Building a life you love requires making intentional choices about your professional and personal life. There are no clear-cut criteria for separating your personal life from your professional life, meaning that your choices in one would invariably affect the other.
If you do not enjoy your work or hate your work environment, frustration builds up, leading you to make bad choices and act out toward the people in your life. Hence, choosing a career path that will keep you engaged and fulfilled is necessary. Disturbing statistics from a Gallup poll revealed that out of all the full-time workers in the US, only 30% are engaged at work. This means that about 70% of workers do not find fulfillment in their work.
Working in healthcare can help reverse this trend if only workers knew healthcare could be a route to personal and professional fulfillment. This article will explore the advantages of choosing a career in healthcare and career options to consider in healthcare for personal and career fulfillment.
Why should you consider a career in healthcare?
Healthcare involves planning and providing medical care. Every professional involved in planning for healthcare, implementing health policies and direct patient care can be regarded as having a career in healthcare. So why should you consider healthcare as an option in pursuing a career and personal fulfillment?
- Healthcare provides a unique opportunity to help others
The healthcare industry provides a unique opportunity to help others because your work directly impacts other people’s lives. As a healthcare professional, whether you are an administrator or directly involved in patient care, you can see how your work changes and positively impacts the lives of others. You are providing help at a time in their lives when they need it the most. This can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
- It is an engaging industry
The healthcare industry is very engaging and stimulating. For people who thrive in high-pressure situations, healthcare can provide an immense sense of fulfillment. There is always something new to learn in terms of procedures and best practices, and as there seems always to be a shortage of healthcare professionals, there is no room for slackers, and everyone always has to be on their A-game.
- Competitive pay, depending on skills
Healthcare professionals, especially highly skilled and well-trained ones, can leverage good pay and other benefits. Healthcare professionals, such as surgeons, family doctors, nurses and dentists, are well-paid and also have the unique benefit of being able to enjoy certain perks, such as free healthcare for their families, travel benefits, etc.
- High demand
With the constant evolution of the practice of health and medicine and the departure of certain professionals from the healthcare delivery chain, the demand for certain healthcare professionals, such as nurses, has increased significantly. Besides, people will always need healthcare, and those who can provide that service will always be worthy professionals who are always in demand.
- Remote work opportunities
With the improvements in health tech and telemedicine, there are now opportunities for healthcare professionals to work outside the regular environments where they usually work. Remote work offers nurses, doctors, online health educators or content creators and pharmacists to offer their services from anywhere in the world. Working remotely means that you can pursue other interests that make you feel fulfilled as an individual, and you can live anywhere you feel the most comfortable.
- Great job outlook
Unless you refuse to grow and develop, there is a very slim chance that you will feel ‘stuck’ in healthcare. Employment in the industry is expected to grow by 13% from 2021 to 2031. This percentage is higher than the projected growth rate in many professions. With an aging population, technological advancement that has made healthcare much more specific and tailor-made, and with the increased emphasis on preventive care, it is hard to see healthcare professionals running out of career options.
- Develop useful interpersonal skills
Working in healthcare helps you build many useful soft skills, such as effective communication, negotiation, leadership, teamwork, time management and empathy. These skills make you a better and well-rounded individual, and you can apply them in other areas of your life and build a conscious and fulfilling life for yourself.
- Job for different training levels
Healthcare is quite hierarchical, meaning that you can work your way to the top, and there is a clear trajectory for growth in the industry. As you work yourself to the top, you can be sure that you will not lose out on opportunities just because you are getting trained and developing new skills. For example, in nursing, you can start a fulfilling career with a simple diploma and gradually build your skills and expand your roles by taking additional training and courses to become a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner and ultimately a doctor of nursing practice. A DNP prepares you for a career as a leader and educator in nursing and offers an opportunity to create an impact on healthcare on a small or large scale through innovative and evidence-based practice initiatives.
Career options to consider for personal and professional fulfillment
Since healthcare can be broadly categorized into administration and practice, we would be exploring some career options in both categories.
There are many different healthcare administration careers that one can pursue. Each of these careers has its own unique set of responsibilities and duties, and they include:
- Nursing home administration
Nursing home administration involves the management of a nursing home facility. The roles of a nursing home administrator can range from budgeting, staff management, compliance and overseeing the day-to-day activities of the facility. Nursing home administrators can also be involved in patient care and management, allowing a great deal of flexibility in roles.
- Hospital administration
The role of a hospital administrator is quite similar to that of the nursing home administrator, except they work in distinct environments, and their roles involve patients with different needs. The hospital administrator adopts and maintains effective practices and enforces compliance with the same for the best patient outcomes. The hospital administrator is also in charge of public interactions and relations for the hospital with stakeholders, public officials, patients and the general public.
- Health insurance management
Health insurance is an indispensable part of healthcare as it makes quality healthcare available to the most vulnerable. However, only professionals with a good understanding of how the healthcare industry works can use health insurance to achieve positive outcomes. Health insurance managers are in charge of billing and claims, developing and improving health insurance plans.
- Healthcare consultancy
The healthcare industry is data-driven, and most acceptable industry practices are evidence-based. As a necessity, there must be professionals who can analyze such data and evidence and apply it to create changes in healthcare management and public health systems. Healthcare consultants work on human services issues, such as healthcare policy, financing and evaluation.
- Practice management
A practice manager is like a hospital administrator but on a much smaller scale. Practice managers work in private medical practices to keep the business working smoothly. They manage staff members, patient relations, insurance claims and regulation issues. Practice managers can also work as healthcare providers depending on how small the practice is and if they have the qualification to practice.
Healthcare practice careers
It’s no secret that the field of healthcare is growing rapidly. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in this field are expected to grow by 16% in the next decade. That’s much faster than the average for all other occupations. So, what are some of the best healthcare practice careers?
- Athletic medical care
Healthcare professionals with a passion for sports can pursue a career in athletic medical care as athletic trainers, physical therapists, orthopedic nurses, sports physicians, sports psychologists or nutritionists.
- Geriatric care
Geriatric care involves the management of the health of elderly patients to improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for the longest time possible or at least offer them a semblance of control over certain aspects of their lives.
Mental health care is another career path that can offer professional and personal fulfillment to healthcare professionals. Helping people take back control of their lives or at least helping them to achieve some level of functionality despite mental health challenges is a fulfilling endeavor.
Nursing is a career that allows direct involvement with patient care. Nursing involves providing care for the ill, aged or disabled. There are different specialties that a nurse can pursue based on personal interests and what would offer them the most fulfillment.
- Home care practice
Home care professionals make healthcare available to people who cannot access healthcare through dedicated healthcare facilities. Home care career options include hospice nurses, live-in care nurses, home health aides, etc.
Finding professional and personal fulfillment through healthcare can be a complicated process. However, being honest with yourself about your career goals and maintaining a positive outlook can increase your chances of success. With hard work and dedication, you can find great satisfaction in making a difference in the lives of others.