A healthcare career can be an incredibly rewarding yet demanding vocation, which is why the industry isn’t right for everyone. For this reason, you must aim to make a full and informed decision before working your way towards an occupation in a medical field. If you want to feel 100% confident that the industry is right for your personality and skillset, here are seven factors to consider before embarking in a healthcare career in 2019.
1. Your Career Motivation
Carefully consider the motivation behind your dream career. For example, do you want to embark on a role to help others? Are you looking for a varied career in a flourishing industry? Both are great reasons to enter medicine.
However, if you want to secure a position to solely enjoy a superb income every month, it might not be the best industry for you. To enjoy great success in healthcare, you need to be a compassionate, hard-working professional, who wakes up every day with the intention of improving your patients’ quality of life.
While various healthcare roles can often be lucrative, they also come with intense pressure and stress, and will require great commitment and endurance; hence the substantial salary attached to a role.
2. Educational Requirements
While the healthcare industry offers many roles for people with no medical experience or limited education, there are, of course, many careers that will require you to possess a specific degree, diploma or certified training certificate.
For example, to become a physician, you will need to devote up to 15 years to school and training. Thankfully, there are many other clinical roles that don’t require decades of training, such as a family nurse practitioner. If this sounds like an ideal career for you, find out more about an online MSN FNP program, which you can complete within 32 months.
3. Your Skills and Strengths
Different healthcare careers will require different personality traits and skill sets. However, there are many common attributes that most dedicated healthcare professionals possess on some level. For example, many will have:
- Superb communication and interpersonal skills
- Compassion and empathy
- A strong work ethic
- A mathematical and technical capacity
It is important to possess all the above. After all, a patient will rely on you for support, advice, and direction to improve their quality of life. What’s more, you must be capable of adapting your communication skills; for example, you will need to be able to professionally and clearly communicate with your colleagues, while displaying understanding and empathy towards your patients.
You also must love to learn new things each day, which will help you to flourish throughout your career, as the industry is constantly evolving due to new procedures, innovative treatments, and the development of various diseases.
4. The Best Role for You
If you have your heart set on a career in healthcare, there will be a role for you within the medical field, but it is up to you to find it. For example, if you want to work in cardiology, there are several occupations to seriously consider, such as:
- A cardiologist
- Cardiac nurse
- Cardiac perfusionist
- Cardiovascular technician
Every medical specialty offers careers for various levels of education and experience, from a high school diploma to a graduate education.
5. The Right Professional Setting
If a hospital is seemingly too large, cold or demanding, a career as a hospital nurse or surgeon might not be your calling. If you are overly-emotional, you also might not enjoy working in a hospice environment, as you will need to serve as a source of strength and support for a patient’s final days.
If so, you could enjoy a rewarding career as a nurse at either a school or a paediatric office, as you will unlikely deal with serious illnesses or work in a large, demanding environment. If you love medicine and dream of helping others, but you don’t have strong interpersonal skills, then you might better suited to a career as a microbiologist in a laboratory.
6. Work/Life Balance
It is crucial to consider how a career will impact your family and personal life. If you dream of pursuing a career in healthcare, you must accept the many daily realities attached to the role, such as long working hours and irregular shift patterns.
For example, if your goal is to become a doctor, expect many years of training. Once you do land your dream role, you might be required to work nights and during weekends, as you could be on call. As a result, the career could interfere with your personal life from time to time.
It is important to make an informed choice before investing your time, energy and money into obtaining a new career. Consider what you would like your lifestyle to look like in five or ten years’ time, which you should weigh against the reality of a potential healthcare profession.
7. The Financial Cost Attached to a Career
Most healthcare occupations are a financial investment in your future, as both studying and training can cost a considerable amount of money. For this reason, you must seriously consider how you will fund your dream role.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How will you pay for tuition?
- Will you take out a student tuition loan?
- Will you work while studying?
- Will you study on a part- or full-time basis?
- How will fund your living costs?
Of course, while various educational and training requirements can be expensive, they can help you to secure your dream career and, as a result, a greater annual salary in the future.
A career in healthcare is not for the fainthearted. If you want to improve the lives of others every single day, and have compassion, a hard work ethic and excellent communication skills, there will be a career in healthcare for you. However, carefully consider the many hundreds of roles within the industry to ensure you select the right occupation for your needs and personality.