When planning a career in healthcare, whether it’s something you’ve always known you wanted to do, or even if it’s a recent development, there’s still a lot to consider before taking the plunge. The high amount of opportunity within healthcare also means that there’s a high amount of considerations to make, as well as research to do, to ensure that you choose the correct field suited for you.
As healthcare careers require so much study and practice, it’s essential to make the right choice from the very beginning. While it’s still possible to switch your profession down the line if you’re interested in an alternative healthcare position, it’s still a good idea to gain qualifications and training in a role that you know is best suited for you.
Let the following five considerations help you to make that decision.
- Your Main Motivation for Choosing a Career in Healthcare
On the surface, this could be job dependability, high salary, a rewarding career — or all of the above. What matters is honing in on your particular motivation. Within healthcare, it’s essential — no matter your motivation — to understand how demanding a career in healthcare can be, in terms of stress, working hours, and the emotional pressure you may be under dealing with people in need. Of course, all of that is worth it when you’re within a field you’re passionate about, but if your sole motivation is a good salary alongside a love of scientific study, just remember to also research into job responsibilities and duties, too, to be sure that the role is something you can handle.
- The Position You Believe Would Be Best for You
Knowing that you would love a career in healthcare, and knowing that your motivations align with your goals, is just the first step. With so many positions to choose from, the next step is understanding which one would be best for you. If you don’t have a specific position in mind, you may instead want to at least identify a sector of healthcare that you’re keenly interested in, and which you would like to move into.
With so many positions out there, if you don’t have direct experience firsthand, it can feel overwhelming to try to narrow it down. This means a lot of planning and research is going to be helpful for you to come to a decision.
A good place to start would be thinking about the type of work or type of people you want to deal with. For example, positions such as surgeons, dentists, midwives, nurses, or therapists will all deal with a different variety of people in different ways. So first think about the type of treatment you are interested in, and whether there is a specific category you are most drawn towards (adults, children, or families, for example).
- The Type of Environment You’re Looking to Work In
Your intended environment is going to play a big part in your choice, too. Some people thrive more in certain working environments than others, or perhaps you’re open-minded about where you work. It’s advisable to decide that while thinking about the various positions open to you.
Think about whether you would prefer:
- A hospital environment
- A smaller clinic environment
- An office environment
- Working behind the scenes, such as within a laboratory
- Performing home visits or working on the road
- The Level of Development You Are Looking For
There’s a vast number of development opportunities within healthcare, which means that you can learn and grow within many positions. The opportunities to work your way up and become more qualified in your field are boundless. Nevertheless, some positions will offer more development than others, so it’s important to consider in advance how many opportunities you’re looking for from a particular branch of healthcare.
You may want to research various positions, such as the advantages of being a nurse practitioner, and understand the next step for particular roles, in order to best plan for your future, too. If you’re aiming for a certain role, it may be that this particular role can only be achieved by working your way up from another, in which case you can begin your journey at the bottom and build your skills.
- Your Qualifications and Experience
Before you pursue any career in healthcare, you need to make sure you have the relevant education and experience.
You may already have relevant qualifications that you would help you apply to a healthcare position, or maybe you’re starting from scratch and need to gain the necessary qualifications in order to proceed.
If the latter, deciding on your intended field or position first is a good idea, as it means you can research exactly the education and training you need for that particular position.
If the former, you can research which positions your current education or training can be applied to, as well as seeing if further qualifications are needed.
If you do need to study for certain qualifications, whether as a foundation or whether you’re building on existing credentials, then the next step is to decide how you’re going to achieve this. If you are already a student or young adult, then attending an institution may be a simple option for you. If you’re an adult who is going to be returning to education, this can be a bigger life change but is still possible with the right motivation.
What matters most, no matter your age or life situation, is that you understand the relevant qualifications and years of study needed for your chosen field, so that you can make sure your time isn’t wasted.
Through understanding these key considerations, your journey towards your perfect healthcare career is going to be a more exciting one. Through your educational journey, training and research into your perfect position, you can build and grow your passion even further, and allow yourself to look forward to what’s to come.