Before starting your academic career in healthcare, you may want to determine if the path is the one you should travel. Take a few minutes to answer some questions about your skills, abilities, passions, desires and even your dreams. Below are some useful questions to ask yourself before embarking on the health career journey.
Do You Like Working with People?
This is one of the first questions to ask yourself if considering a career in healthcare. Nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals interact with people as a major part of their career. A warm and caring personality is necessary for these jobs.
However, there are more technical opportunities that do not involve close interaction with patients. These jobs are great for the individual who longs to help others but would like to remain behind the scenes in doing so. Jobs in pathology, medical lab technology and x-ray processing involve little to no patient contact.
Do You Love Science and Math?
Most healthcare careers involve a lot of science and at least some mathematics. If you are not comfortable learning these subjects in college, the journey in obtaining your degree or certificate could be rough. Most laboratory careers involve extensive hours learning chemistry, physics and biology, while nursing jobs require anatomy and physiology. A background in high school math and science helps prepare you for college and provides a smoother transition into higher level subject matter.
Do You Enjoy Ongoing Learning and Education?
In the field of healthcare, ongoing education is something of the norm. Good healthcare professionals stay current on cutting edge technology and developments in their field of specialty. Ongoing education is often required in order to keep credentials and licenses current and abiding by state obligations. Studying and learning throughout your career is something that you should enjoy doing. If it becomes a burden, this may not be the field of choice.
Are you Comfortable in a Healthcare Environment?
If you get squeamish at the sight of a needle or feel weak in the knees every time you enter a hospital, a career in healthcare may not be the path you want to take. Many healthcare professionals work closely with sick and often dying patients. As the Baby Boomer generation enters their twilight years, more and more patients seen are elderly, and of these patients are sick and dying.
If you don’t like being around elderly people – look for a career that doesn’t involve this specific niche of people. You may not choose to go into geriatrics, but pharmacy or private practice may allow for a more diverse population of patients.
Do You Enjoy Working as a Team or Independently?
Healthcare professionals work in groups, involve team members and are active in performing activities with others. Most of the professions in healthcare require collaboration and communication. If you enjoy working as a part of a team, healthcare is a great career to enter into.
Independent jobs are available as well, but removed from the patient population. Jobs in laboratory work are more isolated from working as a team, but may involve interaction with fellow scientists.