Love helping people? You should consider a career in health care, where you get to make a difference to people’s lives. A healthcare job is financially rewarding too and comes with perks few other jobs offer. Read on for more details.
What’s So Wonderful About a Healthcare Career?
The medical field is attractive for pretty obvious reasons. Healthcare professionals are held in high esteem by society. You have the power to save people’s lives. You could be a hero doctor performing life-saving surgery. A home health aide helping the elderly and disabled live with dignity. A physical therapist helping people restore the lost abilities they need to live a normal life. Any job role in healthcare directly or indirectly serves to make people’s lives better.
There are other reasons that make healthcare careers interesting and fulfilling.
1. Employment growth and competitive salary
People work to lead comfortable lives and fulfill dreams. Good pay and benefits are a powerful motivation to show up to work. Healthcare careers pay well, some more than others.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare practitioners and occupations like physicians, surgeons, and registered nurses had a median annual wage of $75,040 in May 2021. This exceeded the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760. However, the median annual wage of healthcare support occupations like home health aides, medical transcriptionists, and occupational therapy assistance, was $29,880, below the median annual wage for all occupations. Home health aides are in short supply. A silver lining is that employment for this occupation is predicted to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
As a home health aide, you provide medical or non-medical services to the aged and disabled at their homes. You can be an independent contractor and find your own clients or work for a home health care agency and get assigned to clients. The minimum requirements for the job are a high school diploma and some practical experience in home care, a skilled nursing facility, or hospital setting.
You’ll need a valid driver’s license with a registered vehicle that is insured. You’re also advised to buy home health aide insurance. Insurance for home health care is broadly of two types: general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. General liability insurance covers you against claims of injury or damage to clients or their property. Professional liability insurance protects you against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in your services.
2. Flexible schedule
A number of jobs in the healthcare sector offer flexible work hours. They include medical transcriptionist, home health aide, mental health counselor, dental assistant, massage therapist, and occupational therapist jobs. The flexibility to maintain certain hours or your own schedule allows you a better work-life balance. There is none of the daily 9-5 grind and 40-hour week.
They also give you a good amount of autonomy. For example, as a home health aide, you don’t report to a doctor or nurse, and make your own decisions. But the lack of structure means you’ll need to find your feet quickly and a full-time schedule that works for you. Note that full-time home health aides may work 40 hours a week and additional hours. This is their choice rather than an imposition by the home health care companies they work for. Home health aide agencies have hourly minimums, which are typically 12 hours per week and four hours per visit.
3. Job security
Healthcare is among the few sectors unlikely to be as impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) as other industries. Medical and non-medical care requires engaging on a human level. A home health robot – no thank you. The human touch that home health aides provide is irreplaceable. AI is, at best, a partner helping seniors manage their medications, answering their medical questions, reordering their medicines, and sending notifications to family members, or connecting them to doctors.
Technological progress means healthcare workers must become more proficient in using software and emerging technologies. In response, training requirements in healthcare jobs may evolve. Armed with higher qualifications, healthcare workers will continue to be in demand in the years to come.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to get stagnant in one job. You can further your education, grow your skill sets, and start a new healthcare career.
Here’s the other thing: age is not such a big factor in healthcare careers. In fact, some of the most age oblivious career paths are in healthcare. The average age of doctors in the U.S. is 53.2 years old as of 2021. In the era of no retirement, you can enjoy a long and fruitful career in healthcare.
4. A varied and interesting work environment
In a healthcare setting, you have a chance to meet different people. Doctors and nurses treat different patients every day. Home health aides may work with one client or several clients. The job environment provides a variety not found in most other occupations.
As a healthcare worker, you occupy a position of immense trust. You must exercise extreme precaution and pay attention to detail to avoid errors. It’s a good idea to protect yourself with an insurance policy that covers any issues that may occur during the course of your work. So, if you choose to be a home health aide or start a home care provider business, insurance for home health care will help maintain your professional reputation and business/career.
5. Job satisfaction
Some of the factors that have been found to bring job satisfaction are engaging work, meaningful work, ability to relate to people on the job, ability to leverage character strengths, flexibility to redesign the way you work, and the workplace culture. A healthcare job ticks many of these boxes, and studies bear it out. A 2017 study of non-clinical healthcare staff in the U.S. found an average job satisfaction score of 77.7 out of 100. 84% of U.S. physicians are “somewhat satisfied,” “satisfied,” or “very satisfied” with practicing medicine. Studies focused on job satisfaction among home health aides have found that most in this role are positively satisfied with their jobs.
Follow your passion
When you do a job you love, your happiness improves. If you believe you can find happiness working in the healthcare field, pursue it with commitment. All the best!