Thinking of a career in health? If you do feel you are cut out to work in the medical profession, (we are v grateful for those who are!) its important to know your options, its not an area I know much about, but a guest expert writes this piece for us here.
Your interest in health and holistic healing can be a true calling, and you owe it to yourself to answer that call. Health is a massive industry, and there are so many great ways to get involved. From working as an influencer to working as a nurse, to everything in-between, there are so many ways you can take your career. You can easily find the right path for you that lets you dedicate yourself to your interest and passion for health and well-being while helping others do the same.
Thinking of a career in health? If you do feel you are cut out to work in the medical profession,
Your Responsibilities as a Health Professional
You must take the health and well-being of others seriously, which means going beyond a surface level of knowledge concerning health and holistic practices. You don’t need to go into the healthcare industry, but you do need to formally train and continue to learn new techniques and information that can help you help others.
You must also never overstep. What you could do as a nurse will be entirely different to what you can do as a health coach. If you want to truly provide life-saving care, then you must invest in the right training. If you want to inspire, you still need to learn and train. It is a lot of work to help others from backgrounds that extend beyond yours. As a coach or a nurse, you will never know everything about a patient or their needs, and you need to train yourself to spot needs and better your quality of care based on what your patient or client says and doesn’t say.
Regardless of which level of healthcare professional suits you, whether this is a doctor, a nurse, a therapist, a counselor, or a coach, there is need for your passion and dedication to helping others. This guide will help you turn your passion for health and well-being into a thriving career:
A Career in Healthcare
If you want to make the biggest impact, you will need the most training. The good news is that you can easily adapt and customize your career within healthcare and position yourself as a figure of authority regardless of whether you decide to work within healthcare institutions like hospitals or clinics or if you want to take your professional qualifications elsewhere.
In some states in the US, for example, you can practice independently as a nurse. You can also work as a nurse and travel, work on exciting projects, or go on expeditions – in short, you can go wherever there is the budget and need for on-site healthcare. This opens up so many exciting opportunities.
There are also many great ways to specialize nowadays, meaning you can really hyper-focus on the area of health that you are most passionate about. You may find that working with children is the right fit for you or that providing expert care to transform a senior person’s life is what you find most rewarding.
You can help a specific demographic or work in a specific area of medicine like oncology or midwifery. If your goal is to provide the best quality care while simultaneously finding your niche. There are more than enough open spots available and certainly enough need to warrant you investing your time and energy into dedicating yourself to what you find most interesting.
Types of Healthcare Careers
There are many great healthcare careers, and knowing which route is best for you can make a huge difference. Just because the go-to option is to train as a doctor does not mean it would be the right fit for you. For one, the level of training before you can start working as a doctor takes far longer. What you do as a doctor is also entirely different than what you would do as a nurse. Nurses, for example, not only provide healthcare; they also provide holistic care, so if you want to be there for others and not just for a few short periods out of their recovery and during treatment, nursing can be the better option.
Doctors and Physicians
Being a doctor or a physician is a great choice when your primary interest is in medicine. Doctors absolutely care for their patients and want to help others, but you need to be passionate about the medicine and science behind it all more. There is a lot you need to know and plenty of skills you need to develop that are performed better when you don’t consider the patient. Being able to distance yourself and do what needs to be done is what can save lives while being able to turn on that compassion switch can be the key to helping you become the best doctor you can be.
If you love caring for others first and have an interest in health and medicine second, then nursing is by far the better option for you. Nurses are considered the backbone of healthcare because their level of care goes beyond diagnosis, treatment, and procedures. Nurses are there throughout the process and can make a life or death difference for patients in every department.
There are also many different types and levels of nurses, giving you ample opportunity to really dedicate yourself to a role that helps you feel fulfilled and impassioned every day on the job.
