Spanning the spectrum from home health aides, to medical transcriptionists, nurses, doctors, and many other concentrations, the healthcare field is of the most varied in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry is expected to enjoy a 19 percent growth through 2024. This is often attributed to an aging population, increased interest in health insurance options, and other factors.
State of Healthcare Careers
Following a hiring slowdown in 2013, the healthcare industry quickly rebounded as the Affordable Care Act presented healthcare options to individuals who were previously unable to obtain coverage or otherwise afford medical care. During this time, it is estimated that more than 470 thousand healthcare industry jobs were created.
According to a report from Modern Healthcare, nursing has been the most popular and fastest-growing career track among healthcare professionals. Still, all healthcare concentrations are expected to experience constant growth and change. In order to keep up with these changes and be in a position to excel in a healthcare career, it is important to be focused on and involved in career advancement and continuing education opportunities.
How to Excel in a Healthcare Career
It has been said that healthcare education never ends. This fact means continuing education should be a priority for healthcare workers. There are several ways by which to accomplish this important career goal.
Enroll in an Advanced Degree Program
Regardless of concentration, there are several higher education options available to healthcare professionals — whether through a local University system, online courses, and elsewhere. In addition to advanced degrees, earning an educational certificate will also assist workers in their career advancement goals.
Find a Mentor
Establishing and maintaining professional relationships is essential for career advancement. While it may be best to seek out and foster relationships with co-workers in a related or desired position, there are also online mentoring options available.
Become a Leader
Employers are impressed by workers who take initiative and show an interest in the advancement of their institution, whether that is hospital system, assisted living facility, medical office, or other healthcare-related organization.
Healthcare professionals can establish themselves as leaders in their concentration by mentoring new employees, volunteering with non-profit organizations related to their career, seeking out opportunities to serve and/or chair committees, and joining a healthcare association.
Networking — both in person and online — is a cornerstone to career advancement. More than meeting new people and establishing professional relationships, networking allows workers to exchange industry knowledge, brainstorm and troubleshoot solutions to workplace concerns, discover promotion and new position opportunities, and expand industry knowledge and expertise. ■
by Frank Samandari
for Residential Life Magazine
Frank Samandari is an award-winning journalist, web writer, and voice talent based near Daytona Beach Florida.