7 Things to Consider When Contemplating a Career in Healthcare

The United States Department of Labor reports that, “Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs.”

If a health-related career is the path you are interested in following, then there are many things that you need to consider before choosing to join the scrub-clad ranks.

Here is a list of seven you should examine:

Pre-Career

The healthcare career you are wanting to pursue will determine just how long you’ll be in school for. An orthodontist, for example must complete around 10 years of college, including a bachelor’s degree (four years), dental school (four years), and a postdoctoral program (two years), while a dental hygienist, in most cases, needs only an associate’s degree (two years).

More to consider: If you want to specialize in any healthcare area, such as anesthesiology, there will more school to attend. Anesthesiologists must complete 12 years of school; four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school and then an additional four years for residential training.

There are always additional trainings and certification that you can receive as well, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), which you can obtain through ACLS online training. If you want to be in the medical field, but don’t want to be in a hospital or office, then becoming a medical transcriber is the way to go. Through medical transcription training online, you can learn medical terms and become familiar with the human anatomy, all while in the comfort of your own home.

Cost of Getting There

According to collegeboard.org, the average yearly tuition cost of a public, four-year institution is $23,890 for out-of-state students, while a private, four-year institution is around $32,410 a year. And that is just for your undergraduate degree.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a list of private schools, including their tuition and fee costs for a first-year medical student for the 2015-2016 school year. The majority of the schools on that list come with a $50,000 to $60,000 price tag. Remember, you must complete four years of medical school.

Do You Fit?

The healthcare industry, no matter which career you choose, requires you to possess several key attributes, including: excellent communication skills, a love for the people you serve, precision and attention to detail, a strong work ethic, and a dedication to your job.

Motivation

What is your motivation for wanting to be in the healthcare industry? Do your interests lie in helping others, or are you just looking for the prestige of being called doctor? You have already read about the years and years of schooling required for many careers in the healthcare sector, along with the cost of obtaining the degree. Becoming a doctor or a nurse should not be considered lightly.

Career Choice

The US News and World Report published their 2016 Best Healthcare Job List. Here are the top 10 results:

  • Orthodontist
  • Dentist
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatrist
  • Pediatrician
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Obstetrician and Gynecologist
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

There are hundreds of different jobs that you can choose from if you decide to become a healthcare professional.

Work Location

Do you want to work in a frantic Emergency Room setting, or a peaceful clinic? You could be a nurse at an elementary school, or work in hospice care. You could even be a doctor for a non-profit agency and travel around the world giving aid to those in third-world countries. Examine your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses; this will help you determine what type of environment you will thrive in.

Time Commitment

Most healthcare careers are not your typical 9 to 5 jobs. Many jobs require that you work long, scheduled hours and then be on call for additional time. If you have a family, or even just a significant other, you must learn to balance work and home life.

This article was not meant to scare you away from a career in the healthcare industry but to help you realize what it takes to be successful there. Do your homework on the different careers and soul-search just a bit to help you determine if you want to be a healthcare professional.