Making the decision to work in healthcare is both admirable and challenging. It is not a sector you should enter without giving it some real thought and consideration. Whether it is learning the pros and cons of healthcare work, the specifics of child and adult safeguarding or the various different nursing specialities you might be interested in, make sure you are well informed before you dive into a career in healthcare.
What training and education do you need?
Learn about the degrees and diplomas required for the job you are interested in. Some roles will require a significant investment of both time and money – make sure you are prepared for this commitment and consider how you are going to fund your studies. Some lower-skilled roles offer training on the job but again, this is an investment of time and will not happen overnight.
Are you suited to the healthcare industry?
A passion for helping others and good communication skills are essential for any role within the healthcare sector. You will need excellent interpersonal skills are you will likely be dealing with difficult people on a regular basis, and you require a great deal of patience. A strong work ethic is also vital because healthcare work can be very gruelling – sometimes it is a very fulfilling job but there are times when it will feel incredibly thankless. Are you responsible enough you have other peoples’ lives in your hand? Do you work well under pressure, or do you crumble?
What role is most suited to you?
What drives you? What has drawn you to healthcare? Where do your passions lie? There will be a role for you in the medical field, but you must identify it. Consider what speciality you want to work on – cardiology, paediatrics, phlebotomy, anaesthetics, gynaecology, the list goes on and on. Within each medical speciality, there are jobs are available for any level of education. Whether you just have a high school diploma or a graduate education, your dream job could be well within your reach.
Where do you want to work?
What kind of environment will you be comfortable working in? You might not be up to working in a hospice environment or you may not have the stomach to work in an operating room. If you want to work with children lol, then you should consider working in a paediatric office or at a school. Consider whether you have the patience and mentality to work in a nursing home. Perhaps your interpersonal skills are not where you shine, and you would be happier working in a lab or even a morgue where your day-to-day interactions are kept to a minimum.
How will this career impact your personal life long term?
Consider how your life will be impacted both while you are in school or completing training, and once you get the job. A lot of healthcare jobs will require you to work long hours, nights, and weekends.