How to Start a Career in Healthcare

Updated on November 28, 2020

If you are thinking about starting a career in healthcare, this article is the perfect place for you to start. Collectively, the healthcare industry is one of the highest paying industries in most countries all over the world, with higher-paid jobs depending on your role and area of focus. But as you know, becoming a medical doctor, nurse, or therapist requires years of training and having the means to pay for a degree. In this detailed article, we’ll explain the different ways you can start a career in healthcare.

Determine Your Transferable Skills

As with every career change, the first thing that you need to do is to identify skills that you have which can be valuable in the healthcare industry. For instance, you may possess IT skills and can work as an IT support professional alongside the staff of a clinic. Don’t underestimate the value of experience in retail or hospitality either – customer service skills are highly transferable, even in the health industry. If you have a track record of excellent customer support and good communication skills, you may be able to get a foot in the door in a patient-facing position, such as reception work at a family practice or dental office.

However, if you would prefer a more clinical job, then it is important to assess where you need to gain skills and qualifications.

Find a Mentor

According to Business Woman Media, getting into and excelling in the healthcare industry can be easier if you have a mentor that is a professional with years of experience in the industry. With a mentor on your side, you’ll be able to get to know how your career could progress, and hear about the latest developments in the healthcare industry, as well as what to do to have an edge on the competition. Your mentor can even give you hiring recommendations and point you in the direction of reputable healthcare professionals who may need someone with your skillset on their team.

Take Short Courses

Like we mentioned earlier, starting a career in healthcare may involve acquiring new skills or even getting certifications. If you don’t have time for a 4-year program to train as a doctor or registered nurse, you can consider taking short courses to become a medical professional in a different capacity. 

Some of these short courses span a few weeks while others can be a couple of months. In less than a year, you can qualify as an EKG Technician, which involves using Electrocardiogram machines to measure and monitor the vitals of a patient’s heart. With 10-14 months of applied study, you can achieve certification as a Surgical Technician, which would allow you to assist medical professionals in an operating room. 

There are many entry routes to the industry that take very little time while still offering an official certification; you can search online for short medical courses to take based on your ambitions and desired time commitment.

Go Back to College

While this might not be possible for everyone, you can actually switch career paths and go back to college to get the necessary training and certification to become a medical practitioner in your preferred field. However, this option requires lots of time and dedication, so you may want to weigh your options before making the decision to go back to college just so you can pursue a career in healthcare. 

It’s wise to be absolutely certain that this is the path you want to take, and it may even be a good idea to try a short-term entry route like those discussed above before making the huge personal and financial commitment of attending medical school.

Choose an Area of Healthcare that is Important to You

From working in hospitals to physicians’ offices and dentists’ offices, healthcare career opportunities are available far and wide. It is at this point you should think about whether you want to focus on modern medicine or more holistic practices. Both are incredibly important areas of medicine, and you will find thousands of people relying on the different mediums every single day. Traditional medicine is usually a more clinical approach, while holistic practices take general wellbeing into account and may combine alternative and complementary treatments.

For example, without places like Harris House, which offer treatments that target the healing of the mind, body, and soul – for those trying to battle a drug or alcohol addiction, the struggle would continue for them if there was no consideration given to their general wellbeing and lifestyle. Thanks to the holistic approach, counselors have helped people recover when modern medicine doesn’t necessarily work or fill the gaps where pharmaceutical approaches leave something to be desired. However, for so many other illnesses and injuries, modern medicine steps up.  

The Need For Healthcare Workers is Increasing

According to UN News, there is a global shortage of health workers around the world, and this is more evident than ever before as we watch our doctors and nurses struggle as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and drastic understaffing. Thus, the need for workers in the healthcare industry is on the rise, making it one of the most reliably hiring industries today. Though we are beginning to see a ray of hope in the form of several successful vaccines in development, we will undoubtedly experience the fallout of this destructive virus for years to come. The past year has taught the world a lesson in the importance of health and we are already seeing governments across the globe scrambling to put proper resources in place for our struggling healthcare industries.

You can start a career in healthcare as either a clinical or non-clinical worker – each and every healthcare worker is vital in the face of the pandemic and beyond. Whether you are working in a family practice reception, running medical machinery to monitor patient vitals, or providing treatments to critically ill people as a licensed doctor, your contributions help to share the load among healthcare workers. Indirectly or not, you have the power to improve or even save lives.

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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.