If your passion for helping others has led you to pursue a healthcare career, you’ve chosen a high-growth field expected to add millions of jobs in the coming decade. Where you fit in depends on whether you want to perform direct patient care or work behind the scenes. Either way, your passion needs a plan. You’ll also need a good work ethic, education, training, and the attitude of a lifelong learner to succeed in field.
1. Choose a Healthcare Path
So patient care? Or not? It’s not the only decision you need to make but it’s an important one. Because if you want to be on a patient floor, helping to heal the sick, that’s one path. But if you don’t really like the idea of seeing blood or cleaning up after patients, then you’ll take another route. It’s good to have a choice. What’s yours?
2. Get Healthcare Training
For most any healthcare career, you’ll need training. Training ensures that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to work in the field. Whether you want to become a Medical Assistant or Healthcare Administrator, you’ll need to learn how the healthcare delivery system works, what laws and regulations you’ll need to follow, and the technical aspects of your job. For example, you’ll need to understand the HIPAA laws that ensure patient confidentiality and the Electronic Medical Records Mandate that shifted the industry away from paper records to digital files.
To choose a training program, first make sure the school is accredited. Then, determine what qualifications the instructors have. You’ll want to know that the faculty has industry experience as well as textbook knowledge. And look for a schedule that works with yours. For example, even if it needs to be a hands-on program like one for Dental Assisting, do they offer a convenient online component, so you don’t need to be on campus every day? And for programs like Medical Billing and Coding, can you learn it all online?
3. Gain Experience in Healthcare
One of the best ways to kickstart your career is with some experience in the field. If your training program offers an externship at a local healthcare facility, you’ll have the chance to see what your job could really be like, and you can put the experience on your resume. You can also volunteer or look for job shadowing opportunities to gain further knowledge and experience in the field. Once you graduate from your training program, you can start to look for your first job. Chances are, you’ll eventually move from your first job to a better opportunity. But that first job will be a building block for the rest of your career.
4. Find Opportunities to Network with Healthcare Professionals
Your professional network includes your co-workers, supervisors, and workplace acquaintances. But it can also start in your training program! Those classmates could be your future colleagues. Make a good impression while you’re still in school and you never know where it could lead. Throughout your career, you can call upon your network to provide references, recommendation letters, career advice, and maybe even job openings. Find as many opportunities to network as you can. Connect with Career Services at your school, attend job fairs in your area, and create a LinkedIn account and connect online. You can also find virtual career fairs online during the pandemic. You can even reach out to people already in the field and ask them for advice or mentorship.
5. Keep Up with Changes in Healthcare
The world of healthcare constantly evolves. New policies are put in place, new methods are developed, and new technology is implemented. You’ll have to keep up with these changes if you want your knowledge and skills to remain current and in demand. This means you’ll need to be a lifelong learner. Embrace the chance to learn new things with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit. The more you learn, the more you’ll grow as a healthcare professional.
Are you ready to start your career in healthcare? Contact Charter College today. We offer a variety of healthcare training programs that can prepare you for a rewarding and dynamic career in the industry. Our programs are taught by professionals who are dedicated to helping you succeed. We work to get you to work. Fill out the form to learn more.