Healthcare careers are some of the most fulfilling options for both older and younger people. You should consider a career in healthcare if you are looking for a pathway that can provide you with many options for progression and which can enable you to make an impact on the lives of others. If you are interested in healthcare, before you take on the pressures of the job, here are some of the top questions that you need to consider.
What career pathways are available to you?
Before you look at the requirements of each healthcare role, you must be able to choose a career pathway that suits both you and your needs.
- Nursing is one of the top pathways that you can choose, and this is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of different careers that can suit you. For instance, you might consider becoming a registered nurse, a nursing assistant, or a research nurse, depending on your aptitude and the qualifications that you are willing to take.
- You might also consider becoming a doctor, where you will focus on diagnosing patients and working within the community in positions such as that of a GP. Doctors can also work to become surgeons if they want to actively save people’s lives and conduct complex operations.
- You might also consider the work of a pharmacist, where you can work within a hospital or clinic setting. Here, you will administer and organize medications, or if you would like a less hands-on role, you could consider opting for administrative work.
How can you turn your interest into a career?
If you are interested in healthcare but do not know where to start in terms of transforming your passion for health into a career, you should consider your interests and the transferable skills that you have developed. Then, you should consider the career pathways that utilize the knowledge and skills that you have. For instance, if you are interested in sports and sporting injuries, you may consider becoming a physiotherapist.
Most careers in healthcare require specific qualifications or experience to enable you to progress or to apply for higher-paying roles. This is especially the case if you are aiming for senior or management roles, such as that of a nursing leader. If these types of roles interest you, you should consider taking a post-graduate degree. At Marymount University, they offer a range of courses that can help those in healthcare to progress within their careers. These courses include degrees in EDD Organizational Leadership online, which can help to prepare those who are looking for research or scholarly positions.
You will also need to gain experience. You can find this through:
- Taking a degree-level course which has practical units or placement years.
- Applying to work for a hospital trust’s work experience or internship scheme.
- Getting a part-time job at a clinic or as a home aide.
- Signing up to voluntary services.
If you already have a career and are thinking about a career change to healthcare, this is possible at any age. You can do this by taking fast-track training courses and re-entry schemes if you have been a nurse or health professional previously. You should also consider returning to education and adapting your resume to suit the healthcare industry.
Is healthcare the right career for you?
However, before you take the leap into healthcare, you need to make sure that this career choice is right for you. To do this, you should consider whether the demands of the healthcare industry align with your personality and skills. For instance, those that are empathetic, independent, and who have excellent interpersonal skills will perform best as a nurse. You will also be able to succeed as a nurse if you hold yourself accountable and if you are reliable and diligent.
You should also make sure that you can take on the duties of a healthcare professional. For instance, the duties of a nurse include:
- Administering medications
- Caring for sick patients
- Monitoring patient conditions
- Looking at records
- Working with other health professionals
What do you want to get out of a healthcare career?
Before you choose a career in healthcare, you also need to decide what you are looking to get out of the job. For instance, a healthcare career is perfect for those that are looking to get a meaningful and fulfilling career where they will experience new situations every day. Unlike administration and office jobs, which many employees find lacking in substance, healthcare is an essential job that makes a positive impact on people. However, if you are interested in obtaining a high salary and a good work/life balance, this may be the wrong career choice for you.
What are your career goals?
You should also ask yourself what your long-term goals are. Knowing your career goals in advance can help you to plan and ensure that there will be no barriers between you and your dream role. For instance, you might want to specialize in a specific career pathway, which might require you to obtain different qualifications and experience to allow you to go down this route.
You might also decide that your eventual goal is to become a leader in nursing, which will require you to obtain a post-graduate degree, some practical experience of leadership duties, and a high level of leadership-based skills. To achieve this goal, you will also need to consider whether you want to get promoted within your firm or whether you are looking to find a senior position in another institution.
How will a healthcare career affect your life?
Although healthcare careers come with many benefits, you also need to consider how they might affect your lifestyle. Healthcare careers are extremely demanding, with long shifts and high-stress levels, meaning that your life might never look the same. Knowing how a career in healthcare can affect your life in advance can help you to plan for this, such as taking an online degree so that you can spend more time at home, or arranging childcare to ensure that you can work the necessary shifts. You will also be able to look for support in advance, such as a counseling service, which can help you through the difficulties of large lifestyle changes.