Take a look at any Help Wanted section. It could be in your local newspaper or on a website like Craigslist. Chances are high that you’ll see a ton of jobs available in the category of healthcare. The demand is high, and supply can’t always keep up. Some states are doing their best to add new medical schools to meet the need, since it’s hard to have an adequate supply of doctors if there aren’t enough places to train those doctors. Nursing is another really hot field. If you get a degree in nursing, the chances are very good that you’ll be able to find a well-paying job as soon as you graduate. The same is true for advanced practice nurses like APRN and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)s, where this job board can give you an idea of the demand and salary ranges. So we know the medical field is growing fast, with no signs of slowing down. But something that isn’t talked about quite as much is the why: what makes healthcare such a popular job field right now?
To answer that question, look to the Baby Boomer generation. They’re aging fast, and they need good medical care. A 75-year-old person is usually going to have more complex medical needs than a 25-year-old person. As we age, our body becomes less reliable and more prone to breaking down. Think of the human body as a car. When you’re young and fresh off the assembly line, you’re less likely to stall out on the side of the road. But as the car ages, it needs more repairs.
How to become a healthcare professional
The healthcare industry isn’t for everyone. Sure, the money is usually pretty good, even great. But you need a certain type of personality to be good at it. If you faint at the sight of blood, then a career in nursing is definitely not for you. Be honest about your own limitations, but also know that there are plenty of healthcare jobs out there that are less intense. If teeth have always fascinated you, then a job as a dental hygienist just might be the perfect fit. Sure, you’ll have to see blood sometimes (mostly in the gums), but you’re way less likely to be faced with a situation where one wrong move means the patient dies. If you are in that situation, then you should probably stop performing dental cleanings on an active battlefield.
Working in a field where you’re responsible for someone’s health is a tremendous responsibility. You’ll meet people who have manage to go their whole lives without visiting a doctor or dentist, and you’ll also meet hypochondriacs who visit the emergency room every time they get a bad cold (because they think it might actually be the plague). You’ll need to care for people without judging them. You can advise people to floss or get more exercise, but you shouldn’t be hostile or nasty towards them. A good bedside manner is still important.
The medical field can offer a lot of room for advancement as well. If you’re already a registered nurse, you can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through an online university. Make sure the university is properly accredited with a good reputation, as not all online universities are created equal. But the Internet offers the possibility of increasing your earnings potential and job satisfaction without forcing you to miss work.