As a dedicated healthcare worker, you will naturally be a generous, empathic, and altogether dedicated person who spends their working life helping others when they are at their most vulnerable.
Whether you have been working in the industry for many years, having worked your way up the proverbial ladder, or you are thinking about your next career move, or even if you have just started out in your new career, here are the top ten ways to further your career in healthcare.
If you are currently working as a support worker or care worker, it is more than possible that instead of going down the, perhaps, more traditional route of earning an undergraduate degree, you learn your caregiving skills and expertise ‘on the job’ so to speak.
Far more important to a career in caregiving is your values, ethos, and ultimate reasons for devoting your professional life to looking after others who, for whatever reason, are unable to do so for themselves. The fundamental job of a care worker is to help more vulnerable people to cope with and successfully complete their daily activities, at the same time as working to ensure they live as independently as possible for as long as possible.
If your career goals culminate in running and managing your own care home or nursing home, then the way to achieve such goals is to keep on doing exactly what you have been, working hard, proving yourself invaluable in your place of work, and giving the best possible standard of care to those in your trust.
No medical institution, or any other working environment for that matter, can successfully and efficiently operate without excellent organizational and administrative staff behind the scenes, keeping detailed records of both the staff and patients.
There are several roles within healthcare administration, the main ones including:
- Medical Secretary
- Health Records Staff
- Medical PA
- Medical Clerk
- Health Records Staff
If you are currently working in one of these areas and now wish to progress to the next level in your healthcare career, by far the best option to secure the utmost chance of success and career progression is to complete a postgraduate degree in Healthcare Administration. `For senior roles within the healthcare administration industry, a degree is not just desired by potential employers, but positively required.
Although modern-day changes have slightly affected the career path of a trainee dentist, the essential journey of dental career progression has remained largely unchanged and relatively simple.
There is a plethora of benefits to pursuing a career in dentistry, not least the knowledge and job satisfaction that comes from making a valuable contribution to oral health and, therefore, the general health of numerous families in the community.
Undeniably, the exceedingly competitive salary potential is often what draws medical students to decide to specialize in dentistry, along with the other advantages such as the opportunity to specialize in fitting into your own personal interests, the reputation of being somewhat of a role model, and the flexibility to work around the hours and days of the week that suit you and your personal life.
Becoming a dentist essentially includes five years of study at a specialist dental school at the very minimum before a minimum of one to two years in a practice under the supervision of a fully qualified dentist.
There are many brilliant, somewhat emotional, and heart-warming advantages to attaining the prolific and universally respected title of an emergency paramedic.
- Every day is a different experience
- You are kept on your proverbial toes throughout the entirety of your shift
- Working hours and days vary greatly, which is great for people who dislike routine
- A strong career growth pass and foundation
Becoming an emergency paramedic requires a certain set of skills, qualities, and personality types to be able to handle the multiple pressures and high-stress levels that are an unfortunate yet inevitable part of the role.
When considering whether to further your career in healthcare and become a qualified emergency paramedic, it may be pertinent to ask yourself a few questions to ascertain if you are the right person for the job. Such questions may include:
- Can you handle copious amounts of blood?
- Is you adept at and experienced with handling stressful situations?
- Do you possess resilience and stamina in the face of adversity?
- Are you an empathic person?
- Do you have a full and clean driving license
- Are you physically fit, with no ailments that could hinder long days on your feet?
- Do you stay calm under high-pressure conditions?
- Is you adept at making decisions quickly and successfully?
Paramedics are at the highest echelon of medical certification and qualification in handling medical emergencies. Therefore, they are required to undergo rigorous training to ensure they can provide the best level of immediate medical care and assistance before and during the patient is transported to a medical facility.
Over the last few years and the utter devastation caused by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, working nurses have been put under even more pressure and stress than what is usually already an intense and draining profession.
Nursing is certainly more of a vocation rather than merely a career, and, as a result, it is rare to find an individual who is working as a professional nurse who does not possess endless levels of patience, empathy, and resourcefulness.
After the initial training and working in a state hospital or other medical facility for at least a couple of years as a fully-fledged nurse, you may feel that it is time to move forward into a nursing specialism. If you are already a working nurse, you will have already chosen a broad specialism of nursing within your undergraduate degree, which is likely to have been either children’s nursing, learning disabilities nursing, adult nursing, or mental health nursing.
There are a multitude of nursing specialisms, all with their own individual required skills, attributes, and, often, postgraduate qualifications.
If you want to specialize in midwifery and are already a registered nurse, there are a number of shorter programs to complement and work alongside your existing knowledge from your undergraduate degree. These shorter programs will enable you to begin practicing midwifery significantly faster than an individual who is just embarking on the journey to becoming a nurse.
