We all want to find a rewarding, challenging job. Most importantly, we all want something that we can see ourselves doing for the foreseeable future. For many of us, this means looking for a career change. With advances in technology and great growth opportunities, healthcare is one field to explore. However, switching careers isn’t always straightforward.
You may ask yourself, what are the benefits of changing career fields at this stage in my life? Am I really cut out to do something different? And what would switching career fields even look like in real life? Moreover, if you don’t have a background in healthcare, it may seem like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be so.
For example, according to nursing statistics from Elmhurst University, there’s a national nursing shortage. This means that the opportunities for nurses are great. Moreover, with just a bit of information, you’ll gain new insights that will help you reflect on a career change. The reality is that information is power, and the more you know, the easier something becomes. So, let’s start with seven reasons why a career change to healthcare is perfect for you. Later in this post, we’ll discuss the skills you should develop for a successful healthcare career.
- Healthcare jobs are growing and will continue to do so
Healthcare is one of the few industries projected to grow in the coming years. Several reasons exist for this opportunity. For one, as the population of seniors increases, the demand for healthcare services will also increase. Also, as technology improves and develops, more opportunities exist for jobs in healthcare. So, you can expect a lot of job growth in fields such as nursing, senior care, and other areas. Additionally, as technology and biomedicine improve, expect healthcare jobs to become more in demand.
- You’re tired of your current job and you want something more
Perhaps you’re tired of your current job, or you just don’t feel like it’s challenging you enough. Whatever the reason, switching careers to healthcare is an excellent option. This is especially true for those who feel unfulfilled in their current roles. In fact, many people who switch to nursing, for example, have worked in other fields previously. Healthcare provides challenges and constant changes, which always offers something new to learn. Also, there’s a great demand for healthcare professionals. As a result, organizations offering these jobs are more likely to hire someone eager to learn and start in a new field. Remember, your career experience brings with it transferable skills.
- You want to make a difference in the world
While many jobs allow you to impact the world, a healthcare career makes a big difference. For example, the sheer size of the healthcare population means that your impact is much more significant as a healthcare worker. As we know, people have had to deal with illness and injury since the beginning of civilization. This will be the case as long as humans live. For the most part, to ensure our health, we rely on others to help us. Even as technology advances, healthcare providers are still critical to keeping people healthy. In fact, their work is getting more specialized and precise. This means that the world needs healthcare professionals who not only care about impact but also want to learn and develop in the technology age.
- Healthcare is always at the forefront of technology and innovation
Healthcare is regarded as a leading industry. This is because it’s always at the forefront of technology and innovation. Whether it’s new medical breakthroughs or technology to improve how we care for patients, the healthcare industry never ceases to amaze with what it comes up with next. For example, look no further than what happened with the vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rise of technology and an emphasis on patient satisfaction, there has never been a better time to consider changing career fields to become a healthcare worker. If you’re someone who craves new challenges and is excited by the idea of working in an area that is constantly changing, then it’s a great career choice for you.
- There is a shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals
As a result of the pandemic, there is a shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals. Although this could be cause for concern, it also means that employers are eager to find people with the skills to fill these roles. The reality is that globally, we’ve passed through the worst of the pandemic. So, if you want to make a change but you’re concerned about competition for certain positions, you could be just what the doctor ordered. While nursing is the most sought-after career in healthcare, there are still other fields with a shortage of workers. If you have the skills and are willing to learn, you could get hired very quickly.
- It’s easy to transfer your skills to any number of jobs in healthcare
Healthcare jobs are often open to people with transferable skills. This means that if you’ve worked in another field, then you may be able to transfer your skills to a healthcare job. For example, many medical laboratory technicians have backgrounds in biology, chemistry, or other related fields. For them, that makes it easy to switch to this profession. If you’re in a different job and thinking about changing careers, it’s essential to look at your skills and how you can use them in healthcare. Perhaps you’ve got experience in technology, or maybe you’ve worked in management. Your skills could transfer to healthcare.
- It’s more stable than other professions
As previously mentioned, healthcare is always at the forefront of technology, innovation and research. As a result, it’s also very stable. This means that the world needs healthcare workers, regardless of economic downturns or other factors that may affect other industries. In fact, the healthcare sector is one of the most stable in the country. So, healthcare may be the best choice if you seek stability in a career. Moreover, it allows you to provide well for yourself and your family. Depending on your choice of healthcare career path, you may earn an average salary in the six figures.
When you work in healthcare, you generally know that your job is there for you now – and in the future. That’s not always the case in other industries, where jobs can be outsourced or downsized. Also, you have a great deal of control over your healthcare career path. For example, if you move from one state to another, you can usually continue your career path without missing a beat. Or, if you would like to work in management, you could gain experience, earn any necessary degree, and become a leader in your field. You can also use your skills to advance the field as a whole as healthcare is an industry that’s so expansive.
As we’ve mentioned, the healthcare industry is growing and will continue to grow in the future. If you decide to make a career change, the chances are high that you’ll find lots of opportunities. Many jobs are available in the healthcare industry. For instance, you can find roles at hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and various other places. Furthermore, there are numerous different roles within the healthcare field. For example, you might decide after 10 years to move to become an administrative nurse. It’s not unheard of to meet a nurse who eventually decides to become a doctor. So, it doesn’t mean that if you start as a nurse, your career won’t include another career change.
