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If you’re thinking of changing your career or even starting your career by joining the healthcare industry, you should know that you’re entering a fast-paced and ever-changing world.
Healthcare provides career opportunities for people both on the front lines of patient care and behind the scenes keeping the cogs of the industry turning. You can work as a hospital nurse, physical therapist or paramedic. But you can also be employed in health administration, public policy or medical research.
Knowing What To Expect
Changing careers or starting your career in healthcare can be made easier if you know what to expect. Knowing the fundamentals of the challenges you’ll face is crucial, as well as knowing what to expect at both ends of the spectrum, be it the patient contact side or the management side.
It’s easy to get caught up in unrealistic expectations of what you’ll be doing, or even to focus on only one area rather than all areas.
Applying For Your New Career
Are you sure about going into healthcare? Great! Here are a few tips to help you when it comes to applying and knowing exactly what to expect when you get your dream healthcare job.
Get A Good Education
You need a good education in a variety of areas to succeed in healthcare.
Whether it is human resources, finance, compliance, commercial, or even marketing, you need to be equipped with these skills. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be for your new career and its path.
Thanks to the access to new technologies, there are many ways to get an education in healthcare, and the ability to join online courses such as Accelerated BSN online programs means that it’s never been easier to enter healthcare as a career.
Getting qualifications in areas outside the core areas of nursing is also a great way to make yourself more viable to future employers.
Get The Right Experience
Experience in healthcare is crucial, so you should consider shadowing or volunteering at hospitals or other health care facilities in your local area.
If you’re already working in the healthcare industry, this process will be easier for you because you’ll have relationships with people who have hiring power.
Making sure that your resume reflects only the best experience for your needs, along with being able to talk about experience when asked, will help you get that all-important interview for your dream job.
Be Ready For Hard Work
Healthcare is one of the most demanding careers in terms of hard work and staying hours, and you should make sure that you know what to expect. You’ll regularly be clocking up double or triple overtime and regularly working evenings and weekends, especially in the beginning.
The natural progression of your career scale will mean less overtime for patient care roles, but more change will come to management roles. In management, much of your time will be spent in meetings developing strategies rather than just dealing with patients directly.
It’s not all bad, though! You can always look forward to breaks from work when time off means holidays or just a weekend away from it all.
You’ll Need To Love People
One of the biggest challenges that many people have when starting a career in healthcare is being able to deal with people.
You’ll deal with everyone, from the patients who need your constant support and assurance to managers who need to negotiate a contract and everyone in between.
The ability to communicate and understand emotions is paramount, especially when it comes to dealing with any problems or issues that might arise. This will be one of the most important challenges for you if you want to be successful in your new career.
If you think you can meet these challenges if you put in the effort, then have a look at some of the many healthcare jobs available in your area.
There are many different areas of healthcare to choose from, so look for something that interests you and that you think you’ll be good at. You can always change direction later.
Your Salary Might Start Off Low (But There’s Potential For Big Bucks)
When it comes to salary, many people begin with an opinion that their new healthcare job won’t pay much.
You’ll often find that nursing and care assistants (particularly in the US) start off on low wages, but once your experience grows, so does the pay rate.
Of course, how much you earn is up to you; if you’re looking for work in management or administration, you’ll probably earn more than if you’re looking for work as a carer. This can all depend on where in the world that work is taking place too. India, for example, has a much lower rate of pay than the US.
Once again, this depends on where your qualifications are from. Most employers will take these into account when assessing your potential salary.
There Are Many Routes and Opportunities Into Specialized Areas
Healthcare is a big industry with many specialist areas for you to explore, and you can enter in many different ways.
For example, there are opportunities to work in the healthcare sector without formal training in healthcare. This option can be particularly attractive to people who want to work in management or administration roles rather than direct patient care.
There are also opportunities for you to get qualifications directly related to healthcare once you’ve already got another qualification or experience in an unrelated field.
Working In Healthcare Is A Lifestyle Choice
If you’re finding that working in healthcare isn’t right for you, it’s okay to take a step back and consider your options.
After all, healthcare is a great industry, with amazing opportunities both in terms of job growth and pay, but if you’re not feeling the love for this industry, there are other options available to you.
The world is full of opportunities for everyone who has an interest in something, whatever that may be, and if that’s nursing or healthcare, then great! If it’s not, you can find something else that is.
It’s important to remember that if you’re working in healthcare, the best thing you can do for those around you and yourself is to be happy and healthy.
