Careers – These are something that determines the future trajectory of our lives. While it is very much possible to change your career stream, the choice of a career cannot be taken lightly. So, Totempool continues with popular good career path series. In this article, we will discuss “Is Healthcare a good career path?”
Health is one of the building blocks of life as people can live their lives to the fullest only if they are entirely healthy, which makes healthcare a crucial sector in the overall economy.
Here are the main topics we will talk about in this article:
- What Is the Healthcare Industry?
- Industries Within Healthcare
- What Are The Career Options in Healthcare?
- Ethics and Etiquettes in Healthcare Career Path
- What Is Healthcare Administration?
- Reasons to Work in Healthcare
- What Are The Careers In Medical Devices?
- Is Healthcare A Good Career Path?
What Is the Healthcare Industry?
One of the first things that come to mind on hearing the term healthcare is doctors and nurses.
Although these are essential roles in this field, this industry comprises much more than just doctors as some people provide healthcare equipment and services. This area also includes individuals and organizations that offer training and education related to healthcare services.
Healthcare is an area that will remain in focus in the foreseeable future.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, healthcare services will have a booming decade, and an aging population and people with chronic health conditions will drive this demand.
Is Healthcare a Good Career Path – What Are The Industries Within Healthcare?
There are a vast number of industries that fall under healthcare. Some of these are described below:
Companies that manufacture drugs can be broken down into pharma firms, biotechnology companies, and makers of generic medications.
Most of these companies manufacture well-known drugs, and they invest in research and development. Generic drug companies operate on thin margins as they are longer under patent protection.
Medical equipment firms manufacture equipment such as operating tables, braces, and scalpels, which are examples of the standard equipment used. The equipment includes specialized equipment like mammograms, ventilators, X-ray machines, and MRI machines.
Companies that provide health insurance services come under managed healthcare. Health insurance helps individuals pool risk, and the money goes to whoever needs it most.
Healthcare insurance in the USA is mainly of two types: public and private. Most people use a combination of both.
There are three US public health insurance available. They are Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Amongst the private players, there are again three types of health insurance. These are:
The standard fee for service health insurance plans is usually the most expensive but offers the highest flexibility.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) offer lower co-payments and cover preventive healthcare costs. The downside is that they offer fewer options for healthcare providers.
Preferred Provider Organizations are similar to HMOs but provide more flexibility while selecting a provider.
These firms run hospitals, clinics, labs, and other facilities that house patients short-term or long-term. These could be facilities that treat patients, run tests or care for them.
What Are The Career Options in Healthcare?
Given the diversity of healthcare fields, it is replete with career options. This is an important aspect to consider while discussing – Is healthcare a good career path?
Many people are a part of this sector, but their roles go unnoticed as they work behind the scenes. We are talking about medical laboratory professionals.
He maintains the ultrasound equipment, schedules patients’ appointments, and performs the ultrasound examination. In addition to this, he sonograms images and videos and informs the doctors of any issues. On average, an ultrasound technician makes more than $66,000 a year.
He is responsible for supplying anesthesia carts and machines. Also, he works on disinfecting and disassembling anesthesia equipment and replacing old machines. This technician also prepares transducers for invasive thermodynamic monitoring. He makes $42,000 a year.
A medical lab technician calibrates lab equipment, and he is also responsible for cleaning the equipment and maintaining its sterility.
Other job functions of a lab technician include collecting tissue samples from patients and preparing solutions or reagents to be combined with these samples. They make $45,000 a year.
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical laboratory technologists are responsible for performing a variety of technical tasks in medical laboratories. These tasks may include running tests, collecting specimens, and preparing samples for analysis. Medical laboratory technologists may also be involved in the development and implementation of lab policies and procedures.
Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or a related field. They may also need certification in medical laboratory techniques from the American Society for Clinical Pathology or the American Medical Technologist Association. Many medical labs require technicians to have an accredited certification program as well.
Medical laboratory technologists typically work full-time in medical laboratories. They may also work part-time or freelance during periods of emergency or other high-demand periods. Medical laboratory technologists generally enjoy good working conditions and competitive salaries.
Radiology technicians are responsible for the safe and accurate interpretation of x-ray images and other medical images. They use a variety of medical imaging equipment to produce diagnostic images, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and digital radiography. Radiology technicians must have a valid certification in radiology technology from an accredited organization.
As the demand for radiology services continues to grow, so too does the need for qualified and capable radiology technicians. A career as a radiology technician can offer excellent opportunities for advancement and growth, both in terms of salary and career opportunities. Those interested in pursuing a career as a radiology technician should consider obtaining certification from an accredited organization such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Health Care Technician
Health care technicians are in high demand in the current job market. With an ever-growing population, more people are requiring medical attention. This means that there is a greater need for technicians who can administer medical treatments and make sure patients are comfortable.
Health care technicians may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They typically need an associate’s degree or certification in order to qualify for most positions. Some health care technicians may also have experience working with computers and other medical equipment.
