ExecutiveChronicles | How To Prepare For A Career In Healthcare | It’s no great secret that the healthcare industry is booming. No wonder everyone wants a career in this field. Its growth is 6-8% yearly, it’s recession-proof, and many of us like helping others.
A healthcare career is a rewarding pursuit that many Americans choose to take. Not only does it provide the opportunity for an impactful job and to help people, but it also provides a secure job with high chances of promotion.
You may be considering a career in healthcare because of its high-paying potential or because you have a passion for helping others. Whatever your reasons for choosing this field, there are some steps you can take to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled some tips on how to prepare for a healthcare career:
Prepare to fund
While there are many different paths one can take when pursuing a career in healthcare, there is one thing they all have in common — money. Whether it’s paying for school or paying off student loans after graduation, money is an issue for all who enter the field of medicine.
Business loans for medical professionals can be used by students who want to further their education after graduating from high school or college by attending graduate school or earning a postgraduate certificate or diploma from an accredited college or university.
If you’re looking at medical school as your first step into healthcare, your best bet is to get into an accredited program that offers financial aid or scholarships through grants or loans.
Get your degree
As with any career, obtaining the right education is important before pursuing your dream job. When it comes to health care, this means obtaining an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). An associate’s degree program will generally take two years to complete, whereas a bachelor’s degree program will take four years. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to earn both degrees within three years.
Get experience working with patients or clients
Working as an assistant at a doctor’s office or hospital can help provide some experience handling patients with special needs or concerns about their health care options. This type of hands-on experience may help prepare you for working directly with patients in other settings and give you insight into the various jobs available within this field of work.
Keep up with industry trends
Healthcare careers require lifelong learning. To keep up with industry trends, consider taking continuing education courses and certifications through organizations like the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
Stay current on the latest advancements in treatment options and technology so that you can provide your patients with the best care possible. Make sure that any licenses or certifications you have are still valid as well. If not, then consider renewing them or getting new ones as needed.
Finding someone who can serve as your mentor throughout your education and training is important. A mentor can help guide you through the process of learning about healthcare careers, choosing the right programs, and understanding what it takes to succeed in the field. They can also provide advice based on their experience in healthcare and related fields.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses
Determine what areas of study or training appeal to you most and focus on those areas when seeking out programs that interest you most. Also, think about what skills you have or can develop that could be useful in healthcare careers, such as writing skills or computer programming ability (these skills don’t just apply to doctors).
Make connections in your field
The healthcare industry is massive—numerous job opportunities exist with companies of all sizes across multiple industries and locations. Connect with people who work in healthcare so that when it comes time for you to apply for jobs, you’ll have a network of contacts that can help introduce you to employers or provide insight into what they’re looking for from applicants.
Get involved in community service projects
Volunteering is another great way to connect with other professionals who share your passion for helping others and may be able to provide valuable insights about their jobs and ask questions about what it takes to get there and how much they enjoy it. They could also give you networking opportunities down the road when it comes time for job searches or interviews.
With an aging population and increasing job opportunities, the healthcare industry will continue to be a necessary part of our daily lives. No matter what specialty you are interested in, it is important to be prepared for your career. Starting with a general education of prerequisites and keeping yourself informed about the latest trends in healthcare will keep your career interests at the forefront of your pursuits. Good study habits paired with hard work and the willingness to go above and beyond will set you up for success as a healthcare professional.