If you have the ambition to get a healthcare job, you have come to the right place. This blog will give you all the information that you need to know about turning your dream of becoming a healthcare worker into a reality. If you have the desire to take care of people and make a significant change in society, healthcare is certainly a career to consider; however, it can be difficult to know how to get started.
This guide will provide you with some helpful hints on getting your foot in the door in the industry and hopefully, allow you to endure a long and successful career as a healthcare professional:
As there are such a wide number of jobs in the healthcare industry, you will likely need some education level to get on the career path, but it is not always a necessity. Healthcare jobs range from lower-level positions through to specialists; however, the higher educated you are, the more likely you will reach the top and become a leader in your field.
Some of the jobs that you’ll only need a higher-level diploma for include receptionists and assistants; however, roles such as nurses, doctors, and physicians will be required to have a DNP as an absolute basis. Degrees often vary in the number of years they take to complete, based on the role they lead into; however, DNPs can become an extremely valuable addition to your resume when the time comes to apply for jobs; regardless of whether or not you wish to continue in the healthcare sector after graduating.
Although healthcare education may lead you down a specific career path, do not feel as though your career options will be limited. A DNP will allow you to work in a range of industries that are unrelated to healthcare, as you’ll have become equipped with transferable skills and a high level of knowledge throughout the course and within placements to succeed in any career.
While it isn’t essential to gain a DNP to get into the healthcare sector, it is certainly worth considering if you’re hoping to boost your career prospects.
As with any career route, the experience is everything as an opening into a specific industry. One of the best ways to make yourself stand out from other applicants during the job search is to gain as much experience as you can to add to your resume, aside from your DNP degree. There are many different ways that you can gain the experience you need, from volunteering at your local hospital or care home or even being in a lower-level form of employment in a medical environment.
Internships can also be applied for; however, these are hard to come by, and you’ll often be up against a vast amount of competition, but it would always be worth keeping an eye out on job boards should any come available. Although internships are not paid roles, they allow you to gain the hands-on experience you need within a medical setting over roughly 6-12 months. During this time, you will have the time to contemplate whether or not the job role and potentially even the industry is suited to your interests and skillset.
At the current time, we are seeing that there is a shortage of employees within healthcare, which has put immense pressure on the industry across the world, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, so you may discover that medical institutions are more willing to accept interns for extra support. While studying a DNP or are still in further education, you could ask the career center to help you ask local medical establishments whether they would be willing to accept interns or volunteer placements.
In some cases, internships may lead to employment. Still, even if you are not given a permanent paid role, this experience will become invaluable to getting you started in your medical career.
Regardless of which industry you wish to get into, networking plays a major part in getting your foot on the career ladder. Meeting professionals already working in the industry could be the gateway to turn your ambition of becoming a healthcare worker into a reality. When you’re searching for new opportunities, networking can help you gain a more accurate insight into the industry, be in-the-know of any news within your field that you need to be aware of, and of course, have the chance to meet professionals who could give you that helping hand you need.
There are many different ways that you can network, including the likes of:
If you are already working in healthcare, you will likely be invited to conferences as part of your training or professional development. Attending conferences regularly could potentially allow you to progress in your field by meeting healthcare professionals from around the world who are likely to be open to chatting about career development and answer any queries you have.
You may underestimate your colleagues when it comes to career development; however, do not underestimate the information and contacts they could have, allowing you to progress in your field. Whenever you have the opportunity, do not be afraid to ask questions about their professional background and opinions on which direction you should take. It may also be the case that they have their own network of useful contacts within the healthcare sector they could contact if you need any additional help and guidance. Simply getting their phone number or exchanging email addresses could be the start of getting your healthcare career journey on track.
Thanks to the developments in technology, it is now easier than ever to contact other professionals online via social media platforms such as LinkedIn. There are many benefits to using LinkedIn that you may not be aware of to get started in the healthcare sector. Here are just a few:
- Extensive job listings
When the times come to get onto the job hunt, LinkedIn is often the first-place healthcare professionals’ resort to finding new promoted jobs. The website is equipped with its very own job search engine. You can browse for jobs in your desired field, which are often advertised on this site only. Hence, you have less competition from other candidates with a DNP qualification during the application process.
