The Benefits of Working in the Healthcare Industry
Whether you are just starting out in the world of work or looking for a meaningful career change, it is a wise decision to consider a career in the healthcare industry. Across the world, people from all backgrounds are living longer and our societies are moving towards an aging population. As a direct result of higher life expectancies and lower fertility rates on a global scale, we are entering an unprecedented period of humanity where older people (i.e., those over 60 years old) will soon outnumber the young. As a direct result of this, the demand for high-quality healthcare is growing in most countries. Job opportunities in healthcare continue to rise and there is scope for specialization in an immense variety of healthcare roles. It is true to say that there is a role for every background and personality in the field of healthcare with opportunities for truly meaningful careers. If you have thought about a job in the healthcare industry, read on to understand more about the key benefits of working in this sector.
Immense Job Satisfaction
If you have ever worked in an office, especially in an uninspiring role, you may have found it difficult to see the true value of the tasks you undertook and how these directly improved other people’s lives. This is simply not the case with a multitude of careers in the healthcare sector. Many of the roles have a direct and tangible link to improving patients’ or service users’ lives because of your action. From the paramedic who successfully resuscitates a patient in cardiac arrest to the nurse who is integral in the roll-out of vaccinations that protect patients from illness and viruses, every role eventually leads to improvements for the general public. Even office- or medical laboratory-based healthcare occupations will be only a few steps away from improving patient care. For example, the statistician who gives healthcare performance targets reports is helping to improve healthcare for numerous service users by offering insights that can shape and change service delivery models. It is no surprise that many healthcare workers view their job as a vocation. If you value job satisfaction and being able to trace the value of your actions at work, the field of healthcare is an excellent career choice.
Excellent Opportunities For Career Progression
The healthcare industry offers immense variety in the roles that can be undertaken. Within these specific sections of healthcare, there are clearly mapped-out paths for career progression. For example, a nurse could start out as a licensed vocational/practice nurse after a one- or two-year program of study. The next step of progression could be to undertake more training to become a registered nurse. Here, the scope of duties will be increased, and activities such as administering IV fluids and developing/revising care plans for patients come into play. Towards the upper end of the nursing career path, and after gaining graduate degrees, the door opens to continued professional education such as a post graduate NP program, which then allows the nurse to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. At each stage of progression, there will be opportunities for distinct roles and specializations, and generally, these improvements in knowledge and skills lead to improved salaries. This is just one example of a career path for a nurse. Whatever your specialty within the healthcare industry, it is likely that there are well-signposted paths to career progression and enhanced fulfillment in your career.
Flexible Hours For Your Ideal Work-Life Balance
The healthcare industry offers a wide variety of working patterns with a mix of full, part-time, and bank staff positions across the sector. In an age where the work-life balance is an often-discussed topic with more and more people seeking to spend meaningful time with their families, healthcare-related jobs can provide for this goal. In some parts of the industry, there is a need for 24/7 care, such as in the intensive care departments of hospitals and for emergency response jobs such as paramedics and out-of-hours doctors. This means, in effect, that you do not necessarily have to do a 9-to-5 job and can look for careers or vocations that allow you to work evenings or early shifts. There are even roles that allow you to work overtime during busy periods and claim these extra hours back at later dates when you need to spend time with your family. Part-time jobs are numerous in healthcare, with roles such as occupational therapists and home helpers. It is perfectly possible to gain a good income in numerous part-time roles within the healthcare environment, which will allow you a significant amount of free time to pursue your own interests, stay in contact with loved ones and regain a healthy work-life balance.
Work Around The World
As a direct result of the need for global healthcare that serves people of all nations and backgrounds, there is also significant scope for travel and relocation if you choose a career in this field. While some of these opportunities require a high level of education (such as for doctors and clinicians), there are also jobs in the fields of medical device sales representatives or as traveling medical scribes that do not. If you are a keen traveler who wants to see the world and experience diverse cultures while earning a living, this can be an achievable goal in the field of healthcare. Here are just some of the occupations in healthcare that can open the door to worldwide travel and the benefits that come with it. It is also worth remembering that in recent years, the medical world has seen a significant rise in the use of telemedicine to assess and treat patients. This has been of paramount importance during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it allowed face-to-face consultations while protecting both workers and healthcare users from the threats posed by the virus. Today, telemedicine is used throughout a variety of healthcare settings and can offer the employee the freedom not to be based at a specific location. This, in turn, frees up the potential for travel while still serving patients.