General advice for people wanting to go into a healthcare career
Now that we’ve explored the reasons why you should make a career change into healthcare, let’s discuss what you should know and the skills you should develop. For one, before going into a healthcare career, you should decide what healthcare job you want. Ultimately, it depends on your interests and skills. While many people go into this field due to the desire to help others, healthcare is demanding work. So, you want to be clear about what’s of interest to you.
Many workers regularly experience stress and may be exposed to infectious diseases or bodily fluids. However, some people might not like working with patients. So, an alternative is to go into research or administration in the healthcare industry. A good piece of advice for people who want to go into a healthcare career is to start by volunteering or pursuing a part-time job in their field of interest. Doing so allows you to gain hands-on experience while also seeing what the actual job is like in real life.
Also, you can sign up for classes or other healthcare-related activities that may help you develop specific skills. For example, you could take a CPR course, attend a medical conference, or read about various healthcare topics. The more you learn, the better it is for you as you consider your career change. What else should you know? Well, how about which skills you should develop? The remainder of this post addresses the skills to develop for a career change in healthcare.
Develop the skills that are most important for your desired career path
As mentioned above, there are many different skills you can develop within healthcare. However, it’s crucial to prioritize the most important ones for your desired career path. For example, to become a doctor, you’ll want to focus on developing your medical knowledge and expertise. To become a speech pathologist, you’ll want to focus on growing your communication skills. So, creating a skills inventory is one way to determine which skills are most important for your desired career path. Start by listing all the skills you have right now and the ones you want to possess. After completing this inventory, rank the skills based on their importance to your desired career path. You can then develop the skills where you need to improve.
Become an expert in patient care and treatment
Let’s say that you want to make a career change and work with patients. In that case, healthcare workers regularly come into contact with people who are sick, injured, or otherwise in need of assistance. They also periodically interact with healthy people who should be vaccinated or tested. Therefore, you’ll need to become an expert in your area of medicine. For instance, you’ll need to learn about different health conditions and treatments that people need. You can develop your medical knowledge by returning to school to get a medical degree. You can also add to your learning by reading about various healthcare topics in books or online. Take specific classes related to particular health conditions or shadow a healthcare worker. You will probably want to specialize in one or two health conditions to become an expert.
Learn how to communicate effectively with patients
Communication is essential for healthcare workers as they regularly interact with patients of all ages and backgrounds. This can include communicating with patients who speak a different language from you. Or it could mean communicating with patients with limited mobility or patients experiencing cognitive impairment. You can develop your communication skills by learning about various types of communication. For example, you could learn about persuasive, empathetic or medical communication. You can also sign up for classes or reading materials related to these topics. Most importantly, you should regularly practice these skills with others to become an expert in them.
Develop your technology skills
It isn’t likely that you will ever operate in a field that doesn’t involve technology in some way. This is especially true in the healthcare industry. Depending on the type of healthcare job you wish to enter, you’ll likely need specific technical skills. For example, if you want to become a medical doctor, then you should have a working knowledge of the latest medical technology. However, if you hope to become a psychologist, then you likely won’t need a working knowledge of the latest medical technology. Still, a few technology skills are essential for everyone to have. These include a basic understanding of computer software (such as word processing and communication software). Also, you should know how to navigate the internet and use online data and information sources.
Increase your physical and mental strength
Healthcare professionals are expected to handle a significant amount of stress. Therefore, you should stay calm even when things are hectic around you. This is especially important if you plan to work in the medical field. When you’re a healthcare professional, you may have to work long hours. This can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Therefore, it’s important that you’re physically and mentally prepared for this type of work. If you want to increase your mental and physical strength, then it’s essential to stay healthy and exercise regularly.
Improve your team-building skills
Healthcare professionals often work in teams. Therefore, you should become familiar with teamwork and team building. Team building involves the following:
- Understanding the different types of groups that exist.
- Knowing how to form various types of teams.
- Learning how to function in every kind of team.
- Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
- Understanding how to improve your team when necessary.
To develop your team-building skills even further, you can do some of the following:
- Participate in team-building activities: By participating in team-building activities, you can get to know people in your field. This can help you to form relationships and strengthen bonds with others in your field.
- Take on leadership roles: Taking on leadership roles can help you to develop your leadership skills and also help you to understand what it feels like to lead a team.
- Develop communication skills: Communication skills are essential when building and leading a team. Communication skills help you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. Moreover, it allows you to communicate effectively with them.
Healthcare: a great choice for a career change
Healthcare is constantly evolving, but it’s also always in need of new talent. With new technology, breakthroughs in research, and an aging population, healthcare jobs are expected to grow even more in the coming years. Whether you seek to make a difference in the world or want a stable career, healthcare is an excellent option. It’s a vital industry that employs millions of people across the globe. In addition, it’s a stable industry that pays well.
Healthcare workers can also get some of the best benefits in the business. For example, as a member of the field, they get to know the best professionals and treatments. Moreover, if you work for a large institution, you might earn a high salary. And as you approach retirement, you may place yourself on track to retire with a six-figure pension. So, healthcare may be your best choice if you want a stable career and good benefits.