They advise people on healthy eating habits and nutrition issues. They optimize diets and prepare customized plans for individuals. Additionally, they conduct sessions and programs on nutrition, diet, and lifestyle, which help people lead healthy lives. Nutritionists make around $54000 a year.
An occupational therapist treats ill or disabled patients. He charts treatment plans and suggests exercises that help people lead independent lives by focusing on activities of daily living. They help these people to recover as quickly and fully as possible, by providing guidance and support during their rehabilitation. Occupational Therapists may also provide training to other workers in the workplace, helping to ensure a safe and healthy environment. An occupational therapist earns more than $80,000 a year.
Dentists are trained professionals who care for a person’s mouth and teeth. They use various medical equipment such as X-rays, drills, and lasers to perform medical procedures.
Some of their responsibilities include- filling cavities, removing build-up from teeth, checking the growth of teeth, and putting in braces and dentures. Dentists earn more than $165,000 a year on average.
Nurses are an essential part of the entire medical ecosystem. They are entrusted with several critical tasks such as checking the patient’s vital signs, communicating with doctors, and administering medicine. Nurses earn around $65,000 per annum on average.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
The nuclear medicine technologist is a healthcare professional who uses imaging technology to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Nuclear medicine technology is used to produce images of body organs and tissues using radioactive materials.
The nuclear medicine technologist must have a degree in medical science or a related field and experience in imaging technology. They work in hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities.
Physicians provide medical health care to patients. They diagnose a person’s condition and prescribe the necessary tests and medication. They are also responsible for educating the patient on his medical condition apart from preventive care. Additionally, they have the following responsibilities:
- Recording a patient’s medical history.
- Prescribing tests and reviewing their results.
- Suggesting a plan of treatment
- Addressing a patient’s queries and allaying his fears if need be.
Ethics and Etiquettes in Healthcare Career
Patients expect healthcare professionals to be open and share details about their condition with them, and this helps patients make well-informed decisions about their future course of action. Therefore, ethics and etiquette are central to healthcare.
Moreover, patients also expect that doctors maintain the privacy and confidentiality of their medical condition.
This is a two-way street as healthcare professionals expect their patients to be forthcoming and direct about their medical history.
Patients reach out to healthcare professionals when they are under some form of physical or mental distress. Therefore, healthcare professionals have to be sensitive to their social and emotional needs.
A healthcare professional must treat everyone he meets with respect. This applies to the patient’s family members and other loved ones. However, the patient’s family should not hassle the doctor and let him go about his job.
The code of ethics that doctors should abide by can be summarized in the following points:
- The patient’s health, safety, and interests should be their priority
- Protect the dignity and autonomy of the patient
- Maintain confidentiality
- Practice with honesty and integrity
- Maintain professionalism and competence while dealing with patients
- Treat all patients in a non-discriminatory and equal fashion
- Respect colleagues, hospital staff, and others.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
The healthcare system has evolved dramatically over the last few decades. Today, hospitals have become large and complex organizations, facilitating administering these facilities.
Healthcare administration is a separate subject and deserves a special place in discussing whether healthcare is a good career path.
Healthcare administration involves overseeing the non-clinical functions involved in operating a healthcare facility. This is a field that is at the intersection of business and medicine.
Persons in healthcare administration work on the financial and budgeting aspects, strategic planning
Responsibilities of a Healthcare Administrator
The primary duties of a healthcare administrator are described below:
Recruitment and Training of Staff
Healthcare administrators use their expertise and administrative acumen to recruit and train other staff members. These staff members are involved in tasks like communicating with the patients and maintaining records of medical information.
A healthcare administrator also creates schedules for the doctors, nurses, and other support staff employed at the hospital. They look at the number of hours allocated to each individual and optimally manage the team when the hospital is stretched to its peak capacity.
Healthcare administrators have to manage a hospital’s budget as well, and they must know what the income sources and expenses of the hospital are. This information is then used to approve or reject any large purchases the hospital plans to make.
Improving the efficiency of the hospital
A healthcare administrator works on continually improving the processes at their hospital. This may, for instance, include areas such as waiting time of patients, post-operative patient care, and so on.
Once the areas of improvement are identified, a plan to tackle these problems is implemented.
Working Within Regulatory and Policy Frameworks
Healthcare administrators need to have a thorough understanding of medical policy and laws regarding the processing of patient data.
Furthermore, they should know how to address any potential challenges between patients and doctors. They can then use this information to involve hospital board members and lawyers wherever necessary.
Pros of Working in Healthcare Administration
Healthcare administration is a field that offers plenty of career choices. There are many managerial and leadership positions. So this means that there are a lot of opportunities for suitably qualified candidates.
One can opt for a degree in healthcare administration. This is a growing field, and the proof of this is that the employment of healthcare and medical administrators is projected to grow by 32% between 2020 and 2030.
Also, many employers offer reimbursement benefits. The salaries in this sector are also quite lucrative.
Healthcare administration is also the right field for people looking to face and solve new challenges regularly.
Cons of Working in Healthcare Administration
Healthcare is an extremely demanding industry, and hence, one has to be aware of the ever-changing regulations and ensure compliance.
