Deciding which career you want to pursue and practice is a major step in shaping things for your future. Any career path you opt for will require thought, research, and prior planning. The same applies to a healthcare career. Healthcare is a lucrative, rewarding, and reliable field to pursue as a career because it is continuously evolving and developing.
The healthcare field encompasses a lot of options involving various skills and the roles that follow them. This sector offers long-term job security because medical aid is a necessity. In this field, you have immense potential to grow and the chance to help those in need. Although a healthcare career is appealing because of the job security, respect, and wealth it promises, there are some things that you should ask yourself before committing to it.
So if you have always been curious about nursing, mental health counseling, or any other healthcare profession, these are some things you can consider before settling down for your desired field.
Different healthcare careers
There are tons of options in the healthcare industry, and each option requires varying work and promises a reward accordingly. Some of the most promising roles that appeal to most people include nurse practitioner, physician, pharmacist, dentist, surgeon, etc. Another recently emerging field is nursing informatics, which combines modern technology with nursing to improve patient care several folds. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, with a masters in nursing informatics salary ranges between $70,000 and $117,120. Expect even better facilities with more high-ranking jobs in the healthcare industry!
Duration of study
Healthcare jobs are often very demanding and require long hours of dedicated studying. Healthcare professionals provide medical aid to other people and need in-depth knowledge of their field so they do not make mistakes that can jeopardize other people’s lives.
To achieve this level of expertise, they must allot long hours to detailed study. Thus if you are considering a successful healthcare career, you need to be realistic and analyze if you can devote time and energy to your studies.
Moreover, in many other fields, job seekers with a prior degree can use that qualification and apply for a job in another field they wish to pursue. For example, you can apply for a teaching job with a business degree. However, healthcare jobs work differently. If you do not already have a qualification associated with your specific field, you will have to study for one before you gain access to that pool of healthcare jobs. This degree can differ depending on your career goals, whether you wish to secure a job in medicine, nursing, or nursing informatics.
Duration of training
In addition to grueling study hours, many healthcare positions also demand on-the-job training as a prerequisite. It may involve working unpaid while you are still studying. You may also have to put in another few years after you get your degree for training. Before starting your independent practice, you may have to shadow a doctor for some time, even after you get your degree. Since this entire setup is time-consuming, you must be aware of this and manage your time and expectations accordingly.
Potential for growth
Another point to consider before opting for a healthcare career is whether ample room for growth is available. It is vital, especially if you have an ambitious streak by nature. Acknowledging your future career goals facilitates you in making the best decision at the start. In addition, understanding how much you wish to learn and expand within a profession is crucial for making the proper choice.
If you recognize yourself as a career-driven and determined individual, you can choose the healthcare field accordingly. The nursing field provides extensive opportunities for advancement. Nurses can enroll in online practitioner schools and secure a higher degree while keeping their current jobs. Therefore, if you wish to progress to successively higher levels throughout your career, you should look for roles presenting the best chances of progression.
You must be fully aware of your strengths and limitations before you opt for a healthcare career. You should know if you will be physically and mentally strong enough to face the pressures of healthcare jobs. Based on your role in the healthcare industry, these pressures can differ. Healthcare attendants directly involved with vulnerable patients and their families are most likely to face immense emotional and mental stress regularly. They will have to encounter the patients’ pain and weaknesses which can affect their mental health. Thus it is essential to realize if you can cope with that emotional and physical strain before opting for a healthcare career.
You should also be aware of the working hours most jobs have in the healthcare industry. Working long shifts spanning several hours is quite common in healthcare professions. The working hours will depend slightly on the job you pursue, although generally, most healthcare jobs require intense devotion. You can expect arduous work, especially at the start when you are still a junior-level employee under training. The working hours may also affect your social life.
If you have a night shift, you will have to spend all night at work. Likewise, if you are an emergency responder, you will be preoccupied with work at all times of the day. On-call doctors and nurses have even tougher lives. They report to work as soon as they receive a call, regardless of the time. Not everyone can adjust to such fluctuating working hours, especially if you have family commitments. Hence, ensure that you fully understand the working hours associated with your desired healthcare role before you opt for it.
There are several factors to consider before deciding which career is best for you. Choosing to opt for a job in the healthcare profession is more challenging because healthcare professionals can directly affect other people through their most minor actions. Therefore, in addition to the few critical factors presented above, you should also acknowledge your most dominant personality traits before selecting healthcare as your career. To best fit into the healthcare industry, having patience, dedication and compassion are necessary.