10 Reasons to Consider a Career in Healthcare
By Isabella Cooke
Are you considering a career in healthcare? If so, you’re on the right path. For one, healthcare is among the fastest growing industries right now. A career in the medical field can be very rewarding, both professionally and emotionally. But, working in this sector requires a lot of hard work and commitment. That's why you really have to prepare yourself mentally and physically before you even begin to think about joining the industry.
Healthcare workers are essential not just for the community, but life in general. If health is wealth, then healthcare workers are the guardians who watch over that wealth. Every day, more people grow old, more babies are born, and more diseases threaten human lives. These conditions underscore the need for more healthcare workers.
Is a Healthcare Career Right for You?
You must do some soul-searching before you even consider joining the ranks of the medical field. Here are some things to consider:
- Are you willing to put the lives of others ahead of your own?
The best healthcare workers are committed to serve other people. Being accountable for the health and life of other people entails a lot of responsibilities. It goes way beyond the hospital walls as well.
- Are you prepared for a career that requires lifelong learning?
As a medical practitioner, you need to constantly study. You need to keep abreast with the latest medical technologies if you’re to serve others effectively.
- Are you all right with working long shifts and sleepless nights?
While this may not apply to all workers in the medical field, the industry is known for demanding and long work hours. This is particularly true if you work in a hospital and in the emergency unit.
- Are you a team player?
If you watch any of the movies or TV shows that focus on medical themes, you would know that saving the lives and taking care of patients require teamwork. Doctors, nurses, orderlies, and even hospital administrators work together as a unit to make sure no patient dies in their care. This is true even in real-life settings. In short, effective healthcare largely relies on teamwork and collaboration.
If you answered yes to all the questions above, then you'll fit in nicely in healthcare. You're not only built for this industry. You'll definitely enjoy working in it too.
Before You Begin Planning Your Career
Indeed, deciding on a career in this industry is not just about yourself, but also about the health and safety of the people in your community. With the pandemic going on right now, there has never been a more exciting time to join the medical field. Demand for healthcare workers will be at an all-time high, and the opportunities will be inexhaustible.
It's a good idea to have a strong motivation to help you stay focused as you study to become a healthcare worker. The choice must be made by you and you alone. Don’t join the medical industry just because your parents told you or because you have a friend or family member who works in healthcare. Basing your decision on what other people tell you can end in regrets later on. You need to have a strong reason or motive to work in the medical field if you’re to succeed in your career.
Different Medical Fields
Thanks in part to how healthcare is portrayed in movies and television shows, most people think about this industry as something limited to just doctors and nurses wearing stethoscopes around their necks.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. If you read any guide to healthcare careers, you’ll know that the medical industry is made up of many different categories and fields. There are literally hundreds of job types within this industry.
Here are some examples:
- Administration – Program managers, clinical administrators, medical secretaries
- Allied health specialists – Podiatrists, speech pathologists, optometrists
- Animal health specialists – Veterinarians, veterinary nurses
- Dental care specialists – Dentists, dental assistants
- Health therapists – Traditional medicine practitioners, chiropractors
- Mental health professionals
- Medical research scientists
- Nutritionists and dieticians
Even the field of nursing is subdivided into several categories that continually have open positions, such as:
- Clinical nurse
- Nursing assistant
- Nurse educator
- Nurse researcher
- Nurse manager
- Nurse practitioner
- Registered nurse
The list goes on and on. The point is, you’ll have a lot of choices which medical field to specialize in. You don't need to worry much about competition in your career because the industry is a wide ocean.
Why a Career in Healthcare Is Best for You
1. Job Security
Compared with other sectors, the health industry actually retains jobs longer. As a healthcare professional, you can expect a far more secured job compared with workers outside the industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life will always require healthcare. This is the reason doctors, nurses, and other allied medical fields never have trouble looking for jobs. Aside from good pay rates, you can enjoy security of tenure.
Healthcare professionals can work anywhere. As long as you finish an accredited program to become a healthcare worker, you can apply anywhere. This is true not just in the U.S., but for other countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as well.
A good example would be the thousands of nurses who leave their home countries to work in other countries that have a demand for their skills. A career in healthcare can take you anywhere you like to live in and at the work setting you desire.
3. High Demand
The aging population, the thousands of babies being born every single day, and. of course, situations like the pandemic right now are just a few of the factors that drive the demand for healthcare workers. Working for a high-demand industry has its perks. You get better pay and more opportunities to move to the top of the career ladder.
4. Room for Growth
The medical field is a big industry, and it continues to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the healthcare industry will be the fastest growing employment sector, adding over 2 million jobs from 2019 to 2029.
