If you want to make a difference in the world and you are not queasy about illness, then you might want to consider a career in healthcare. You will certainly never be short of work or career progression options. The NHS is the largest employer in the world, offering jobs to 1.4 million people in the UK. A further 1.6 million people work in social care. Altogether that is 1 in 10 of the workforce.
There are a huge variety of health care roles on offer. From unskilled entry-level work right up to specialist consultant roles; it is one massive career ladder. Of course, there are some huge cavernous gaps between some of the steps in the ladder, that are not accessible without the relevant training, education and experience. But the range of roles on offer in each group of steps is still massive.
Here are just a few of the areas in healthcare that you could work in:
- Prosthetics assistant
- Occupational therapist
- Health promotion
- Patient administration
- Clinical coder
- Mental health therapist
How to get started
Expand your CV through different experiences relating to healthcare. You can do so by volunteering in hospitals or retirement homes and look for activities where you can pick the brains of doctors and nurses, and interact with patients to learn more about the protocols and etiquette. Even professional healthcare workers can gain experience in different disciplines easily by getting flexible training.
There are many roles offered in the health sector; however, you don’t need to decide on one right away. Gaining as much experience as possible about the different roles available will give you an advantage when trying to advance in your career. Your local hospital may offer a careers insight day to introduce potential job seekers to a range of possible jobs and careers, contact yours to see if that is an option.
If you are just starting out in your career, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a graduate or undergraduate, there are different opportunities for you while you are continuing your education. As a student, you may feel a little outside your remit; however, it’s important to understand that you can and should take initiative to advance your career as the more you put yourself out there, the more experience you’ll gain.
Biology, chemistry and healthcare qualifications are always going to be useful for a future career in healthcare. If you can start early with GCSE’s, A-levels of with BTEC then you’ll save time later on. But those qualifications can also be achieved at any age at Further Education colleges.
To get ahead you will need to make sure that you are up-to-date with the latest professional standards. Additional education is always going to help you advance regardless of what role you possess in the healthcare field. Once you find a career you would like to specialize in, your next step should be to expand your education in said specialty. Luckily, even in the time of COVID, there are affordable ways to continue your education and get the HIPAA certification in the field of your choice. Online compliance training will allow you to complete your education at your own pace and you won’t have to put the brakes on your desire to become a professional healthcare worker.
Build and Utilize Networks
Building your own network starts with utilizing available networks. Interact and engage with healthcare providers to learn more information about the industry. Cultivating these types of relationships within the healthcare community provides many opportunities to grow as you share solutions and alternative approaches to patient care. Building a fundamental foundation is most effective when you learn from professional colleagues in the industry.
The NHS and online social networks are great places to start because there are various medical practitioners in different fields who can expand your knowledge, giving you a competitive edge when applying for jobs. Establish mentoring relationships with professional colleagues so that you can ensure you become a qualified candidate having received clinical and career advice. Don’t be afraid to ask experienced professionals to share their wisdom.
Aside from finding a mentor to guide you through your career opportunities, you should also use this time to work on your own professionalism. The general basics that every healthcare organization will seek out in a potential candidate are those who display integrity, compassion, respect, advocacy, and of course, those who maintain confidentiality. Learning about proper etiquette and professionalism is just as important as being a competent healthcare worker who is ethical in their decision-making.
Explore Job Openings
Jobs in the healthcare sector are in high demand in almost every field. However, some jobs have vacancies frequently. Keep a lookout for openings, even if they aren’t specifically in your realm. Get training wherever you can as the broader your knowledge and experience, the more likely you’ll find work.
When looking to advance your career, keep in mind that there are many job opportunities frequently available for you to gain more training. These include becoming a medical assistant or home health aide. Once you are certified you can apply for a nursing assistant position or practical nurse. It’s important to understand that you should always be open to job opportunities that can provide insight into the field of your choice as well as give you a well-rounded view of healthcare. Moreover, there are various opportunities for you to take before, during, and after your education and training.