Nursing is also one of the most straightforward careers to get started with, and you can get started within nursing a lot sooner than you could if you were to train to be a doctor. Nursing is an especially great option if you are looking to change careers and finally fulfill your passion for health and well-being by committing your career to it. As a second-career professional, you won’t even need to complete the full BSN. So long as you have a bachelor’s degree already and have a few essential prerequisite credits, you can enroll in the online accelerated BSN program at Elmhurst University and kickstart your nursing career
Some of these accelerated degrees can often be completed full-time that work to help you become a licensed RN in just 16 months. When you consider that a BSN typically takes around four years, this accelerated program can be just the ticket to make a quick turnaround for your career.
Where you take your nursing career from there is entirely up to you. There are four main types of APRNs (the next level of nursing after RN), but even amongst these types of APRNs, there are countless specialties that just continue to grow.
The four types of nursing include:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
With nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, there are many different ways to specialize even further. NPs can work as general NPs, family nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, and so on. CNS APRNs specialize more with the research and knowledge collection portion of nursing and work to improve care behind the scenes while NPs often work directly with patients.
You will often specialize with your MSN, but if you want to change routes later on, you can always earn a post-graduate certificate that will make you eligible to work in that new role of your choice.
Where you work is also vast. You can work independently, within a hospital or clinic, remotely by working through telehealth platforms, or in unique places, and on fun and exciting projects. You can even transition into education, both to other nurses and to the public at large, to really customize your nursing career to suit your interests.
Mental Health Professionals
There are different types of mental health professionals. There are those that start from a medical background and work their way into mental health. You will recognize them as being called psychiatrists. These psychiatrists work to diagnose mental illnesses and also have the ability to write prescriptions and perform more advanced, technical treatment for those who need advanced levels of mental health care.
You can also start from a more people-first perspective. In this route, you start from a background in psychology, though to practice as a counselor or therapist, you will need to earn at least a master’s degree and will want to work towards a full Ph.D. in order to provide the greatest level of help and guidance.
Regardless of which route you take, working in mental health can be incredibly rewarding. Just like being a nurse or doctor, however, in order to practice to the full extent of the law, you will need to pass an exam and earn your license. To even apply for the exam, you must have graduated from an accredited program, so be careful when choosing your higher education options.
A Career in Holistic and Mental Health
Though it is, of course, ideal for you to have a formal background in health, there are many roles that allow you to help others and build a career without you needing to go through a university or college course first. You cannot operate as a licensed therapist, however. Instead, you will provide holistic care and guidance. As you are merely providing suggestions and advice, you don’t need a formal license in order to practice. Life coaches often draw from their own experience and their own journey, and you can do that too.
It is most effective if you have an inspiring journey to draw from. Perhaps you suffered from an eating disorder, or perhaps you finally found the routine and advice that worked to help you reclaim your purpose and sense of life after being adrift and anxious in your old corporate job.
There are many ways that you can make a living out of this, but for the sake of ethics, you do need to be careful.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to learn. This doesn’t mean you can or should ever give advice or treatment as a mental health professional would, but you can inspire others to make a change and even guide them to make those improvements.
You may find that you can grow your audience and your client base by learning and earning certificates in a host of holistic techniques. From meditation to yoga, to breathing, to even art teaching, there are numerous ways you can learn, grow your skillset, and use the certificate of completion to draw in more customers.
The Importance of Lifelong Learning in Your Health Career
Regardless of which route you take for your career, there is one step you must continue to take over and over, and that is to learn. Many states have legal requirements around this. To renew your nursing license, for example, you will often need to have completed so many learning hours, though you may find an exemption if you have been working as an RN in a hospital or clinic.
Lifelong learning is going to be important no matter what route you take for your career. Medicine advances, new diagnostic measures are discovered and implemented, and the power of technology is going to continue to shift and change the way health and care is looked at and handled.
Learning and advancing your skills is also how you can continue to make it as a life coach. Assuming you have the answer is a dangerous way to go into helping others, but if you go in with an open mind and a hunger for knowledge, you can expand your horizons and provide even better customer services for your clients based on what they need and what they have. Learning is how you can continue to be better and do better. If you have a passion for helping others and a keen interest in health and medicine, it is also a great way to stay fulfilled and excited about the field that you work in.
All you need to get started is to figure out which route is best suited to you and to start putting together that initial application. When you do that, you will be on your way to getting your career kickstarted and your passions realized.