If you’re considering a career in healthcare, then you’ve already made a highly respectable move — the healthcare industry is an important one. Any job within it is vital for patient care and the well-being of the community. Being a part of that can be extremely rewarding, but there is a lot more to healthcare jobs than simply a rewarding job.
Even if you’re sure that healthcare is right for you, there are a few considerations to make in order to make sure that you find the perfect role suited for your personality, working style, and career aspirations.
Knowing Whether a Career in Healthcare is Right for You
Below are some questions you may have asked yourself in regard to choosing the right career.
- Do I want a job with long-term prospects?
- Do I want a job with long-term security?
- Do I want a job that is within a key sector?
- Do I want to help others?
- Do I have a keen interest in science or medicine?
- Do I already have relevant qualifications in this field?
- Do I have a wide range of skills?
- Can I handle a high-pressure working environment?
If you answered yes to some, or all, of these questions, then a career in healthcare could be the right choice for you.
6 Considerations to Make When Choosing a Healthcare Career
1. How Long Will Studying and Training Be?
Knowing the expectancy for your required qualifications and training for a particular healthcare role may affect your decision. It may be that you can’t commit the required time — such as wanting to make a career switch later in life and not being prepared to return to many years of study — or it may be that you’re not prepared to commit to the number of years required.
All healthcare job roles will come with their own qualification and training requirements, so whether you’re looking for a job that doesn’t require extensive years of study, or whether you’re open to as many years as it takes, there’ll always be a suitable option for you.
2. Which Sector or Department Interests Me?
One great feature of the healthcare industry is that there are many different sectors, specializations, and roles to choose from. However, this can make it difficult to know which option is the best one for you or which field appeals to you the most.
That’s why it’s a good idea to do your research and narrow down your choices to find the best fit for you. It’s a good idea to think about your own personality and preferred working environment to pinpoint those roles that best allow for that.
For example, if you’re a great people person who would enjoy working within primary care for patients, you may want to consider a doctor or nurse’s role. If you like the idea of a working environment that allows you to care for the same patients throughout their whole life, you can then hone in on more specific roles, such as a Family Nurse Practitioner or undertaking DNP FNP programs online.
3. Which Other Key Skills Do I Possess?
Working in healthcare is a lot more than knowing your medical terminology. Other skills that are crucial for healthcare success include:
- Strong work ethic, as well as being able to work within a high-pressured environment
- Strong communication skills
- Being able to work within a team as well as independently
- Ability to deal with difficult situations (as some healthcare roles may require you to deal with long-term illness or death)
- Good organizational skills
4. Which Working Environment Appeals to Me the Most?
While you initially might think of a hospital when you think of healthcare-related jobs, there are many different working environments you can explore within the medical profession. Knowing the kind of environment you are interested in, or in which you would excel, can help you to make the best decision.
If you’d love to work in a hospital environment, then you have many roles and departments to choose from. Or, you may want the same on a smaller scale, such as a clinic. Some roles may require you to work within a non-medical related environment, such as a school if you are a school nurse, or you may want something completely different that allows you to travel, like working as a medical attendant for the military around the world.
Be sure to understand what environment would best suit your needs. This applies to those you will be working with, too. If you’d rather not work with children, then naturally, the prospect of a school nurse may not be the best one for you.
Moving into healthcare also doesn’t mean that you have to work on the frontline with patients all the time. Other roles can require less patient-to-patient contact, or you may prefer a more independent role like a laboratory assistant or researcher behind the scenes.
5. How Much Career Development Potential Do I Want?
Some healthcare fields will provide more progression potential than others and more future options. With roles such as a doctor or nurse, there are plenty of opportunities for learning more, specializations, and gaining further qualifications. However, other medical roles may not offer more future progression, so be sure to know what your career goals are in relation to that.
6. What About My Personal Life?
As a final consideration to make, thinking about the kind of personal life you would like — and how any chosen career can affect this — is key to job satisfaction, as well as a healthy work-life balance. You may have to make sacrifices in pursuing a career in the medical field (such as a long-hours and overtime), but it’s always worth it for your dream job.
You have to decide how you would best like your personal life to fit with your professional one, and whether you have any family members (like children) that you have to think about before pursuing a particular career option.