Healthcare positions are some of the most rewarding and dependable when it comes to steady work and income. With this in mind, they can be the first choice for many individuals who have an avid interest in medicine, healthcare, and the treatment of patients.
While healthcare is a progressive and sturdy career choice, it is also not right for everybody. The stresses and demands of healthcare roles can often be too much for a lot of people, or else be a lot more demanding than you first might have considered.
That being said, the benefits of a healthcare career often outweigh what could be considered as the negatives. Long and demanding hours can be coped with when compared to the personal reward, the knowledge of helping patients in need, or simply working with a variety of interesting people daily.
Here is a guide you should consider if you are thinking about venturing into the healthcare industry as a long-term career option.
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Signs That a Career in Healthcare Could Be Right for You
If you are wondering whether a healthcare position would be suited for your own wants, needs, and personality, then here are some key signs that this may be a good career decision for you.
1. You are interested in career progression and opportunity
Healthcare is a prime example of how you find ample opportunity for a steady career that provides progression. As there are so many varied roles within healthcare, with each role usually requiring further learning, specialization, or adapting to circumstances, there is a lot of opportunity for progression. This is why a healthcare career can be very appealing to those career-oriented individuals who want to see a future for their working goals.
Many roles within healthcare, like becoming an FNP, allows for significant career development. This means in terms of your station, your salary, and your own expertise and qualifications.
2. You enjoy working with other people
Healthcare positions will see you on the frontlines with a variety of people. Not only will this be with patients, but this will also be with a large team of colleagues, too. This means that a liking to being around people and working with others is a key requirement for success on this career path.
For positions like being an FNP, you may also be required to liaise with the families of patients consistently, too, rather than just the patients themselves.
Some healthcare careers may require less interaction with others, such as working in a laboratory, but encountering other people is a key component of many healthcare roles.
3. You enjoy working to help other people
Not only do you enjoy working with others daily, but you also want to make it a key part of your job to help others, too. Healthcare careers are extremely rewarding for those who want to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Knowing that you are working daily to help your patients, and sometimes to help patients throughout their lives (as with an FNP role), can be a hugely gratifying benefit of working within healthcare.
4. You enjoy working as part of a dedicated team
The effective running of healthcare services and treatment of patients depends on a well-oiled machine. That is why teamwork and working successfully as colleagues are so important within healthcare settings. If you enjoy working as part of a team that supports each member and which encourages positive interaction and communication, then a healthcare setting is one example of how a dedicated team working together can make all the difference.
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5. You do not shy away from difficult situations, such as illness or death
There is always going to be difficulty and upset when working within healthcare due to the potential for life-altering illness or even death.
Some roles may even see you dealing with the struggles or death of a patient or family you have worked with and treated throughout their entire life, like when working as an FNP. This can make the situation even more difficult.
It takes a strong mind and heart to deal with that sort of situation, and you will know whether you can best handle that sort of environment.
6. You are interested in healthcare as a study
If you have a keen interest in science and healthcare as an educational subject and have always thrived in the subject throughout your education, then a healthcare career may naturally appeal to you. It can provide a place to explore your interests and your favorite scientific subjects.
You may also thrive in a research-type environment or think very logically, which is a huge boon when it comes to healthcare diagnoses and fundamental research.
7. You enjoy working in a fast-paced setting
Some individuals prefer a fast-paced and pressurized working environment, as opposed to a slow workday. Healthcare roles will see you working in a highly fast-paced setting, as well as often being within a pressurized environment.
If you can cope very well with pressure, and if you can thrive in a fast-paced work setting, then that is a good sign.
8. You like varied hours
While some healthcare positions may require more structured and regular working hours like 9-5, a lot of positions will see you working a variety of hours, including evenings, weekends, and perhaps even working on an on-call basis.
If you prefer to have a variety of hours to stay motivated rather than sticking to the same hours every single day, then an abundant amount of healthcare positions can offer a mix of working hours and expectations.
9. It is always appealed to you
Sometimes, you know those careers which most speak to you. If you are constantly thinking about a healthcare career, whether in a general sense or if there is any specific role that appeals to you, then this is one of the most important signs.