You’ll Need To Enjoy Working In Teams
Healthcare is a team-oriented industry, and because of this, you should immediately think about the people you’re working with.
You’ll need to develop relationships with your colleagues and managers quickly if you want to succeed in this career, so it’s crucial that you get on well with everyone. If they like working together and playing up the team spirit, then more power to them! It will make your job a lot easier.
The World Of Healthcare Is Changing Rapidly
The world of healthcare is constantly changing, and you’ll need to stay connected to what’s going on in order to keep up.
For example, you’re likely to find that there are new technologies being developed in healthcare, which may impact the way you do your job.
You’ll also be keeping up to date with developments in areas such as coding and healthcare legislation.
There are also many opportunities for you to take advantage of if you’re looking for an advanced career or a change of direction. The medical industry is always looking for fresh talent, and if you think that’s what you want too then, it’s time to start thinking about your next step.
You Need A Strong Character
Healthcare is a very demanding industry, which shows in the many different personalities you’re likely to meet.
You’ll often be dealing with patients who are going through a difficult time in their lives, which can impact your own life. You’ll have to have a strong enough character to cope with these situations and still help your patients.
You’ll also need to be confident when dealing with managers, colleagues, doctors, nurses, and so on. This will be one of the most important challenges for you if you want to be successful in your new career. You have to have a strong enough character that they will maintain their respect for you when they’re around you.
You’ll Need to Be Able to Think On Your Feet
You’ll never know exactly how a day is going to go when you’re in the healthcare industry.
With complex demands from patients and colleagues, you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and respond quickly whenever you’re required to. Having a flexible mindset will help keep things running smoothly.
This industry can often be disruptive due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control, which you may need to prepare for by having backup plans in place and so on. Being prepared will help you cope with these disruptions and even turn them into opportunities.
You Need To Enjoy Times Of Change
When thinking about an industry where love for change is a must, healthcare comes highly recommended.
With a healthcare career, there is a constant need for change, which is why it’s important to look at the trends in the industry and make sure that you’re thinking ahead of the competition. The best way to do this is to perform online research on your chosen field. You can’t go wrong by thoroughly researching your chosen industry!
The best way for you to create a solid foundation for an awesome career is to start with a detailed interview with what you can expect from your first day as an employee and how growth opportunities may progress in the future.
Get the Right Training Before You Apply
When thinking about healthcare, it’s important to keep in mind that this industry is highly regulated.
Whenever you’re working within the healthcare industry, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the rules and regulations surrounding your chosen field.
You can’t always expect to get a job straight away due to these rules, even if you know the area inside out. For example, people within this industry are not allowed to work in certain areas without having qualifications.
Generally speaking, it helps to have a good education that will help you develop the skills that are required for your chosen profession.
Be Sure You Want To Work With The Elderly
If you’ve decided that working in healthcare is what you want, then good for you! One thing to note first, though, is that you’ll likely be spending a lot of time with elderly people.
Senior citizens often succumb to diseases and illnesses much more than younger people, which means they will be the bigger proportion of your patient list.
Elderly people are truly amazing individuals who can teach us so much about how to live our lives with more compassion. If this is what you’re looking for, then definitely consider this career!
However, if your personality demands that you work with younger people, this may not be the right choice, especially if you lack patience or empathy. Remember, it’s important to make sure that the career path will suit your personality; don’t focus on one area to the exclusion of others.
Be Prepared To Face Crisis Situations
This is definitely a major part of your job as a healthcare worker.
The biggest medical crisis that you could face is a complex situation within a patient. For example, if a patient is getting worse instead of better, they may require more urgent medical attention.
When this happens, it’s your duty to ensure that everything else stops until you’ve been able to help that person. This can take priority over all else.
Learn How to Care For Difficult Patients & Difficult Situations
Although healthcare workers are kind and helpful, this doesn’t mean that they are pushovers.
You need to be able to care for your patients without being taken advantage of. They’ll think that because you’re a healthcare worker, you’ll do anything for them, but this simply isn’t the case!
This is why you need to learn how to deal with difficult patients and difficult situations. For example, if a patient wants you to help them on your day off, then it’s important that you know how best to respond.
You’ll need some responses at the ready in case they ask too much of you or make demands of you.
Changing Careers Is Not for Everyone
When thinking about a career in healthcare, it’s important to consider how you feel about this change.
While the prospect of a job with a higher salary and more stability may be tempting, remember that this will mean making a big change into an environment that you know nothing about.