The healthcare industry is predicted to continue growing in the next few years. This growth is primarily fueled by our ever-increasing need for healthcare services and the country’s aging population. According to the American Hospital Association, the Coronavirus pandemic is also fueling healthcare professionals’ demand.
According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, careers in the healthcare industry are expected to grow by 15%. The growth is predicted to create new job opportunities for 2.4 million healthcare workers from 2019 to 2029.
With healthcare professionals in demand in 2021, what’s the best healthcare career to join? Read on below to find out.
1. A Physician Assistant
A physician assistant’s median salary is $112,260 annually, with an unemployment rate of 0.7%. Their duties include
- Assisting in surgeries
- creating treatment plans
- Enforcing patient treatment plans
- Diagnosing illnesses
- Guiding patients
- Performing procedures.
A physician assistant’s duties are similar to doctors’ and general internists’ duties. However, in most states, a physician assistant must work under a surgeon or a licensed physician’s supervision.
A physician assistant’s job is helping patients, which is very rewarding. PAs are an essential part of providing healthcare services, and their demand is expected to keep growing. According to BLS, physician assistant employment growth is expected to grow by 31.3% between 2019 and 2029.
2. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are licensed nurses but with a little more education. They are also known as advanced practice registered nurses. The extra education allows nurse practitioners to perform duties which include:
- Ordering lab tests
- Analyzing patient’s lab results
- Taking patient histories
- Authorizing treatments
- Performing patients’ physical exams
- Prescribing medications
- Educating patients and their families about continued care
These professionals specialize in different categories, such as pediatrics or women’s health. They can also work in academia or in research.
While their duties may sound similar to physicians’, the two professions have one distinct difference: education. Physicians have more formal education and on-the-job training. However, nurse practitioners provide more primary care to patients.
Most nurse practitioners start as registered nurses and later extend their patient treatment to wellness and holistic care. They bring their experience and practice background to their new areas of expertise.
Nurse practitioners are paid well for their job. An NP’s median salary is $109,820, and the field has an unemployment rate of 1.2%.
3. Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists attend to patients with swallowing, language, and speech difficulties. They diagnose the problem and formulate the best treatment plan for the patient. These professionals work with numerous patients, such as children who have trouble swallowing and stroke patients learning how to speak again.
Speech-language specialists work in different settings, including nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. They have a median salary of $79,120, and the industry experiences an unemployment rate of 0.8%.
The physician is the person you run to when you have a broken bone or suspect you have a heart attack. This is the doctor you call when you have a cold and a nasty cough. They are ER doctors, obstetricians, and gynecologists, neurologists, primary care providers, and cardiologists.
There are two types of physicians: Doctor of Osteopathy and Doctor of Medicine. While both diagnose and take care of patients, the D.O can specialize in holistic patient care and preventative medicine. These specialized fields include allergy, radiology, immunology, urology, and plastic surgery.
The U.S BLS has projected a 4.3% increase in employment opportunities for physicians between 2019-2029. This is estimated to create over 18,500 jobs.
Dentists diagnose and treat patients with teeth, gums, and mouth issues. Some of their duties include fitting dentures, filling cavities, and extracting problematic teeth. Some specialize in treating severe oral problems, while others prefer teeth straightening and oral surgeries.
A dentist is assisted by a dental hygienist who administers teeth cleaning. They can also be assisted by a dental assistant who helps with instrument sterilization and record keeping.
How to Enter the Healthcare Field
If you’re looking to pursue a career in the medical field, you need more than admission to the best medical school. You must be patient, persevering, and committed. Becoming a healthcare professional in any field requires a minimum of four years in school, and specialization takes even more time.
Below are three tips to help you pursue a healthcare career of your choice:
1. Determine Your Current Skills
When looking to join any industry, it’s essential to look into what skills can be helpful in your preferred field of practice. This is especially essential in a skill-heavy sector such as healthcare.
Are you a certified accountant, or you have some background in IT? You might get a job in a hospital that requires an IT professional or an accountant.
2. Get Yourself a Mentor
Excelling in any healthcare area of practice requires mentorship and on-the-job training. Your mentor should be someone who has some experience in the industry. They should also be willing to help you through any obstacles you may experience along the way.
A mentor will help you stay updated on current industry trends and advise you on the best healthcare jobs to get. You can look for a mentor online on platforms such as LinkedIn. Remember also to highlight your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
3. Conduct research
When looking to join a new industry, staying updated on the news and current trends is essential. Conduct some research about the medical field you’d like to join and find out the entry requirements. If you want to go back to school, look at the programs offered and find the best medical school that fits your needs.
Depending on what you’re looking for, there are always schools that will meet all your educational and financial needs. For example, if you’re looking to be a certified nursing assistant, you can join the ultimate medial academy nursing program to earn your diploma.
Are You Ready to Join the Best Healthcare Career?
The healthcare industry is growing due to the increased number of aging people and the growing population that requires extensive medical care. The career prospects are also quite extensive and projected to grow thanks to the COVID19 pandemic.
When looking to join the industry, ensure you choose the best healthcare career to fit your preference and skills. For more life hacks, check out other articles on our website.