With an increasing demand for health care jobs in today’s market, it’s no wonder why dedicated students are wanting to make a difference and help others. Those who are patient and compassionate choose a career in the health care field for various reasons, such as its excellent benefits, job security, and financial rewarding salaries. However, it can be difficult and at times overwhelming to start thinking about entering a career in this rapidly growing field. To help clear up any confusion, here are three steps that can help you jump-start your health care career.
Step One: Get Some Experience
The best way to get real-world experience is to volunteer your time at a health care organization in your community, either before or during your degree program. Not only will this experience be an asset for your resume and give you access to references, but it will also provide insight into the type of career you may want to have. To determine where you should volunteer, consider the following:
- The type of setting appeals to you (hospital, clinic, rehab facility)
- The health care professionals you would like to work with (doctors, therapists, lab technicians)
- The kind of patient (children, the elderly) you’d prefer to serve
- The health issue (prevention, women’s health, substance abuse therapy)that piques your interest
You should approach your volunteer work the way you would a paid position to ensure that you get the most out of the opportunity. Use your volunteer opportunity as a chance to learn as much as you can. The more you put into it, the more valuable your experience will be for your future career.
Step Two: Consider Your Future
You know you want to work in health care, but it’s time to get more specific. Doing some research about the job options available to you is the first step in starting your health care career. There are four main types of health career jobs, and knowing the distinctions between them is a great way to narrow down your options.
- Practitioner careers are technical and hands-on. They usually involve extensive schooling and a great deal of patient contact. These health care careers tend to be the most financially rewarding. If you are looking for a career with direct interaction with patients and are ready to commit to seven to 10 years of education, one of these careers could be right for you. Examples include dentist, surgeon, therapist, and internist.
- Allied health careers involve assisting practitioners with daily responsibilities and patient care. A career in this area involves less school than practitioner health careers but comes with good job growth potential. Allied health careers include medical assistant, paramedic, EMT, home health aide, and phlebotomist.
- Supportive careers include aides and assistants who work alongside more experienced health care professionals. They spend a lot of time with patients, especially when it comes to the rehabilitation process. These professionals usually hold an associate degree. Some examples of supportive careers include pharmacy aide, medical transcriptionist, dental assistant, and therapy aide.
- Managerial careers are positions that do not require patient involvement but are still critical to the health care system. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other environments need health care administrators with at least a bachelor’s degree. Ideal for those who are organized and responsible, a managerial health care profession is usually in office and administrative support, management, business, or financial areas. Examples of managerial careers include medical services manager and health care administrator.
Step Three: Earn Your Degree
By the time you have done your research and gained some real-world experience, you will likely be ready to enroll in the degree program you’ve chosen. A bachelor’s degree is a good start for you if you are considering a career like health care administration. It qualifies you for both entry-level and management roles. Earning your degree helps you gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a leader in the health care career of your choice.
With the online bachelor’s in health care administration program from Concordia University, St. Paul, you can reach your personal and professional goals on your own schedule. Develop practical experience and the confidence needed to succeed in the dynamic health care industry. Our courses explore current health trends and events while evaluating how business principles shape and affect these trends.