Is a Career in Healthcare Suitable For You?

Written by
Rebecca Smiith

Published
Aug 6, 2021

Aug 6, 2021 • by Rebecca Smiith

When it comes to making career choices, almost all of us want something that pays appropriate compensation, and something that offers fulfilling work. The healthcare industry is one of the few that can offer both of those things. While there is a wide diversity of job types in healthcare, the fact is that it isn’t for everyone. Working in healthcare requires certain types of people: Those who aren’t fit for it will dislike the work and probably burn out-- and those who are suited to healthcare work can thrive, make a great living, and provide help to people in their community. Here’s how you can tell if a career in healthcare is right for you. 

You Care

This may be the most important factor of all. If you want to enter the healthcare field, then you must care about other people. You will no doubt provide services to people from all walks of life with all types of illnesses, ailments, and afflictions. You must not just show them empathy, but truly feel it. You may be coming across patients who are having the worst days of their lives. A little bit of friendliness and compassion can go a long way. This does not just apply to those who want to work in direct patient care. Whether you are an administrator or a surgeon, you must provide the service for your patients that they deserve. The only way to do that is to care about them. 

You Work Well With Others

There is not a single job in healthcare that operates in complete solitude. No matter what, you will have to collaborate closely with co-workers and patients to get the best healthcare outcomes possible. This means strategizing, cooperating on moving patients and providing them with direct care, and working out schedules, among other things. Everyone in a healthcare setting must support everyone else. Doctors require accurate charts and patient details, and administrators require the right data for documentation, for example. If you don't work well with others, then you will not succeed in healthcare. 

You Like To Learn

When you work in healthcare, you must be prepared to learn and grow. First of all, almost every job requires some related educational history, such as from a clinical doctorate or a medical billing and coding program. If you don’t have the right education for the job you want, then it will be very difficult or completely impossible to get it. 

It’s never a matter of just knowing the tasks that come with your job. Healthcare is closely governed, so you must always obey applicable laws and regulations. You should also be well-versed in the ethical commitments that you need to make to your patients. All of this takes time and education, so you should be ready to learn if you want to be in healthcare. 

You Can Handle Pressure and Stress

There are many ways that working in healthcare can be stressful. Clinics and hospitals can be incredibly busy, with lineups going out the door and cranky patients waiting to see the doctor. They can sometimes take out their frustrations on staff even though there might be very little you can do about it. 

Stress can also come from what you might see and experience as part of your job. You may witness people dying or being very sick, which can be hard on your psyche. On top of that, patients are often visiting clinics and hospitals on their worst days, and they can be difficult to work with if they are upset. To be successful in healthcare, you must be able to handle pressure and difficult situations effectively. 

You Can Handle the Lifestyle

Sick people aren’t only sick during regular business hours. They are sick around the clock, and they may need the help of some kind during irregular hours. Depending on what type of career you are looking for, you may need to accept that you will work inconvenient hours throughout it. That means overnight, 12 hours shifts, double shifts, and more. This lifestyle can be hard for some, but others thrive on variety. You must be honest with yourself as to whether you will be able to handle the realities of working in this industry. If you need to work 9-5 on weekdays and at no other times, then you might not enjoy working in healthcare

You Are Interested in the Human Body

Healthcare always boils down to the human body. How do we help it heal? How do we ensure that it stays healthy? What is causing pain and discomfort? These are some of the questions that healthcare professionals have to ask. Providing good healthcare means understanding how all of that tissue, blood matter, muscle, bone, and hair all works together to create a single, healthy whole. You need to have a strong understanding of the human body to be effective at most healthcare jobs. It helps if you already have an interest in how it works and how it might be breaking down, damaged, or ill. 

The healthcare industry can seem very attractive to people who are looking to make a career switch. However, it's always important to consider everything when making that choice. Working in healthcare is not for everyone. If you don’t have the skills or the passion that is needed, then you will let yourself and your patients down. Don’t make a career mistake. Take a look at this list to make sure that a career in healthcare is suitable for you.