Career Spotlight: Considerations for Pursuing a Career in Health

If you are looking for a career where you can help people every day and make a real difference in their lives, then any job in the health industry is the place for you. Right now, health professionals are needed more than ever, and you can join the ranks with the right schooling, skills, and a passion for the career of your choice.

Deciding which profession in the healthcare field to take, however, can be difficult when you’re still navigating your college career. As you make these big decisions, it’s best to plan ahead, and consider the benefits, the skills needed, and how you can make a difference with your career.

Consider Why You Want To Work In Healthcare

Right now is the perfect time to consider a career in healthcare, and one of the main reasons why is because hospitals and doctor’s offices need qualified candidates now more than ever. As more doctors and nurses enter the age of retirement, the healthcare community expects a physician shortage on the horizon. If that weren’t enough, a large portion of our population is getting older and they need more care. The situation is so dire that by the year 2034, the healthcare field could be short over 100,000 physicians. Needless to say, if you are at all interested in healthcare, your contribution will be well received.

Even without the shortage, working in healthcare offers great job security. Regardless of their age, people will never stop getting sick and they will always need people to care for them, so even if you don’t stay in the same field, a future in healthcare is very promising.

There are also great benefits that come with a healthcare career, and it starts with a generous salary. Even at the nursing level, a wage of close to $117,670 per year is possible according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it only goes up as you advance in your career. A career in health also offers great flexibility as far as where you can work and when. Since medical care is needed all over the world, you could pretty much work anywhere if you know the language. On top of that, you often have the choice to work during the day or at night, so you can also fit in your personal life.

Consider The Type Of Job

While working as a doctor or nurse often comes to mind when people think about a career in health, there is a wide spectrum of possible positions that may better suit your needs. If you do decide on a career providing indirect care, where you are personally helping people, then you have many choices depending on your personality. For instance, if you like the idea of applying medical knowledge to the broader scope of things and creating big changes, then a career in public health might be for you.

If you want a more hands-on role, and like the idea of performing surgery or working in a surgical atmosphere, then you could be a surgeon, work in internal medicine, or even become an anesthesiologist.

If you want to work directly with patients but you are not completely comfortable with surgery or physical examinations, then you could also work in radiology or pathology. Keep in mind that you do not need to go into a field that helps people with physical ailments. Instead, you could help people with their mental issues as a psychiatrist, therapist, or mental health counselor.

Many people like the idea of helping others, but they also have a mind for tech, and many careers combine those specialties. Jobs such as coders and interface analysts help doctors behind the scenes by setting up programs that are used to test and heal patients. You could also work as a cybersecurity analyst to protect the systems that healthcare professionals use every day against hackers and viruses.

Many administrative positions may not even require a degree, such as medical billers, registration representatives, and medical assistants. The point is, no matter where in healthcare you decide to work, you will be working for the greater good.

Consider The Skills You’ll Need

Once you decide that you want to work in the healthcare field, you will need to learn the essential skills to be successful in your chosen profession. Keep in mind that a degree can open the door to many different fields. For instance, by achieving your master's in nursing, you will learn everything you need to know, from human anatomy to assisting with medications. From there, you can enter many different areas, from nurse practitioner to working as a professional who specializes in chronic illnesses.

There are many general and soft skills that you will need to work in most medical fields, no matter what profession you settle in. First is the ability to properly communicate with patients and coworkers. Remember that part of communicating is actively listening to the person you’re speaking with, so you’ll need to work on that if you know it is an area of improvement. You’ll also need to maintain a positive attitude and be able to manage your stress because even though a healthcare career is rewarding, it is not always easy.

Then, there are hard skills that you will need for a chosen profession. For example, if you want to enter a tech field, then you will want to take classes on data analytics and how you can use that information to make better healthcare decisions. If you decide to go into nursing, you will need to learn a whole slew of hard skills, from infection control to an understanding of patient assessments. You’ll likely learn all the necessary skills during your schooling.

In the end, pursuing a career in healthcare is a noble and potentially life-saving decision. Consider the tips and information listed above and make the best choice for your future healthcare position.

Bryce Hall