Critical Care Nursing
Critical care nursing requires more than a few years of working in intense medical situations and high-pressure wards and hospitals to prepare you for the role. Subsequently, critical care nurses tend to be slightly older and vastly more experienced, having come to the specialism of critical care in the middle, or even later, stages of their career.
When a registered nurse moves on to specialize in the care of elderly patients, they will be working particularly closely with their patients, and, as a result, they often build genuine and strong bonds. Becoming a geriatric nurse requires even more positivity and energy than other areas of nursing do, as you are more than likely be working with some older patients who are finding the aging process difficult, confusing, and even traumatic. Geriatric nurses can work in a variety of different environments, from hospitals and nursing homes to hospices and patients’ homes.
Essentially, specializing in pediatrics means you will only ever be working with people who are eighteen or below, and a large part of the role involves the assessment of the individual requirements of the patient and ensuring they are directed to the right place and level of care.
There are certainly several key characteristics and attributes that working pediatric nurses share, which include:
- A great deal of patience
- A fun and outgoing personality
- Strong levels of endurance (even more than other nursing specialisms)
- Natural positivity and a ‘glass half full’ outlook
- Critical-thinking skills
- A high level of attention to detail
Pharmaceutical nurses are at the heart of the local community and build a strong rapport with people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Essentially, pharmacists are all-around experts in all things medicine and how different medical treatments are created and used. To pursue a pharmaceutical career, it is necessary to complete a postgraduate degree in pharmacology, which typically takes between four and five years to complete.
The main topics covered in an MPharm postgraduate degree include:
- Drug Therapy
- Drug Chemistry
- Drug Origins
- Pharmacology Standards
- Promotion Of Healthy Lifestyles
After successfully obtaining a postgraduate degree in pharmaceuticals, you are then required to undergo a pre-registration period of training in either a community pharmacy, a hospital pharmacy, or a combination of the two. Finally, you are ready to sit the GPhC registration exam.
There are a multitude of reasons to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals, which include the sheer diversity of available career options, the autonomy of being able to choose their working environment and working hours, and the opportunity to mentor future pharmacists. In addition, pharmacists directly contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes, the association, and connection with other members of the healthcare profession, and the regular improvement and enhancement of your current pharmaceutical and medical knowledge and experience.
Mental Health Nurses
Mental health nursing is perhaps the most fascinating of all the nursing specialisms available to registered nurses.
If nursing is more of a vocation than a career, then mental health nursing is the most committed vocation of them all, with one’s professional and personal life being greatly enhanced by making a positive difference to those patients suffering from a mental health disorder. Unfortunately, throughout the country, there is generally somewhat of a shortage of mental health nurses, meaning that if you decide to pursue this specialism, you will be able to count on job security and availability.
Additionally, working as a registered mental health nurse can also be particularly financially rewarding as well, and the title is more of an umbrella term that includes occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, healthcare assistants, and social workers.
Working in psychiatric nursing will put me on the cutting edge of medical innovation, particularly in terms of the sheer volume of time and research put into treating mental health problems and issues.
Desirable qualities and attributes that hospitals looking to hire registered mental health nurses in their team include:
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Empathetic Abilities
- Strong Teamwork Skills and Experience
- A Strong Level of Resilience
- The Ability to Maintain Psychological Distance from the Patients
Although there are certain academic requirements to work in the mental health sector, the personality and resilience levels of the potential candidate are perhaps just as important.
Arguably, nursing is just as, if maybe even slightly more day-to-day, as crucial, stressful, and all-consuming as those who work as professional medical doctors.
Doctors throughout the country are members of one of the highest-paid professional groups of them all, and to become a medical doctor, there is a chain of study progression that one must undertake.
The Completion Of An Undergraduate Degree
You must undertake an undergraduate degree in medicine as the first step on your journey to becoming a qualified medical doctor. There is a wide plethora of modules available, including behavioral sciences, endocrinology, and nutrition, biochemistry, human reproduction, and biology.
The Completion Of The MCAT Exam
The next step is to register and successfully complete the Medical College Admission Test, which is used to assess a candidate’s capabilities and the likelihood of succeeding at medical school.
The majority of medical schools in the United States use AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service), which provides a uniform way to apply to numerous medical schools at the same time.
Medical school takes approximately four years of full-time studying to complete in addition to the three years taken to complete the undergraduate degree. After completion, you must then receive a passing score from the USMLE to start your first residency program. Graduate residency programs take three years to complete and will award you your board certifications which will mean you can obtain your state license.