counselors
- Occupational health provider located on corporate sites
- Remote workers providing insurance approvals
- Home health
- Hospice caregivers
- Remote medical translators
- Healthcare writers for patient and healthcare provider information
- Clinical research
- “Box-store” pharmacies
- Nurse helplines
- Customer service specialists
- Other countries
This provides a brief example of healthcare opportunities available. This occupation, as described, provides a high level of flexibility.
- Do You Want to Pursue Further Training?
All jobs within the healthcare field have the opportunity for advancement. You will need to gain experience and may need further training.
Some individuals start in one position and, after a time, find that they are interested in moving in a different direction. If you find yourself in this position, just find out what you need to do. Then take the new road.
This may involve obtaining more training at your work site to qualify for a promotion. You may need to pass a certification or specialization examination. Or, you may need to pursue additional education to reach your goal.
The important take away is that opportunities for career growth are available if you choose to take that route.
- Talk to People Working in Your Desired Occupation
When thinking about different occupations, take time to talk with several people in those jobs. Ask them about the training they completed to enter the job. Have them tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Consider making a list of pros and cons as you conduct these interviews. Be sure to talk to people in different work settings.
Remember that some people seem to always be unhappy in their work. Don’t let them discourage you. Listen to facts as well as perceptions.
Find out about the different opportunities they have experienced in their careers. How easy was it to change to different areas? What is their advice to a person entering their career field?
- Explore the Training Needed for the Job You Want
Training for a position in healthcare can range from on-the-job training to at least 12 years of college. This represents an important consideration when choosing your career. The following are some examples of training requirements:
- Hospital Unit Secretaries
- Hospital Patient Aides
- Office Receptionists and Schedulers
- Home Health Aide
Diploma or Certificate
- Medical Assistant
- Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
- Dental Assistant
Associate Degree and Possible Credentialing Exam
- Medical Assistant in radiology, medical records, and more
- Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Registered Nurse
- Healthcare Manager
Bachelor’s degree and Possible Licensing Exam
- Radiation Therapist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Registered Nurse
- Athletic Trainer
- Bioinformatics Specialist
- Master’s Degree and Possible Licensing Exam
- Allied Health Manager
- Biomedical Engineer
- Health Information Specialist
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Vocational Rehab Counselor
- Social Worker
Doctorate, Internship, Residency, Licensing and Specialization Exams
- Physical Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Nurse Practitioner
- Biochemical Chemist
- Diagnostic Molecular Scientist
- Healthcare Administrator
The healthcare field offers many more opportunities than listed. If you have the interest, you need to find the right place for you.
- Would You Like to Travel with Your Career
Many healthcare jobs include the opportunity to travel. You may travel in the U.S. or out of the country. There are companies that hire traveling nurses, radiologists, rehabilitation therapy, and more.
Groups including, Doctors Without Borders, provide medical care in other countries. They need physicians, nurses, midwives, technical logistics personnel, epidemiologists, and more. This could truly be a life-changing experience for you.
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