In short, there will be a lot of room to grow in, and there are many directions that you can take to move ahead in your career. You can specialize in childcare, geriatrics, psychiatry, and just about every field related to every organ in the human body. Healthcare industry requires a vast number of skills, and you’ll not have a hard time finding which one most interests you. The only question is: Are you willing to study?
5. Lucrative Industry
Let's address the elephant in the room here: money. With average rates going anywhere from US$15 to US$50 per hour and depending on work experience, healthcare workers enjoy higher salary compared with those in other professions. The medical field is a lucrative line of work. So, yes, money is quite a powerful motivation for people considering a career in healthcare.
No reason to feel guilty about it. Remember, when all is said and done, healthcare workers care for the sick and the dying, and they’re also the first responders during emergencies.It's just as well that they get paid with the salary that they deserve.
6. Various Educational and Training Programs Available
One good thing about the industry is that there are many types of programs or educational plans that lead to healthcare employment. True, jobs for doctors and other specialists may require anywhere from 8 to 12 years of studies after graduating from high school. But, there are also healthcare positions that only require training of no more than two years at the local community college.
In the field of nursing, for instance, you can start off working as a registered nurse (RN) and then take on further studies to attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The bachelor's degree can take four years of study, but also provide you with wider career opportunities when you graduate. Sites like RNtoBSNProgram.com can help registered nurses find the right program if they plan to obtain a BSN degree.
7. Scholarships are Widely Available
Healthcare workers are essential. Educational institutions, the government, and society in general understand this. That's why there are many government-funded and employer-funded scholarship programs available to help deserving individuals train or study to become medical workers. From community colleges to universities, benefactors are sponsoring courses to advance medical education and nurture the next generation of healthcare workers.
With that in mind, you don’t have to spend at all for your healthcare-related education. All you have to do is inquire at your community college, or do a search online and qualify for the scholarship programs being offered.
8. Tuition Reimbursement Programs
Let's say you didn't qualify for any scholarship, and you did pay for your medical education. If you work in a hospital, you can check with HR if your employer offers tuition reimbursement.
Many hospitals and medical facilities offer this arrangement to encourage their workers to take on further studies and improve their skills for higher positions. Like organizations in other industries, hospitals know that it’s more cost-effective to promote existing employees than to hire new ones. A reimbursement program typically works by paying you back the money you spent taking classes to attain a degree related to healthcare services.
On your end, you just have to make sure to join the healthcare profession at the most basic level, develop your profession or climb the ladder by taking up courses, and then ask for reimbursement from your medical employer. How's that for professional advancement?
A career in healthcare will literally open up various opportunities for you for free. Just remember to keep pertinent documents to show proof of the course you're taking and the expenses you've made.
9. Making a Difference in People's Lives
Few careers fit perfectly with people who have altruistic principles in life. If money is not the end-all and be-all for you, then you'll be right at home in healthcare services.
Working in healthcare is a noble profession. Besides the money you earn, you can make a tangible difference in people's lives. Many will depend on you for their safety and health. You’ll be involved in saving and prolonging the life of your patients.
All things considered, a healthcare career gives you a sense of personal fulfillment, not just financial benefits. That should be a strong enough motivation to consider a career in the healthcare industry.
10. Never a Dull Day
If the prospect of sitting in a chair in front of a desk and pushing pens or computer keys all day is your idea of a nightmarish job, you're not alone. Boredom at work can weigh down on anyone mentally and physically.
Good thing there is this industry where workers are always on their toes. There are no boring days in healthcare because it's always full of challenges. This is particularly true for frontline hospital services where the medical workers directly deal with patients. The life or death of their patients is in their hands. There is no room for error or slacking off.
If you want a fast-paced working environment that never runs out of challenges, then you need to consider a career in healthcare. For healthcare workers, the only easy day was yesterday, just like for the Navy SEALS.
With all the fields and categories under healthcare, you may feel overwhelmed with choices, and you may find it hard to decide which one to focus on. When considering a career in healthcare, think first of the general pathway you want. For example, do you plan on working in healthcare administration, research, or in the hospital where the action is?
After considering which field to follow, only then should you zero in on the specific job or career option to take. Let's say you’ve decided on becoming a nurse, the next step should be to decide what kind of field in nursing you want to follow. Do you want to be a clinical nurse or registered nurse?
Getting into a healthcare career requires a lot of thinking and planning. After all, it's a career that you’ll be deciding on, not just a stint. This is something that you'll be doing every day for years to come. Having a strong motivation to join the medical field should see you through as you take up courses and learn the ropes.
About the author - Isabella Cooke
With more than ten years of experience in the blogging industry, Isabella Cooke has successfully gained the loyalty of thousands of readers worldwide because of her high-quality content on business and wellness. Isabella regularly publishes content that covers a wide variety of topics about these niches.