How to seek a Career in Healthcare Industry
If there's anything that's stood out in the aftermath of the great recession, it's the resilience of the healthcare sector. While most other industries are still reeling under its impact, healthcare vertical continues to grow from strength to strength.
Add to that an increase in demand for healthcare professionals owing to the growing number of older people in the country, changes in health insurance regulations, and advancement in medical technologies, it's only natural that healthcare has emerged as one of the top career choices for many individuals.
Whether you're on the brink of starting a new profession or looking to make a switch from an existing job, if you have your eyes and heart set on joining the healthcare vertical, here are a few pointers that may help you seek a career in this industry:
Think beyond nursing:
While nursing is and will continue to be one of the frontline healthcare professions, know that it's not your only option. There are hundreds of other healthcare professions that you can consider. Some involve direct patient care, while others may not even require you to step inside a hospital. It might be a good idea to do some research and find out all your options, so you can make an educated and informed decision.
Choosing a career is an exercise in self-discovery. Like mentioned above, there are tons of healthcare careers out there and not all of them involve hands-on patient care. Before you start looking for a suitable profession, try and figure out if direct patient care is for you. There's no shame in admitting that dealing with sickness and injury on a day-to-day basis is not your cup of tea. It doesn't make you any less capable. It just means you are better suited for a role that's a little less in your face.
Assess your strengths:
Deciding whether you want to work directly with patients or not is only half the job done so far as seeking a healthcare career is concerned. The remaining half requires you to analyze your strengths and personal attributes. Do you have good analytical and mathematical skills and enjoy working with technology? Then medical billing training will put you on the path to a successful career in medical records and health information discipline. If you are a great people's person and can boast of excellent interpersonal skills, then a career in medical assistance may be a perfect fit for you.
Find healthcare schools:
Many of us believe, wrongly, that becoming a healthcare professional requires spending many, many years in college. The truth is far from it. While healthcare specialists like physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, physician assistants require doctoral or advanced professional degrees, there are a whole lot of occupations that don't require extensive schooling. For example, medical transcription training at a vocational school can be completed in less than a year's time. A two-year Associate degree is usually the standard credential for occupations like X-ray tech, respiratory therapists, dental hygienist, etc.
I cannot stress enough the importance of networking if you are seeking a career in healthcare. It's important to meet the right people and be seen at the right places real as well as virtual. Become a member of online communities for healthcare professionals; connect with people from the industry on social and professional networking sites; volunteer at your local healthcare center; see if you can get invited to seminars and conferences related to your profession. The more people you meet, the more you're likely to learn about your industry, and the brighter will be your career prospects!