Would you recommend a career in healthcare?

There is a game we used to love playing when I was a kid – Game of Life. In it, you would randomly spin for a career that would dictate the amount of money you would collect as salary throughout the game. The career that everyone wanted to get was “Doctor” because it had the highest salary. That was my first exposure to how much doctors could potentially make.

As I grew up, I would hear how people spoke about doctors/nurses and how they held both in such high esteem. In high school I distinctly remember the guidance counsellor telling the class how healthcare was a “recession proof industry” and that there would always been a need for more people with medical skills.

In hindsight, I wonder how much this influenced me and if all those early influences guided me to where I am today.

But is healthcare still held in high esteem and is it still a desirable career choice? I’m looking forward to discussing this with the HCLDR Community.

Healthcare Job Security

CareerBuilder.com lists “Job Security” as one of the top reasons to get into healthcare:

While legislation will continue to change the health care landscape, the Affordable Care Act has increased the demand for health care – thus leading to the need for more workers in the industry. Likewise, as people age, they typically require more medical care, and America’s Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age by the millions every year.

But COVID-19 demonstrated that healthcare is not immune to economic downturns. There were many healthcare employees who lost work or were furloughed when physician offices closed their doors and elective surgeries were cancelled.

High Stress

The pandemic also brought into focus the high stress on, lack of mental health support for and the high risk to healthcare staff. There were sadly many stories of frontline staff who fell to COVID-19 due to inadequate PPE early in the pandemic. There were also stories of those that tragically took their own life after dealing with death for months without an end in sight.

It was an eye-opener for those of us already in healthcare, but did it change the overall opinion of healthcare careers?

Non Medical Roles

One of the things that has never gotten enough attention is the multitude of non-medical roles in healthcare. There are roles in finance, HR, facilities and of course IT in healthcare that are important too. Yet, I rarely see any seminars being held for them at high schools and universities.

Sure, these roles are behind-the-scenes and Hollywood has yet to greenlight a medical drama/comedy that spotlights any of these roles…but the people filling these roles are essential to keeping the healthcare system functioning. I think it’s about time more people talked these up to the next generation of kids so that they’ll think about healthcare as a potential career choice.  

Join us on the next #HCLDR tweetchat on Tuesday June 22nd at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) where we will be discussing the following questions:

  • T1 Would you recommend someone start their career or switch mid-career to a patient-facing role in healthcare (ie: doctor, nurse, technician, PSW, etc)? Why or why not?
  • T2 Would you recommend someone start their career or switch mid-career to an operations/administrative role in healthcare right now? Why or why not?
  • T3 Do you think COVID-19 changed the public perception of healthcare as a career destination? How?
  • T4 If Hollywood were ever to do a TV show that highlighted non-medical staff, what department would you focus it on? What would your pilot pitch be? Who would star?

References

“9 reasons you should be in health care”, CareerBuilder, 12 March 2021, https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/reasons-you-should-be-in-health-care, accessed 21 June 2021

“Why Work in Health Care? 8 Reasons To Consider a Career in Health Care”, Indeed, 18 March 2021, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/why-work-in-healthcare, accessed 21 June 2021

“Why a Career in Health?”, ExploreHealthCareers.org, https://explorehealthcareers.org/why-a-career-in-health/, accessed 21 June 2021

“How to Prepare for a healthcare career in high school”, EduMed, https://www.edumed.org/medical-careers/how-to-prepare-in-high-school/, accessed 21 June 2021

Fadel, Leila, et al.  “As Hospitals Lose Revenue, More Than A Million Health Care Workers Lose Jobs”, NPR, 8 May 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852435761/as-hospitals-lose-revenue-thousands-of-health-care-workers-face-furloughs-layoff, accessed 21 June 2021

Karlamangla, Soumya and Mason, Melanie. “Thousands of healthcare workers are laid off or furloughed as coronavirus spreads”, LA Times, 2 May 2020, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-02/coronavirus-california-healthcare-workers-layoffs-furloughs, accessed 21 June 2021

Muoio, Dave. “Physician assistants report COVID-19 furloughs and burnout, but remain optimistic for profession’s future”, FierceHealthcare, 28 April 2021, https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/physician-assistants-report-covid-19-furloughs-and-burnout-but-remain-optimistic-for, accessed 21 June 2021

Hsieh, Paul. “How Badly Does Hollywood Distort Truth In Medical Dramas?”, Forbes, 22 February 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2018/02/22/how-badly-does-hollywood-distort-truth-in-medical-dramas/?sh=5b6baa5c141d, accessed 21 June 2021

Image Credit

Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash

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