- Reach out to people who view your profile
When creating your LinkedIn profile, you need to ensure that it stands you in good stead if recruiters view it. It should include your skill set, level of experience (such as a DNP qualification), and previous employment as an absolute basis. If recruiters are impressed with what they see, it is not unusual to contact you and ask if you are interested in an opportunity they have on offer.
- Join networks
LinkedIn is the perfect platform for contacting other professionals in the same industry and gives you the chance to participate in useful discussions. In doing so, you’re able to showcase your knowledge of the healthcare industry that you have learned from your DNP qualification and ask questions to those in higher positions, who may be able to give you the advice to further your career.
Aside from LinkedIn, there are also various platforms to sign up to, which are solely for healthcare professionals – such as Clinician 1. On this website, you can make connections with nurses, doctors, and practitioners to expand your network and have conversations on certain healthcare topics that are of interest to you and expand your knowledge.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to securing a career in healthcare is to take on a vast amount of research into the latest industry trends so you’re aware of the constant changes being made in the world of healthcare. While you may know the basics picked up while studying a DNP, you must have in-depth knowledge of key changes and how they impact the industry both in the current and future. By constantly researching, you will be able to speak more openly during an interview and prove yourself as an expert in your field, which in turn, may make you more attractive as a potential candidate.
5. Improve your skillset
Regardless of whether you have a DNP qualification, the healthcare industry is made up of various roles suited to different people based on their skillset. Education is vital to get accepted into certain roles, but you will need to have the relevant skills to succeed. Some of the most important skills that you will need are listed below:
As you will be dealing with sick patients daily, you must be able to demonstrate empathy during hard-hitting situations. By being gentle and compassionate in your manner, you will make the patient, and family members feel much more at ease in your company and understand that they are in the best hands to aid their recovery.
Communication is a key skill that is essential across any industry, irrespective of your role. You need to be able to communicate clearly with people at all levels of understanding.
Healthcare workers will be expected to speak to patients and their families throughout the day to explain their condition and medications calmly and clearly to ensure they fully understand the next steps. On the other hand, communication is also vital when speaking with coworkers, especially when it comes to critical medical information. The slightest mistake during miscommunication could have serious consequences on the wellbeing of the patient.
- Work well under stress
Healthcare is one of the most stressful industries to work in, as you are essentially responsible for others’ health and wellbeing. With this in mind, you need to be an individual who can cope in stressful and hectic situations and be able to take traumatic events in your stride. Of course, you’re only human, and certain situations may trouble you, but you’ll need to put strategies in place to be able to cope with sensitive situations.
Healthcare workers are at risk of burnout if they fail to take control of their stress levels, which could impact your own physical and mental health. With this in mind, you need to ensure that you have stress-management practices in place to be able to handle pressure when working in the healthcare industry.
- Positive attitude
Due to the demands of the role, healthcare workers must adopt a positive attitude to cope as a healthcare worker. Due to the industry’s high demands, it is easy to become burdened with the amount of pressure that is placed on your shoulders, which may cause you to feel overwhelmed and downbeat. Tricking your mind to think positively will make you much happier in your role and you will feel more comfortable when it comes to dealing with whatever problems are thrown your way.
As you may expect, a healthcare profession is not the standard 9-5 office job routine you may be used to. Shift patterns can be extremely sporadic, meaning you have to have a degree of flexibility to make this career work for you. Shifts can be either daytime or evening and your colleagues may ask you to pick up a shift on their behalf when they are needed elsewhere.
Every single day you walk into work, you will not know what to expect, so you will need to be able to adapt to changing and unexpected circumstances. Every day is different in the world of healthcare, which makes for an exciting and fast-paced work environment.
- Time management
In any career, time management is crucial to meet complete tasks by deadlines but is even more essential in healthcare. As people’s lives are at risk, you need to be able to act quickly and manage time wisely to take care of patients in the most efficient approach. There may be times when you feel as though you are being pulled in several directions, which means you will need to prioritize tasks based on the order of importance.