4 signs a healthcare career may be right for you
The healthcare industry offers various rewarding career paths. You have the opportunity to make a significant difference in individual patients’ lives and the community at large. Lucrative salaries are also a feature of many roles in the sector.
The Australian Industry and Skills Committee also predicts a growth from 1.8 million people employed in healthcare to over 2 million over 2 million by 2025, much faster than the average.
However, these advantages shouldn’t be your only considerations for a career in this sector. There are significant challenges and demands in any healthcare job. If you don’t have appropriate personal and professional traits, you could struggle to overcome the difficult aspects and provide high-quality care. You also don’t want to spend years gaining education and experience for a job that is just not right for you.
So, let’s take a look at a handful of signs that could indicate a healthcare career is the right path for you.
1. You can identify priorities
Most healthcare roles will see you juggling various tasks at once. Not to mention there will often be patients, colleagues, and third parties all vying for your attention.
If you are a front-line healthcare worker, selecting the right tasks for your primary focus is an essential skill. Mistakes here can have a serious impact on patients’ ability to overcome their illness or injury.
This is particularly prevalent in urgent care roles, but even in non-hospital jobs, you will need to demonstrate these traits. As such, healthcare careers are well-suited to people who can effectively prioritise their activities.
Your skills here should include the ability to accurately assess the urgency of tasks. You should be able to understand how each of your actions can have an impact on you, your patients, and your colleagues. An often overlooked aspect is your ability to prioritise your own wellbeing, too.
Healthcare can be a high-stress situation, and knowing when to put your wellness first can affect your own health and your efficacy on the job.
2. You have strong soft skills
Most roles in the medical industry require significant education and training. You’ll have responsibility for the lives and wellbeing of the public, after all.
However, it is not just the medical expertise you gain from your schooling that can determine your suitability for a role. Your range of soft skills is just as important as your technical healthcare certifications. These personal attributes, such as good communication and time management, support and enhance any treatments you provide.
If your soft skills aren’t yet as strong as you’d like, this doesn’t rule out your suitability for a healthcare career. You can develop these over time and experience.
For instance, having a certain amount of empathy is key as a care professional. But at the same time, you can gain a better grasp of this attribute by engaging meaningfully with the lives of community members. Step outside of your comfort zone and listen to people’s stories and understand their challenges. Volunteering can be a good way to approach this.
3. You are compassionate but assertive
As a healthcare professional, you’ll be working with patients at some of the most difficult times in their lives. This doesn’t just apply to front-line positions. Administrative staff members interact with patients, even if they’re working remotely.
As such, one of the key indicators of your suitability for a healthcare career is your application of compassion. You need to be able to recognise that no matter what task you’re undertaking, you are there to help people overcome genuinely life-changing challenges.
However, your compassion can’t always be the overriding factor. It also has to be balanced by a sense of assertiveness. Nurses and doctors need to know when to say no to requests from patients. This could be refusal for unnecessary prescriptions or surgeries or for medical exemption notes you feel would be unethical to issue. Emergency room professionals often need to hold a strong line against patients who need treatment but are acting aggressively.
4. You are organised and diligent
Healthcare involves a lot of moving parts, no matter what role you choose. There are always various actions to be performed and different parties to collaborate with. Not to mention you’ll always have a significant amount of paperwork to complete.
As such, a healthcare career may be right for you if you have robust organizational skills. If you can thrive among the chaos by maintaining solid operational structures, you can be valuable in most medical occupations.
However, organisation alone isn’t the only consideration here. This ability must also be coupled with a strict sense of diligence. Your patient records will always need to be thorough and accurate to be effective.
Your organisation may help you develop a schedule for your work, but your diligence will motivate you to go above and beyond this to solve problems. These skills complement one another in healthcare and can be good indicators of your suitability for careers in this field.
A healthcare career can be an exciting idea, but not everybody is suited to this calling. Each role in medicine has positive elements and challenging aspects. It’s worth assessing your personality and skills to better understand the potential for a good match.
Your soft skills can be as vital as your learned medical expertise. Compassion balanced with assertiveness can make you a caring and effective healthcare professional.
Remember, though, that many of these attributes can be developed over time. Understanding the key traits and how they feature in your personality can be the first step toward a rewarding career journey.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com