Additionally, one must realize that healthcare facilities are open 24/7, which is not a typical 9-5 job. Consequently, a person ends up spending a lot of their time away from their families, which can be stressful in the long run.
Reasons to Work in Healthcare
Healthcare is their sector if one is looking for a career with surefire growth opportunities. As per the BLS, healthcare and social assistance are expected to add 3.3 million jobs between 2020-2030.
Moreover, advances in medicine will give newer opportunities in this sector.
Availability of jobs for everyone
Healthcare is a sector that has a large number of jobs available. So, irrespective of one’s qualification or experience, there are several avenues in this sector.
Higher Earning Potential
Due to this industry’s nature, there is a higher demand for specialized professionals.
Entry-level jobs in healthcare have better compensation than other sectors. Also, the more skilled and trained a professional is, the higher his earning potential.
Opportunity to travel
As an experienced healthcare professional, one has the chance to become a visiting doctor in top hospitals around the world.
Moreover, a person can visit several international conferences and stay updated with the latest developments in his field. One can also contribute to improving the lives of people in developing economies.
Challenging work environment
Every day brings forth new challenges in patients, technologies, and regulations. This makes healthcare an ideal career choice for people looking for a dynamic work environment.
Is HealthCare A Good Career Path – What Are The Careers in Health Insurance?
The insurance industry has several excellent options for healthcare managers and management graduates. These careers require knowledge of finance and accounting as well.
Medical Insurance Claims Specialists
Healthcare graduates who work as claims specialists collect and process the information needed for health insurance claims. These professionals work in hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers. Their additional responsibilities include – investigating pending claims, resolving billing issues, and addressing customer queries.
Medical Insurance Billing Specialists.
This role is similar to that of a medical insurance claims specialist. However, a billing specialist is expected to know coding to enter patient information into the billing software. He is also responsible for billing patients not covered by insurance, handling denied claims, and claim appeals.
This is yet another thriving career option for healthcare management professionals. Insurance underwriters are responsible for preparing the terms and conditions of insurance policies, evaluating different insurance plans, and the amount of risk involved in each application. Furthermore, they are also responsible for the calculation of appropriate premium quotes. People who pursue this career path require a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of statistics and economics.
Medical Coding Specialists
Before processing a healthcare claim, a professional must convert it to a standardized format. Medical coding specialists ensure that all information related to procedures, prescriptions, and the patient’s health is coded correctly. This results in the efficient processing of healthcare claims. These professionals are employed in various healthcare facilities.
Health Informatics Data Analysts
These professionals gather and interpret healthcare data besides automating reporting and other processes, which results in more efficient systems, maintenance of electronic records, reduced costs, and enhanced patient experiences. They also present their findings to top executives.
Is HealthCare A Good Career Path – What Are The Careers In Medical Devices?
A career in medical devices is excellent if you want to impact many lives around the globe. Let us look at a few career paths here:
Medical Device Sales Rep
Every device designed and brought to the market needs to be sold. The best salespeople are results-driven and people-focused. If one is knowledgeable about a company’s products and services and can match those to a client’s challenges, he is bound to succeed.
Quality Assurance Specialist
Before a device reaches hospitals and other healthcare facilities, it needs to be adequately tested to ensure its quality. Quality assurance specialists do just that. They make sure that every device is functioning correctly. They also ensure that every factory and manufacturing plant operates under the correct safety regulations.
They test all devices and machinery to ensure that users get the same experience. Validation specialists also help ascertain that the testing apparatus is functioning correctly so that all devices are tested effectively. Most validation specialists have an undergraduate engineering degree.
Medical Device Engineers
This career is great for someone who likes tackling complex problems and life-changing situations. People usually pursue a medical engineering degree and get into imaging, orthopedics, research, software, or other areas.
They are involved in designing, handling the machinery, operating, and testing the final products. This is an ideal career option for someone who likes a specialized hands-on environment.
Finally – Is Healthcare A Good Career Path?
A person should pursue a career in healthcare as it is a high-impact industry, and one gets to touch people’s lives directly and witness tangible outcomes.
As a result, they tend to experience higher motivation and job satisfaction.
Secondly, healthcare is a vast field that offers many diverse areas to work in. A person can work in different capacities before deciding on a specialization.
Despite the vast array of great career choices that healthcare offers, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. One must conduct due diligence and determine whether a healthcare career aligns with their skills, needs, or interests.
A person must also bear in mind that it is impossible to save everyone however hard he tries. One must possess a high level of emotional stability as an individual, and this is because you get to witness miracles and tragedies regularly.
However, the immense satisfaction of contributing to the well-being of society makes it worth the roller coaster ride.
If you want to know more about other career paths, check this list on Totempool. You will be able to make your choices with solid information before moving to a particular industry:
If you are indecisive about the area you want to work. Here we list a few functional career paths:
As more industries are published on the website, we will keep updating the list for you. If you want to learn how to choose your career path, check this article.
Now you know all about the career path in Health Care, you must do your calculations and take a fair decision keeping your interest in mind. Best of luck!