In the past, pursuing a career in healthcare has been looked at as a difficult and narrow path: long, expensive schooling, competitive job markets, challenging careers, and so on. Over the years though, people have gotten used to the idea that there are more and more ways of breaking into the vast field of healthcare. If you’re considering a career in healthcare now, here are a few things in particular you ought to know about undergoing this kind of pursuit today.
Career Paths Are Expanding
When you think of jobs in healthcare, what positions come to mind first? For most, the answers will be doctors and nurses. These of course remain some of the primary positions in the industry. However, today there are seemingly countless careers in healthcare, including those for occupational and physical therapists, health service managers, medical assistants, and so many more. In short, there are numerous paths aside from the traditional routes that lead toward doctor and nurse positions.
There Are More Options For Education & Certification
While going to med school is one option, it’s not the be-all and end-all of medical education. Our look at “Free Healthcare Courses With Certificates” should give you some idea, for instance, of several ways in which you can even gain healthcare education at no cost. They’re only some of many examples, but they can help you begin your education in medicine and decide if a field you’re eyeing is right for you. They also serve as excellent foundations for subsequent education should you decide to move forward.
In addition to these kinds of free courses, various entities in healthcare are now offering more options for training and internships for those interested in careers. This is being done in part as a response to the healthcare labour shortage, which as a report at The Guardian notes has grown quite severe.
Telemedicine Is Here To Stay
It wasn’t initially clear if telemedicine was a pandemic band-aid or a new evolution in healthcare. However, we can now begin to see that more companies involved in care are in fact getting set up for long-term remote care offerings. As expressed by the virtual health platform Wheel, companies involved in healthcare are actively working to better equip themselves to provide quality, virtual care. This means improving technology, building partnerships, and ultimately hiring more clinicians and employees to support remote operations. Telehealth, in some respects, looks to represent an entire emerging field within healthcare –– and one that will be ripe with opportunity for those seeking careers in care.
Healthcare Careers Offer Varied Salaries
While much of what we’ve discussed to this point has to do with change, some norms remain. Among them is the fact that pay rates vary a great deal within healthcare. Pursuing work as a doctor (of most any sort) leads you to a high-paying job; nurses, however, are notoriously underpaid –– even following the UK’s 3% pay rise for those nurses working under organizations like the NHS. And beyond doctors and nurses, salaries for other workers in healthcare run the spectrum.
Benefits Remain Appealing
One perk of a career in healthcare is actually just that: the perks. Being in healthcare usually gives employees a wide range of benefits, with specifics depending on the position and contracting company. It’s a good idea to do some research based on the position(s) you’re interested in to see what’s being offered.
Arguably one of the best benefits, however, is job stability. Because of the aforementioned labour shortage, companies and institutions are more prepared to work to keep their employees (as opposed to letting them burn out). This means that healthcare positions offer some of the highest job stability around.
You also have the option of travelling abroad in order to practice, since healthcare facilities are experiencing shortages around the world. Just as the UK’s Department of Health platform notes that the UK can recruit healthcare workers internationally, other countries are also doing the same.
There Are Still Drawbacks
While healthcare positions can be extremely rewarding –– and in some cases lucrative to boot –– there are a few things that those interested should be aware of. One of them is the high burnout rate. After a Health and Social Care Committee report found that burnout is on the rise and poses a problem to the functioning of these services, the NHS and other healthcare services have taken measures to combat it. However, it’s been a persistent issue in healthcare around the world, and the pandemic hasn’t helped matters.
Additionally, while most healthcare positions ultimately pay well, there are as mentioned a few that don’t. If your initial aim is to undertake an internship and learn more, that’s perfectly acceptable. Once you start looking for a long-term job, however, be sure to research what the going rate is, and make sure that potential employers are willing and able to pay fair salaries.
Healthcare is a vast field covering many different career options. There’s a great deal to take into account if you’re looking to work in the industry, but if you start with the above you’ll be well on your way to finding the right path.