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Understanding Your Ideal Working Environment
If you are considering whether a healthcare career is right for you, it is important to understand better the kind of healthcare environment you would like to go into. After all, not all healthcare positions and job roles are the same, and while you may thrive within one environment, you may grow to resent another.
Therefore, important to think about what you would consider your ideal working environment.
Would you enjoy working within a hospital or clinic?
Would you prefer visiting patients in their own homes, like as a visiting FNP or a personal consult?
Perhaps the job role you have in mind sees you working behind the scenes, like within a laboratory, or organizing medication in a backroom dispensary.
It is important to think about how you would work best, and whether the working environment you are looking for matches up with the type of healthcare role you are considering.
Knowing the Type of Patients, You Would Like to Work With
Another factor to consider when thinking about healthcare job roles is the type of patient you would like to work with. This could be based on their ailment or injury or else based on another factor, such as age preference.
For example, if you love children and have always considered a healthcare career as a physician, then becoming a physician who specializes in the treatment of children could be the right choice for you.
Perhaps you like the idea of working on a more personal level with patients and a family of patients on a more long-term basis. This could mean that the role of an FNP is appealing to you.
If you have a keen interest in recovery and mental health, perhaps the type of patients you would like to deal with daily is those struggling with mental health issues, rather than physical ailments? In this case, the role of a therapist or psychologist may be one you have thought about, as opposed to a doctor or nurse.
Therefore, when considering the type of role which is best suited for you, it is also important to think about the type of patient you would like to be presented with.
What Would Be Your Healthcare Focus?
When you have considered the role itself, and the type of patient to work with, you may also want to consider any specific focus or specialization. Physicians and surgeons can attain very specific focuses for their roles, such as heart surgeon, a physician who deals with feet and legs, or those who operate on a consultant basis only.
Alternatively, you may be keen to gain a healthcare position which deals with the general treatment of all areas of the body and general health. An example of this could be a nurse or FNP who deals with the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of illnesses and injuries.
It’s key to think about this so that you can learn more about any specialization that may be of interest to you and put your time and energy into learning more about specific areas of the body.
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Career Progression: Are You Looking for One Role to Maintain, or Would You Like to Gain More Qualifications and Experience?
While there’s always progression available for most healthcare positions, that doesn’t mean that you’re interested in long-term progression or extra responsibilities. You might be eager to reach the top of your field, or maybe even specialize in a variety of different areas, or perhaps you’re content to work one role which you’re passionate about, without any need for further development of responsibility.
Therefore, a good idea to consider the roles which offer the most progression, and those with limited progression, to compare. Roles like doctors and nurses can provide further training and qualifications, like physician specializations or becoming an FNP and earning a master’s.
Other roles within a healthcare setting may offer less progression, such as clinical or admin staff.
What you are looking for depends very much on your personal circumstances and wants, as well as your long-term career goals.
What Is Your Salary Needs or Expectations?
When considering your desired role or potential progression, it is also important to think about your salary needs, and especially for the long-term. A certain salary may be perfectly suited for the moment, but if you’re going to need a larger salary in the future within a role that offers no progression or pay rise, then it may be a good idea to consider alternative roles.
Salary research is key when deciding whether a healthcare career is right for you.
Physicians and surgeons at the top of their fields can earn an average of up to $208,000 a year, as an example of the biggest earning healthcare roles. However, it takes a lot of time, education, training, and dedication to get to a top-level which will earn you more money.
Therefore, instead of simply focusing on the highest earners and making a choice based on the most steady income, you also need to understand the amount of time it will take for you to train and develop within those specific roles — and whether that time-frame is something you can comfortably commit to.
In any career, there are many factors to consider before deciding. This preparation is even more crucial when it comes to a healthcare career, due to the extensive amount of time needed to learn, train and develop — sometimes for several years before you can officially begin practicing in your chosen field. Some training and further qualifications may be able to be attained whilst already working within your role, such as working as a nurse while studying to become an FNP, while others will require official qualifications and training before you can begin any role within a healthcare setting.
In summary, it is important to consider:
- Whether the signs that a healthcare career is the right choice speak on a personal and professional level to you and your own goals
- What kind of healthcare role appeals to you the most
- Your ideal working environment
- Your ideal salary and training expectations.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)