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How to Start a Career in Healthcare

Healthcare has almost always been an excellent choice for a career path, but with recent events, it’s become even more clear that it’s a secure and honorable profession. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects occupations in this field to “grow 15% from 2019 to 2029.” That, coupled with the typically above-average pay scale, makes it well worth considering when you’re choosing or changing careers.

If you do happen to be just starting out or considering changing your profession to healthcare, there are a few things you should know. For example, there are a lot more careers in the field than just doctors and nurses. If you don’t feel you’re cut out for some of the hands-on care that goes into these professions, you can probably still find something you’re suited for.

Also, you might be wondering if colleges run background checks on students. The truth is that while some do, most of them won’t run anything thorough on every applicant. However, it’s important to run one on yourself if you’re not sure what’s there since most healthcare careers will require it for licensing.

Exploring Your Options

Once you’ve decided to seriously consider a career in healthcare, it’s time to explore your options. Understanding that there’s a place for almost any type of professional is important for anyone who doesn’t necessarily want to be on the front lines. One popular career choice is an audiologist. You’ll usually find audiologists in a hearing aid clinic, working with people of all ages. People who work in these settings test people’s hearing when they’re having issues and come up with viable solutions to make their lives easier. Often, they’ll fit them with hearing aids or treat tinnitus and other hearing disorders.

Job Shadowing

Almost all medical programs require a certain number of hours of job shadowing experience prior to enrollment. This is an excellent idea for any profession, but it’s especially helpful in one that requires skills and challenges you might not be aware of. This tends to deter a lot of would-be applicants because they’re not sure how to go about it. Don’t let that deter you when it’s such a simple thing to rectify. Most healthcare facilities are used to this type of thing, and each employee probably had to do it themselves, so there’s no need to feel uncomfortable about asking.

The easiest way to get some job shadowing experience is to ask someone you know who works in the field. Even if they aren’t doing the job you want, it’s likely that they can ask a colleague to help you out. If you don’t know anyone personally, however, you can call a facility in your desired field directly and ask if there’s anyone there who would be willing to let you shadow them. You can also talk to an advisor in the program you’re applying to. They usually have recommendations or can refer you to professionals they work with.

Getting Properly Certified

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Once you’ve obtained your license, certificate, or degree in the healthcare field, it’s important to get and maintain the proper certifications. You should start the process and research early on, starting with when you’re deciding what program to attend. One important certification to consider is ANCC certification (American Nurses Credentialing Center). This will likely be required for you if you intend to become a Nurse Practitioner with any specialization, so it’s important to find a program with the proper accreditation that will help you get to that point. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be required to keep up with any continuing education your particular license requires.

The healthcare field is a challenging one, but if you believe that you’re a good fit, there are plenty of people and resources who can help you.