Starting a Healthcare Career

Posted: April 13, 2010

Although there is a recession, the healthcare industry is continuing to grow and hire more people. So how do you start a career in healthcare?

As in any office or industry, you must prove yourself before receiving a higher position. You will have to work your way up in the medical field. Start out working in a position or area of the hospital similar to your career goals. There you will learn the facilities’ needs and procedures.

Many begin their medical career as a certified nursing assistant. Becoming a CNA only takes six to eight weeks of training followed by a certification exam. You will have to pass all your courses and complete some clinical work before being eligible to take the exam. The certification exam will test your knowledge and skills. You will be required to demonstrate your skills on a dummy or an actual person. Depending on your state, you may need to fulfill additional requirements.

As a CNA you will find out if you really want to continue to work in healthcare. You will work closely with patients. You will help them maintain their personal hygiene. You will bath them, help them dress and move out of bed. Patients may need you to take their temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure. CNA work exposes you to typical working conditions in the healthcare industry. You will gain first hand experience caring for patients. The patients’ issues will challenge your skills daily.

Most healthcare facilities provide continued education and training to help CNAs sharpen their skills. In addition to paid education, CNAs earn on average between $20,000 and $30,000 annually. Many registered nurses and others in the medical industry used their CNA position as a steeping stone for their career.

Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals. The more experience you get working in the hospital the better. You could work as an intern or volunteer. These positions will provide you with experience before taking on a full time position. As a volunteer your duties will vary. You will greet people, transport patients, carry lab specimens to other parts of the hospital, and deliver medical records. Working in this capacity will enable you to develop relationships with healthcare employees. They will remember you in the future, when you apply for a job.

Most healthcare facilities are open all day. Those who work at these facilities work varying schedules to meet their patient’s needs. So employers are looking for flexible job applicants. In the beginning, be willing to work any shift. The more available you are, the more chances you will have of being hired.

Starting a healthcare career is possible. You can break into this industry that continues to grow even in difficult economic times. Start your healthcare career today.

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