How to Start a Career in Healthcare: The Steps to Take

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Start a Career in Healthcare

Are you considering a career in healthcare? Are you wondering which steps to take?

A career in healthcare is beneficial in so many ways. It offers high pay, excellent benefits, and the opportunity to advance in many ways. The healthcare industry is expected to continue to grow.

Here’s what you need to know about pursuing your healthcare career.

Choose a Career Path

There are a number of options when it comes to healthcare careers, all of which require different levels of education. You could be training for several months or several years, depending upon the type of career you’re looking for.

For example, if you’re wondering how to become a doctor, you’ll find many options available to you. You’ll want to choose a good college and choose a major that allows you to study subjects like biology, chemistry, and physiology. Majors like pre-med, biology, or biochemistry are popular. You can also phlebotomy as a career.

Next, you’ll need to do well on your MCAT and get accepted to an accredited medical school, where you’ll study for four years. After that, you’ll complete three or more years of a residency, which allows you to begin working as a doctor under the guidance of an attending physician. You’ll get the ability to learn the ins and outs of your profession, as well as start getting paid.

Some doctors also choose to complete a fellowship and get additional training in their sub-specialty. Finally, you can join a medical practice or start your own.

Nursing

If you’re wondering how to become a nurse, the career path is a bit different. You’ll need to begin by getting serious about your major in college. Many nurses earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an Associate Degree in Nursing, or a Master of Science in Nursing. 

If you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in another field of study, you may wish to enroll in an Accelerated Nursing Program. You can earn your degree in twelve to sixteen months.

Next, you’ll need to pass a test to earn your certification. These could include the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical Nurses or the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. Registered nurses are required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

Finally, you can begin looking for your first job in nursing. Cities with established hospitals are a great place to start looking. 

For example, the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda offers numerous opportunities. And Bethesda Real Estate is a wonderful way to begin investing in the housing market.

Once you graduate and pass your nursing exam, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a specialty, which may increase your career opportunities. You can also choose to wait before you specialize. Popular nursing specialties include neonatal nursing, clinical nursing, and critical care nursing.

You may also choose to pursue additional schooling after you begin working as a nurse. This could result in higher salaries, senior-level employment opportunities, and a greater level of responsibilities.

It can take anywhere from two to five years to become a nurse. Those who love to help people of all ages and from all walks of life can find great career satisfaction in this field. 

Other Career Paths

Of course, there are other rewarding career paths in the medical fields that offer good salaries and excellent benefits. In many cases, these don’t require years of schooling.

For example, you may choose to become a medical assistant. These professionals are responsible for a number of tasks, including managing medical records, taking vital signs, and preparing examination rooms. 

Medical assistant programs offer certificates or associate’s degrees. You’ll need to complete an externship that will give you hands-on experience and pass a certification exam. Medical assistants enjoy a good job outlook.

Dental assistants also earn excellent salaries and enjoy good job prospects. You can complete a dental assistant program at a community college or technical school. They usually take one to two years and will result in you earning a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree.

Dental assistants can complete an externship where they hone their skills while working in a hands-on environment. They may also choose a focus such as pediatric dentistry, periodontics, or maxillofacial surgery. You can also choose to pursue other certifications such as an orthodontic dental assistant or preventative functions dental assistant. 

Dental assistants can enjoy an entry-level job with flexible hours. They may also choose to return to school for an advanced degree that will increase career mobility.

With so much of the population beginning to enter their golden years, there are also plenty of opportunities out there for those wishing to pursue a career as a home health care aide or personal care aide. These folks provide assistance with daily living tasks and help with things like checking vital signs and helping with medication. 

Some community colleges offer training programs for home health aides. However, in most cases, you’ll only need a high school diploma. 

Research and Networking

Of course, there are myriad careers emerging in the healthcare industry, many of which require only a few months of schooling. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, the best thing you can do is continue to research any fields you find interesting.

Reach out to anyone you know in the medical field and ask for contacts in careers you’re interested in. Talk to these professionals about their daily responsibilities and their satisfaction with their jobs.

You should never choose a new career lightly. However, if you do your homework, you’ll be on your way toward a rewarding future in healthcare. 

Your Career in Healthcare

A career in healthcare offers a great salary, excellent benefits, and an opportunity to work with all kinds of people. With a little schooling and a lot of determination, you could be on your way toward a wonderful career in no time.

Don’t stop getting smart about your future now. For more great advice on careers and lifestyle, read our blog today.