Healthcare workers have a sworn duty to save a life, or to contribute to the diagnosis and recovery of an ailing patient. They go to great lengths to preserve the lives of people in dire situations.
At the front line in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare workers are highly commended for their commitment and strong resolve. This is a very fulfilling job for people who are empathic, caring, and who excel at staying focused despite the stress of working through emergencies.
Compelling Reasons Why You Need to Work in The Healthcare Sector
The healthcare sector is one of the most resilient, and if you decide to refocus your career in this industry, you won’t be disappointed with your prospects.
- Laddered and varied career specializations
Perhaps due to an increasing demand that the sector finds hard to fill, an individual can start a career in the healthcare sector right after high school, as a volunteer or an assistant. It may not be particularly high–paying, but it can give you a glimpse of what healthcare workers do on a daily basis. If you decide to advance your career, you can go back to school and complete college-level programs, depending on the requirements of the position you’re looking at.
The healthcare industry also offers a vast range of specializations. For instance, if you’re a radiologic technologist, you can attend trainings to specialize in cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography or sonography.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities provide opportunities for their employees to pursue advanced training and education if they want to develop their careers without losing their current positions. Healthcare workers have the option to switch to other positions if they change their mind about the career path they want to pursue, and many of these transfers can be easy to manage.
- Medical professionals can fit in a variety of work environments
The variety of settings and occupations in the healthcare industry allows healthcare workers to change their work environment without necessarily changing careers. Typically, medical professionals work in hospitals or doctor’s offices, but many also work in universities, insurance companies, public health agencies, laboratories, and other varied settings.
- Stable jobs and steady earnings
Medical and healthcare facilities are usually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is one of the major reasons why the industry needs a high number of workers on a full-time, part-time, or on-call basis. The majority of healthcare workers are full-time employees, often taking overtime due to the high demand for their services.
While the work can sometimes be demanding, the healthcare sector offers high paying medical careers, especially if one has a bachelor’s degree. Workers are usually noticed and rewarded with a promotion when they display commendable performance and ethics.
- Competitive benefits
Most employers nowadays offer good benefits as their way of attracting and retaining the best workers. That’s because of the growing demand and competition for qualified medical personnel. Paid sick time, vacation, vision care, life insurance, dental insurance, and health insurance are just some of the many benefits that employees in the healthcare industry can expect.
- Eligibility for various discount schemes
Medical careers are among the most respected jobs in the world. From workers who keep hospitals clean to doctors who perform life-saving operations on patients, healthcare professionals play a key role in improving the lives of everyone on the planet. It’s no wonder why many organizations show respect and thank them for what they’re doing by offering discount schemes. You can make good savings on your car insurance, clothing, and meals at restaurants, among many others things.
- There are positions for all educational levels
The healthcare sector offers numerous opportunities and positions for individuals who possess a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree or a specialized medical or nursing degree.
Most nurses start as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), where only a high school or a General Education Development (GED) diploma, six months of training, and state certification are needed. They can then move on to become a licensed practical nurse, or get ahead of others by advancing to get an Associate Nursing Diploma in two years, or a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in four.
For more opportunities and a much higher pay, registered nurses can get into a graduate program to advance as nurse practitioners – a specialty that can help them secure more in-demand jobs as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, certified nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists.
- There are also positions for all personality types
As already mentioned, healthcare offers an extensive selection of careers. Whatever the personality type you have, there’s something for you – from medical roles for individuals who don’t like blood to more demanding nursing jobs.
Consider a patient-facing position role like nursing if being around people makes you feel good. You can also put your planning skills to use by becoming a health information technician if you’re an organization genius. The sky is truly the limit when you’re searching for a healthcare career that perfectly matches your personality and interests.
- Self-fulfilling jobs that contribute to society
Working for the healthcare sector makes you a contributor to the well-being of society as a whole. It’s no question that the community is highly dependent on the healthcare sector to address their needs for hospital admissions, consultations, and other routine and emergency care.
If you’re a natural at helping people and if making them feel better gives you a “high”, then the healthcare sector is for you. Every working day, you will be facing or taking care of different types of people – typically patients and their families who are under immense emotional and psychological pressure. Besides the emotional component, nurses also need to assist patients physically, and administrative workers have to communicate with families, too. It can be a stressful and physically demanding job, but at the end of the day, the whole community is thankful for the hard work and dedication of healthcare workers.
Take the case of health workers working amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations from the private sector poured in once the hospitals alerted authorities of depleting physical protective equipment (PPE) supplies. After providing care to the community for several years, it has been society’s turn to give back.
- Stimulating work environment
Healthcare facilities, especially hospitals, are one of the busiest workplaces. Even if you’re not handling emergency cases round-the-clock, there are always plenty of things to do, especially if you’re a nurse.
