Not everyone is built to thrive in an industry like healthcare. It’s not only demanding, but it’s also challenging, stressful, and sometimes downright risky. When there’s a global pandemic in full swing, our healthcare workers are on the frontlines, fighting the disease, caring for the ill, and sacrificing their own time and, in some cases, their lives to save others. That’s just not something that everyone can do.
And that’s ok! There’s nothing wrong with not having the right “stuff” to work in healthcare. Have you ever wondered what it takes? Let’s look closer at six signs that the healthcare field might be the right choice for you.
Compassion makes up the core of every healthcare worker’s mind, as it takes incredible compassion for others to put yourself in harm’s way to help healing and recovery. The frontline workers of the COVID-19 pandemic have been in harm’s way for nearly a year, and we’re only just getting word of a vaccine! That takes incredible compassion and dedication, especially because some of these workers haven’t even been able to interact with their families during that time, for fear of spreading the virus.
Compassion is defined as “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” If this is something you feel on a deeper level, healthcare might be the right career path for you. We truly need more compassionate, caring people in one of the nation’s most important industries. People form the backbone of the healthcare industry, and without them, we couldn’t call it “healthcare”.
Don’t get compassion and empathy confused—they’re actually two different emotions. Where compassion is more of an “outside-looking-in” mentality, where you feel pity for the suffering of others, empathy is the “sharing the same boat” mentality. When you empathize with a person, you learn to see things from their point of view. Compassion and empathy are two excellent traits that form two halves of a whole caring and loving person, and that’s exactly what’s needed in healthcare.
While you can never fully empathize with some things, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes does help you feel closer to their struggle and can guide your emotions and actions. You can’t empathize with your patient’s cancer, but maybe you can empathize with their emotional struggle, the sorrow of their family members, and their desire to return to normal life.
The combination of compassion and empathy often breeds a strong desire to help others. Have you ever felt compelled to help another person? Healthcare workers are some of the most helpful people in our society, giving up their time, their energy, and their personal health to make sure that other people are taken care of.
If you’re someone that likes to help others, you might fit right in at a healthcare facility. With modern training programs, you don’t have to spend a fortune, either. Some healthcare jobs can be obtained without a degree, in fast-track paths like online medical administrative programs.
Working in healthcare also requires a certain amount of dedication to what you’re doing, as well as a senior level of responsibility. It’s hard enough sometimes to be responsible for ourselves, but you’ll need to be responsible for others as well if you’re working in healthcare. This extra responsibility isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you if you perform well with extra responsibilities.
Maybe you’ve just always been curious about what a career in healthcare would look like. That’s as good a reason as any to start the path toward your new career, and you’ll be rewarded when you finally get a job in an industry that provides the chance to help others while making a living wage.
Don’t be afraid to take that first step and look into a possible career in healthcare. Talk to people already in healthcare, research training programs, and gain a clear picture of what working in healthcare actually looks like.
For some, the need for change is what drives them to seek a career in healthcare. Not all of us are comfortable working in factories, at a desk, or even in a four-year degree program; and that’s ok! Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and we all have a preferred work environment we’d like to be in.
Some of us just want something different, and with so many options in healthcare, you’ll have plenty of career paths to choose from. There are “desk jobs,” jobs on the frontlines, and so much more in the wide world of healthcare. All you have to do is take the first step and start looking!