Careers in healthcare

Are you a high school student contemplating a career in healthcare? Perhaps you are an adult thinking about changing your job? A career in healthcare is a sensible choice, with many roles providing excellent salaries and job satisfaction. Discover some of the careers available to you, and what you need to do to secure a career in the healthcare sector.

Doctor

If you are ambitious and genuinely think you will make a great doctor, be prepared to spend approximately 8 years studying and a further 3 – 7 years as a resident before becoming a licensed doctor. This career takes dedication, stamina and a lot of hard work. As a doctor you can choose to specialise in certain areas if you have an interest in a particular aspect of medicine. Most successful doctors are those that are passionate about the medical profession and are willing to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Doctors are highly salaried, which is an attractive incentive to pursue this role in healthcare.

Nurse

Nurses are often the first medical professional a patient encounters at a hospital, and although you will not be required to study as extensively as doctors, you will still be expected to be hard-working and dedicated to your role. To qualify as a nurse, you will need to complete a relevant degree through an accredited nursing program, like the ones available at GMercyU’s nursing school in Philadelphia. You will also be required to pass specific examinations, and obtain a state license to secure employment as a registered nurse. Training is ongoing, with nurses pursuing additional training and educational courses during their career.

Respiratory therapist

Should you have an interest in dysfunctions of the cardiopulmonary system, you will be considering a career as a respiratory therapist. This is a growing area within healthcare with the number of employed respiratory therapists increasing each year in the U.S.A. In addition to holding an accredited Associates, or Batchelors degree, you will also require extensive hands-on experience and excellent communication skills. Respiratory therapists are expected to continue professional development throughout their career, with license renewal every few years. View schools and assess whether this is the career you wish to follow.

Pharmacist

Besides four years of study (8 years if you complete a Batchelors degree before progressing to 4 further years of further study), to qualify as a pharmacist, you will need extensive experience which can be gained via volunteering. One of the best ways to qualify is to study for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board examination. For a first-hand account of one woman’s journey to becoming a pharmacist, visit the Pharmaceutical Journal.

With any healthcare position, expect to complete a huge amount of paperwork, alongside racking up hours upon hours of voluntary work while studying. Be prepared to work hard, and to put in long hours, before you qualify, and each and every day of your career. Jobs in healthcare can be extremely fulfilling, so why not research this area further and discover which role would be perfect for you?