Besides regularly checking up on patients, you need to review and analyze charts and convey valuable information to the doctor so that they can come up with an effective treatment plan.
Being in the healthcare sectors also allows you to stay updated on medical advancements and contribute to ongoing research.
- Great travel opportunities
As a healthcare professional, your skills and work are not limited to the state or country you are currently working in. As the demand for skilled workers globally continues to increase, so do the opportunities to travel to greener pastures.
In the United States, nursing salaries vary per state, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re a registered nurse who wants to relocate for various reasons, you can check out the employment status in your field to know what to expect.
If you want to travel the world while addressing the demands of the people in dire situations, you can go as a healthcare professional and apply to international nonprofit groups, such as Doctors Without Borders or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
- Flexible working hours
If you’re a parent or have other obligations but still need to work, the healthcare industry will be friendly to you. As healthcare and medical facilities are open at any time of the day (or night), working hours are never fixed at nine to five.
Apart from fulfilling your family duties during the day, you can also advance your education by studying during the day and working at night.
Some healthcare positions even allow employees to work remotely, thanks to flexible schedules and advancing technology. Assigning medical codes and submitting them can often be done by medical coders anywhere in the world. Medical transcriptionists can also translate abbreviations and check patient files for errors from home.
Non-patient-facing roles have become possible to carry out from home, thanks to how powerful internet technology has become. But are there work-from-home opportunities for healthcare jobs that require direct patient care? Yes, there are. In fact, because of roles like nursing case manager and nurse advocate, even registered nurses can now work remotely.
- Explosive industry growth
From 2016 to 2026, healthcare jobs will grow by 18%, as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a much faster rate compared to the average for all other occupations. Some of the fastest-growing medical professions are nurse practitioner, dental hygienist, home health aide, and physical therapist assistant.
As a healthcare worker, this means more career opportunities for you. The explosive growth of healthcare jobs also means you’ll find employment more easily compared to jobseekers in other industries.
The chances of medical professionals remaining employed is also much greater than other fields. This is largely due to an aging population’s and advances in medicine. In the US alone, the growth of the aging population is increasing at an extraordinary rate. This boosts demand for medical workers across the board.
The Affordable Care Act’s passage and implementation in the US also increased the demand for medical professionals. This health reform legislation provides medical insurance to millions more American citizens, which has not only revolutionized access to care, but created additional jobs for healthcare professionals.
5 Pathways in the Healthcare Profession
There are numerous opportunities and various specialties in the healthcare sector. The industry, though, is divided in five basic career pathways:
1. Diagnostic Services Pathway offers jobs that help identify a disease or condition by analyzing the health status of patients. This pathway includes workers who use tests to detect, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and other physical conditions, with the help of various medical tools and equipment. Radiologic or X-ray and ultrasound technicians, as well as cardiovascular and medical laboratory technicians, are few of the jobs in this category.
2. Therapeutic Services Pathways offers occupations that strive to improve the health status of a patient. Occupational and respiratory therapists, paramedics, pharmacists and registered nurses are few of the jobs under this category.
3. Support Services Pathway offers a wide range of jobs assignments that help keep the sector running. Support service employees are typically working behind the scenes. They’re the dietary technicians, biomedical equipment technicians, and hospital maintenance engineers, among other healthcare facility maintenance staff.
4. Health Informatics Pathway offers careers involving patient care documentation. It covers a wide variety of occupations, made up of people responsible for managing patient information, financial information, and computer applications related to health care. Roles include medical administrative assistant, nurse managers and healthcare administrators.
5. Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway offers careers that typically require a higher level of specialties aimed at using scientific and technical enhancements to improve diagnostic and therapeutic activities in health care. Toxicologists, biomedical engineers, and epidemiologist fall under this category.
High Paying and In-demand Jobs in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare sector is currently in need of these professionals, according to industry estimates:
1. Physician assistants: Average yearly wage of $108,610, expected to increase by 37%.
2. Nurse practitioners: Average yearly wage of $107,030, forecasted to increase by 36%.
3. Speech-language therapists: Average yearly annual wage of $77,510, presumed to increase by 18%.
4. Nurse anesthetists: Average yearly wage of $167,950, projected to grow by 16%.
5. Nuclear medicine technologists: Average yearly wage of $76,820, projected to grow by 10%.
The healthcare sector covers a wide-ranging set of career pathways that are quite flexible. Besides job security and a stable pay, working in the industry offers excellent opportunities for individuals who want to work even while pursing higher education or fulfilling personal and family obligations.
Because of the fast-paced environment and need for multi-tasking, working in the healthcare sector may be physical and mentally challenging, but at the end of the day, it can be highly fulfilling and rewarding, too.