Working in healthcare is strenuous yet rewarding, but there are many options for what career you can have. To find out what medical job you should have, you need to consider what you are looking for in a career in healthcare.
Knowing What You Want
Some traits, such as caring for others’ well-being, working as part of a team, and keeping calm in stressful situations, are necessary for anyone choosing a job in healthcare. However, your interests, personality, and ideal work-life balance will heavily influence the job you pursue.
1. Type of Career
You may associate medical careers with doctors, nurses, and specialists (also known as allied healthcare), but that’s just one possible option. Another popular option is healthcare management. For example, some people choose to work as medical assistants, a job that consists primarily of administrative tasks.
Even in allied healthcare, there are a wide variety of job opportunities. Whether you choose to become a trauma surgeon focused on saving lives or an optometrist running vision tests, the possibilities are endless.
When choosing a career in healthcare, determine where your interests lie and what drives your passion. Is it caring for the elderly, working with cancer patients, processing insurance claims or drawing blood? Once you have determined the type of job in healthcare you are interested in, you can pursue your options.
2. Length and Cost of Program
Most people know that becoming a doctor requires a lot of time and money, but some medical careers are far more accessible. Nursing programs, for example, are provided at trade schools, typically last one or two years, and are much cheaper.
3. Desired Work Environment
Some people prefer the rush of the ER, the busy atmosphere of a doctor’s office, or the slower pace of some specialized practices. There are even work-from-home options in healthcare management and allied healthcare.
4. Flexibility and Predictability
Any medical professional will tell you that healthcare is busy and unpredictable. However, some healthcare workers are more on call or handling emergencies, while others work on more predictable schedules.
Even in more unpredictable healthcare careers, the unpredictability can also vary. For instance, an obstetrician has less predictable hours due to being on call but will likely stay in the same area. A travel nurse, on the other hand, must relocate more frequently.
Picking the Right Job for You
Most medical students pick their specialty in their final two years of medical school, but there are many specialties. The earlier you begin exploring potential career options or specialties, the better.
1. Explore Different Fields and Subjects
The healthcare field is vast and contains medical professions you almost certainly didn’t know existed. Research different medical careers and specialties, take classes, and talk to professors and professionals to learn what’s out there.
2. Get Hands-On Experience
Whether looking for a medical career or not, it’s common to see a job that looks good on paper, try it out, and realize you hate it. If you’re curious about a specific field or specialty, get hands-on experience to see how you feel about it when you’re in the thick of it. For instance, if you’re interested in cardiology, you may be able to shadow healthcare professionals in a cardiologist’s office or work as a scribe.
3. Ask for Advice
Entering the medical field is complicated, and deciding what field you want to pursue is not always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of people around who can offer advice. Academic advisors, professors, medical residents, and full-fledged medical professionals can share suggestions or past experiences to help you make your decision.
Even if you want to start at an entry-level job like a phlebotomist or a CNA, your local college can help you get the certification required.
Shape Your Career Path with JobsFuel
Working in healthcare has a profound impact on you and everyone around you. If you’re looking for advice on navigating the work world or need help finding the right job, JobsFuel can provide you with both.