The healthcare industry is one of the largest and arguably most important industries that there is out there. Health is a broad definition with a range of factors and encompasses various professions and careers. If you’ve been playing around with the idea of pursuing a career in health, then you should continue reading to find out how you can go about it.
Do Your Research
To start with, if you want to pursue a career in health, it’s always advisable that you first do an adequate amount of research. If you’re wondering what kind of research you need to do, think deeply about the health sector and where you fit in. See the many roles there are out there and what it’s like in the day of the life of each prospective profession. Doing this should give you an idea regarding whether or not the healthcare industry is truly one that you can see yourself in. After doing your research, you should create a list of potential careers and then begin shortlisting from there.
The next thing you could do is volunteer in the shortlisted careers that you’ve chosen. This is so important as it will give you practical experience in the niche areas you’ve considered. The reality of a job can be very different than it appears on paper, so you want to know that it’s truly a job you love. In order to find a voluntary position, you can call an organization that you’re interested in to ask about opportunities or check online. Aside from helping give you clarity, some benefits of becoming a healthcare volunteer are that you can learn new skills as well as meet new people.
Decide on a Niche
It is crucial that you decide on your niche area as early on as possible so that you know what career path to take. As mentioned earlier, the healthcare sector is robust, so you want to be sure you take the shortest route possible to the career of your choice. With that being said here are a few prospective healthcare careers you could consider.
Family Nurse Practitioner: There are different types of nurses out there, and one of the senior level positions is a nurse practitioner. If you want to help families and take on more responsibilities, then this is an ideal role. To become a family nurse practitioner, you need a bachelor of science in nursing or a related degree. You’d then need to become a registered nurse and get related experience before pursuing a graduate degree. There are affordable online nurse practitioner programs that you could consider so you could pursue higher education while working.
Occupational Therapist: If you want to teach people skills that could help make their heath better, consider becoming an occupational therapist. A day in the life of one could look like helping patients relearn core skills such as eating, cooking or having a bath. You’d be working with a range of different patients treating ones with physical, emotional, or developmental challenges. In terms of how much you’ll be making as an occupational therapist, you could earn anywhere from $80,000 annually upwards.
Physician: This is one of the higher-level careers in the healthcare field and also one that requires extensive education and training as a result. The term physician encompasses a range of different types of healthcare professionals whether it be a gynecologist or cardiologist. If you want to position yourself as one of the highest paid physicians, then Florence, South Carolina or Atlanta, Georgia are great locations to practice in. If you’d rather do something a little less intense, perhaps become a physician assistant instead as it would be less demanding.
Physical Therapist: Aside from the mentioned careers, becoming a physical therapist is also an area to explore if you have an interest in fitness and helping people achieve their goals. The good thing about personal training is that it’s relatively flexible and you can work with a range of different clients. You could, for instance, decide to focus on athletes and help them recover from physical injuries. Ultimately, as a physical therapist you’d be helping to improve mobility and strength through physical movement. You should note that it can require intensive training and be physically demanding nevertheless.
Get the Right Education
Although briefly mentioned above, many roles in healthcare require a certain level of education. This is typically important because you’ll be dealing with the health and wellbeing others. To avoid preventable mistakes and permanent damage, you’ll likely need a science-related degree and then subsequent training as well. However, every career path is different so an optometrist would need different education and training than a pediatrician would. During your research phase, you should be able to discover what educational path, so you avoid wasting time taking courses that aren’t relevant to your destination.
Network in the Industry
When pursuing a career in health, you’ll need people to help you get to the height of your career, so make friends along your journey. Think about getting a mentor that can help guide you as well as encourage you when the going gets tough. If you want to find a career mentor, here is how you can go about it.
- Research: Reach out and find a career mentor, as they will not come to you but can provide you with the answers and help you may not realize you need. Find out who the leaders in your niche are and discover more about their backgrounds.
- Form a Relationship: Once you’ve made contact with prospective mentors it’s crucial that you focus on relationship building as opposed to just taking. Think about what value you can add to your mentor and how you can leave your mark in their life as well.
- Be Patient: One of the reasons you probably want a certain mentor is because they’ve attained a level of success. With that being said, successful people tend to be relatively busy, so be patient and persistent when trying to sustain your relationship.