The Opportunity To Help People
As mentioned above in the section on job satisfaction, a career in the world of healthcare can allow you to play a key part in helping people. Offering high-quality care and seeing a patient improve after a serious illness is one of the most satisfying acts that humans can do. Working in healthcare offers a variety of roles with direct patient contact, and roles such as dentistry and working as a general practitioner allow the scope for ongoing contact with local patients. A GP can offer advice, treatment, and medical interventions to a single family across a period of decades, watching them grow and ensuring that everyone receives exceptional healthcare. The sense of satisfaction in such a role cannot be underestimated, and it truly is an empowering and worthwhile profession. In a society with an increasingly elderly population, health visitors and key workers are in growing demand. These represent exceptional vocational roles for people drawn to this line of work. The health visitor will have a portfolio of regular client users, some of whom will have their visits multiple times per day. The opportunities for conversation and interaction for an elderly person may be fewer than it once was. As such, these visits are of foremost importance to the service user and offer the chance to connect with others and feel less isolated. Tangible mental health benefits come with regular interaction, and you can read more about the importance of this here.
Healthcare Can Be Exciting
As most hospital staff will tell you, no two days are ever quite the same. The very nature of healthcare work means that you are working in a dynamic and ever-changing world where decision-making is key, and some decisions can be lifesaving in nature. This is especially true in the world of pre-hospital emergency care. Roles such as paramedics involve responding to emergency calls and getting to the scene of an accident or injury as fast as the law dictates. In time-critical situations, teamwork, exceptional decision-making (often in stressful environments), and timely emergency interventions can result in the difference between the life and death of a seriously ill patient. For some workers, this makes the job an exhilarating and exciting profession to be a part of, and whole careers are spent in this role. It is no surprise that a career as a paramedic is often a path that army medics take once they have retired from active service and look for roles in civilian life. If you are seeking employment in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment, then there are several such roles that can be found within the healthcare sector.
The industry embraces technological advancement
Only a few decades ago, devices that are now commonplace, such as pulse oximeters (that are used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood), were unheard of. Some treatments that are routine now were also not available. Keyhole surgery was performed for the first time in 1975 and has revolutionized some medical procedures as a direct result. There are numerous benefits of keyhole surgery; for example, it is a much less invasive method of surgery and results in less damage to surrounding tissues and, as such, quicker recovery times. Both these advancements in healthcare have been driven by improvements in technology. As we look to the present day, nanotechnology is already used in healthcare settings where the uses range from cancer detection and treatment to implants that allow a patient’s health to be monitored around the clock. Healthcare and technology go hand in hand in today’s world. It is fascinating to be a part of such an industry where these advancements directly improve patient care and wellbeing. Clearly, having a career in this sector is great for those who are interested in technological advancement and how it can benefit the patient.
There Are Roles For Every Level Of Education
While it takes a minimum of four years of university education to train to become a doctor and then many years spent after this improving and specializing in your practice, the reality is that (alongside dentistry) this is one of the professions with the highest educational requirements. The healthcare sector has an immense number of roles and occupations that encompass all levels of education. A hospital porter may need a minimum of qualifications but still plays an integral role in ensuring that equipment and patients are where they are needed to be to allow the hospital to function correctly. On the laboratory side of the industry, phlebotomists coming into the line of work at an entry level may only require general school-attained qualifications without the need for higher education. It is worth noting as well that some jobs within the healthcare sector may not have high requirements in terms of academic qualifications to start the job but may subsequently offer in-house training or direct access to external learning opportunities that can improve one’s career prospects. A hospital radiographer could come in at an entry level but, in the future, undertake courses to allow them to become fully qualified or specialized.
High Earning Potential
With the significant variety of roles within the healthcare industry, there are also opportunities to earn high salaries. Generally, these high salaries go hand in hand with high levels of professional qualifications and years spent in training. For example, a doctor who moves on from being a staff grade doctor through specialized roles and then into the role of a consultant can expect to see a salary of around $200,000 at the upper end of this career path. In the USA, it is also a broadly similar remuneration for fully qualified practicing dentists. Clearly, a lot depends on the career and how far a worker progresses along that path, but there is significant potential to earn exceptionally well in the field of healthcare.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to working in the healthcare sector. So, which role will you choose?