How to Get a Job in the Healthcare Sector

Updated on September 29, 2019

The healthcare sector is one of the industries which has become highly competitive, due to the fact that it has remained steady when faced with recessions and cutbacks, as well as its widespread appeal with the large number of job roles on offer. For those who are interested in the wellbeing of others, securing a job in the healthcare industry will no doubt become a very rewarding experience.

If you are looking to get a job in the healthcare sector, you will be faced with the biggest challenge of getting your foot in the door and making your big break.

Here are a few tips that may help you secure a job in the healthcare sector:

1. Explore the healthcare sector in detail

As with any job role, carrying out the correct research is essential if you wish to become an expert in the medical field. Due to the vast advancements which are being made in terms of technology and patient care, you should aim to be in-the-know of the latest news within the medical sector and especially the field you are specifically interested. This will not only give you some insight into the sectors which are hiring but will also provide you with some expert knowledge that you could use within interviews when asked questions by the employer. 

2. Comprehend your abilities

Although the healthcare sector is primarily for medical experts, there is a vast selection of other roles which may be well-suited to your personal skill set. These may include the likes of IT, finance, accounts, administration or secretarial roles to name just a few which are needed in the likes of hospitals, clinics, surgeries, and other institutions. Consider your own skillset and how each of your abilities could convert into a job role.

3. Medical experience matters

Nurses are some of the most sought-after professionals in the medical industry; however, while there is a huge need to secure individuals with the correct skills and qualifications to carry out the role, the necessary experience is a must before even trying to apply for jobs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be paid experience; volunteering is even more impressive to employers, as you’re ultimately giving up your free time to enhance your career prospects to become a medical professional.

Working voluntary alongside your studies in hospitals and clinics is a great way of expanding on your professional experience and boosting your resume. If you didn’t already know, prospective medical students can shadow nurses as volunteers for a couple of weeks to gain the relevant work experience needed to land themselves a paid job in the future. Often, they will have the opportunity to take measurements, handle medical equipment and give prescribed medication to patients.

However, if you have a particular job role in mind when you graduate, be sure that your work experience matches to the specialty. If you can’t get a placement, find an opportunity in a similar niche. For example, prospective pediatric nurses should seek to work in children’s hospitals, while those hoping to become a geriatric nurse should find experience working with the elderly in hospital wards or nursing homes.

4. Study further

Dependent on the type of job role you’re hoping for, there may be specific qualifications to be studied for before you’re even considered to work professionally in the healthcare sector. Prospective nurses are now expected to study a three-year specialized nursing degree which wasn’t the case just a couple of years back, while doctors are expected to study roughly five years before qualifying. For those who are looking to work in the medical industry in the very near future, it is good to know that there are some job roles which require only a small amount of studying and training. According to CareersWiki, the typical massage therapy certificate takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete. That’s a lot faster than other professions in the healthcare industry.

Some establishments offer medical-related courses that can be studied from home and are ideal for those who are looking to take on a flexible study option around their current commitments. If you believe this opportunity would be suited to you, read more about the type of courses available.

5. Find a specialized healthcare mentor

Finding a mentor could be one of the best career moves you make when it comes to getting your foot on the healthcare career ladder. The best way of finding one is to work in an entry-level position, such as in a medical office or around the hospital and build relationships with those in higher positions who are keen to boost your career. A mentor is an individual who has a vast amount of experience in the healthcare sector, with plenty of connections who they would be happy to put you in touch with when it comes to advice or guidance on the next steps for securing a senior-level role.

6. Think outside the box

Although you may have your sights set on one particular job role, be sure you don’t close off prospects which may be equally suited to you. Healthcare is a vast field, meaning that it relies on responsibilities from a huge number of individuals for the whole process to run smoothly. Therefore, if you have a degree in nursing, don’t feel as though you must stick specifically to hospitals. There are nursing homes, clinics, and less privileged communities who also need the assistance of qualified nurses. The lesson here is that you shouldn’t sit and wait for a job role to come up in the most obvious places, think outside the box and see what comes up that you may never have expected.

7. Consider the different options before you make the leap

If you’re interested in working a specific field in the medical sector, you may want to give it a try before you give up your current job and end up regretting the decision. Before you commit to taking on a course or job that is offered to you, why not try them out on a part-time basis first if possible? This way, you won’t be putting all your eggs in one basket, but are still working towards a full-time career in healthcare.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.