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Career Planning and Job Search Tips for Healthcare Students During COVID-19 and Beyond

The strength and resilience of healthcare sectors around the world have certainly been tested during the COVID-19 crisis. Many healthcare sectors in many countries across the globe have collapsed, many are struggling, and some are managing the pandemic, albeit with fewer resources. Now that healthcare institutions are in dire need of medical professionals, students have an opportunity to realize their career goals and secure their position in their medical fields.

That said, this doesn't mean that landing a good job is easy or that career success is a guarantee. Because of the competitiveness of the sector and the fact that healthcare institutions are constantly raising the proverbial bar, you will need to be more productive than ever, diligent in your job search, and you will need to get the right certifications that will push your resume to the top of the pile.

With all of that in mind, let's take a look at how you can plan for a successful career and land a good job as a healthcare student during the pandemic and beyond.

Be ready to adopt telehealth

The COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how much you wanted to believe that 2021 would be different. While the pandemic will subside over time and especially throughout the immunization period, there is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to last for some time. As you already know, this pandemic has forced people to adhere to social distancing rules and entire sectors to adopt the remote working model. And healthcare is no different.

Driven by technological advancement but mostly by this pandemic, telehealth has become one of the key solutions in the new normal. Patients are encouraged around the world to stay safe by avoiding the doctor’s office if they can help it, and instead seek medical advice through digital channels.

In 2021 and the years to come, we can expect telehealth to become more popular than ever before, and many new jobs to open up for healthcare students and interns in this field. While you might love nothing more than to join the physical ranks of a healthcare institution, in 2021 you might want to pay special attention to job vacancies in telehealth as a great way to enter the industry.

Look for struggling healthcare institutions

The pandemic has brought much heartache and suffering to millions of people, and it has pushed the healthcare systems in many countries to the brink of collapse. For all the negative effects it has had, though, the pandemic has created many career opportunities in many industries, including healthcare. It might not feel right in your stomach, but in order to get ahead in the new year and find a great job, you should look to apply in medical institutions and private practices that are stretched thin.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword, so you have to be careful. On the one hand, struggling institutions are likely to give you a job because they are in dire need of assistance. On the other hand, some will turn you down simply because they haven’t the financial resources to take you on. You need to apply to as many job positions as possible and weigh the pros against the cons. If nothing else, applying for an internship is a great way to enrich your resume and gain additional experience that will push your career forward.

Secure your career with the right certifications

The healthcare industry is a highly regulated sector and one of the most difficult fields to get into. This should come as no surprise, of course, because you are in the business of saving lives, so in order to get a job you need to have the right education, training, and the relevant certifications. Now more than ever before, it is important for students to get certified in order to stand out to employers and become indispensable in the fight against the pandemic.

For example, we know that COVID-19 poses a particular risk to cardio-pulmonary patients, the children and the elderly, so getting an ACLS or PALS certification online is paramount for success. Getting certified in advanced cardiac life support or pediatric advanced life support allows students to become experts in specific fields quickly and administer treatment promptly to those who need it most.

Regardless of your specialization or career goals, it's important to research the certifications you need to succeed, and apply for those programs online so that you can get certified quickly and secure your position in your field.

Be ready to upskill if need be

Continuous learning and professional development are the cornerstones of career success and growth in modern medicine. You're probably well aware that you will spend your life in medicine learning and advancing your skills, but you also need to realize that upskilling and getting more certifications over time might be the only ways to secure your career.

Technological advancements coupled with the increasing competitiveness of the healthcare industry create the need to continue developing your skills to remain relevant and employable. In 2021 and the years to come, you will need to double down on advancing your skills in order to become a prime candidate for every employer. It will also allow you to change career paths, such as transitioning into nursing from being a medical technician. Before you apply for a new position, make sure that you have the skills that go above and beyond what the employer asks.

Connect with your professional network remotely

Lastly, one of the best ways to secure your career in 2021 is to grow your professional network. Healthcare, like any other industry, thrives on interpersonal and professional relationships, so if you want to get an amazing job opportunity, you need to meet the right people.

Make sure to attend conventions, lectures, and seminars, join online groups and forums, keep in touch with your classmates and check how they're doing, and always look for opportunities to network. Before long, you will meet a person who will be able to recommend you to their boss, or you'll meet a business leader looking for a talented individual like yourself.

wrapping up

It's not a pretty thought, but the reality is that we are stuck with the pandemic for the foreseeable future. Don't let the COVID-19 crisis derail your career goals, instead, use these tips to maximize your chances of landing your dream job in 2021.

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