How to Plan for a Career in Healthcare
Careers in healthcare are widely regarded as some of the most satisfying and fulfilling ways to earn an income. Depending on the route you take, you can earn money doing something you love, with the knowledge that you’re actively making the world a better place to guide you. Of course, with all the benefits of a healthcare career, there are various challenges to think about too. Many in this sector are more likely to experience issues with burnout, and you need to be willing to commit to quite a long education before you’re successful in your space. Fortunately, you can avoid some of the common issues many have with healthcare careers, by taking the time to plan your future. Here’s what you need to think about.
Know Your Options
The first step in planning a successful career is knowing what kind of job opportunities might await you. The space is extremely broad, which means you’re not limited to simply becoming a doctor or a nurse. There are a huge variety of angles to explore, from becoming a home health aide, to pharmacists to vet technicians, and even research roles. If you’re not sure exactly where you want to get started in this industry, but you know that a career in health interests you, ask yourself about the other things you enjoy, or the talents you have. If you’re interested in health and futuristic tech, you could have a great career training people how to use VR tools for surgery simulations. If you like the idea of helping people with their mental health and you have a good mind for creative feedback, you might be able to thrive as a psychologist.
Seek Out Your Education
A healthcare career of any kind will usually require a specific education. You’ll need to determine exactly what education you need to begin with before you can start looking for things like a funding opportunity, and how you’re going to pay for your bills while getting your education. These days, there are student loans available for virtually every situation. In some cases, you may also be able to take certain medical degrees and courses part-time, while also working in a part-time job.
This can be a good option if you want to be able to contribute to your household while gaining a certification as a nurse or a phlebotomist, for instance. Once you’ve received your high-school diploma, you can decide whether you want to stick to an entry-level healthcare role, like an orderly, or a pharmacy technician, or you want to move onto something more specific with an associate’s degree, or master’s degree. The more time you spend on your education, the more you’ll need to pay.
Look for Ways to Build Experience
Once you’ve got a good idea of the education you’re going to need, and you’re working your way towards the relevant certifications or degrees, the next step is building your experience in your chosen field. Most degrees will come with practical opportunities to start working on your abilities in a clinical setting, but it helps to look at other options too.
You might find it helpful to spend some time shadowing someone in a similar position to you at a local hospital or healthcare facility. This is an excellent way to start learning more about the industry and the details of the job you’re going to apply for. It’s also a good way to ask questions, and make sure this is the role you really want. The more experience you gain, the more likely you’ll be able to stand out when applying for entry-level jobs and potential roles in your specific segment of healthcare. You can even think about asking someone to be your mentor and help guide you through your career.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that succeeding with a career in health isn’t just about having the right technical skills. You also need to have a high level of mental fortitude and grit. Ultimately, this sector can be extremely rewarding, but it can be stressful and emotional too. Developing a thick skin, knowing how to take feedback, and being able to separate your work and personal lives will all be important to ensuring your success in the long-term. It might be helpful to start building a network of people around you who can help to keep you strong during times of stress. Your personal network and your professional network will give you the extra support you need to continue thriving in your role.
A career in health can be a wonderful thing, but it has a fair share of challenges to consider. If you’re going to be taking this route in your life, it’s worth taking some time to make sure you have the right plan in place. This plan will help to guide you when you lose your way.