Working in healthcare can be one of the most rewarding career choices you can make, providing you with an opportunity to not only help others but also earn a fair few quid at the same time.
The healthcare sector also comprises a number of jobs within it - from starter admin-type jobs to the more specialist-type roles. Therefore, whatever the area of healthcare you're interested in, there is plenty of variety and choice to think about.
However, herein lies a problem - how do you decide which field you want to work in? And how can you be sure that a career in healthcare is actually right for you?
Well, that's where we can help.
In this article, we will discuss some of the key questions you'll need to think about when it comes to approaching a career in healthcare - from the hours you're likely to work to the experience you'll need to have. Let's get started.
What are you looking to get from your job?
We start with probably the biggest question you'll need to think about - what exactly is it you're looking to gain from your job?
If, for example, you're looking for a job where you can earn big bucks for minimal work, then a career in healthcare probably isn't for you. If, however, you're looking for a role which offers an abundance of job satisfaction where the days fly by, then it could be.
Putting it in simple terms, you have to enjoy helping others to enjoy working in healthcare - regardless of the discipline, you work in. You also need to be prepared to potentially work fairly unsocial hours, due to the heightened demand for healthcare workers brought about over recent years.
There's no point beating around the bush here either - working in healthcare can be fairly hard graft. And, unless you work in more of a hospital admin role, your working day will look very different from a typical nine-to-five office job.
Instead, it will be full of variety, challenges and - in all honesty - a potential lack of sleep , on top of unbridled feelings of joy when you get to help someone in need of your help.
Take the job of a midwife, for instance. While the job will largely be filled with happiness - bringing an abundance of healthy new babies into the world - there will inevitably come a time where a new-born doesn't make it, a birth negligence claim is made against you, or you ' ll need to work long hours. You will need to be ready for this eventuality.
What kind of role would you like to do?
As we've already mentioned, healthcare comprises a huge number of different disciplines and job roles. From nurses to midwives to radiologists to surgeons to doctors, it's important to do your research into each role so that you can work out which one best suits your interests.
If, for example, you enjoy working with children, why not think about a career as a child therapist? Or, if you prefer looking after elderly patients, why not consider a career as a carer?
Whatever your healthcare interests may be, chances are there will be a relevant career out there for you. It's just a matter of finding it which, as with most things, will only come with time, experience and effort.
A good place to start though comes through either volunteering at your local hospital , school or care home, or by asking relevant healthcare professional if you can shadow them for a short period. This, in turn, will not only provide you with on-hand job experience but it will also make it easier for you to identify whether a career in healthcare is right for you or not.
How much experience do you have?
While it may all be well and good dreaming of becoming a doctor, without the right experience, you simply won't be able to. Only with the sufficient training and right kind of qualifications behind you will you be able to work in certain healthcare roles.
With this in mind, it's important to consider what you may or may not need to do in advance of starting on your pre-determined career path.
Say, for example, you’d like to work as a private carer. While you can go to university to study a relevant course, many providers now actually provide their own training to equip you with all the skills you’ll need to know beforehand.
As with anything, the more experience you can have before deciding, the better. And, even if you do a course which you fall out of love with as you go along, that’s not really an issue. With so many roles available within healthcare, it’s one of the best sectors to be in if you ever decide you fancy a career change.
So, there you have it – the three key questions to ask yourself before embarking on your healthcare journey.
The most important thing to consider is the kind of healthcare role you're looking for and whether that type of work is right for you. Then, once you have decided it is, try and source as much experience as possible to reaffirm your ambition.
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