Career Planning for Healthcare Students

You’ve chosen a career path and now the big decision is – what area of expertise should you follow? There are many different areas in the medical field that one could explore. Some of the most popular options would be nursing, CNA, radiology and operating room technicians, as well as medical assistants. For those students that want a little bit of input, a career counselor would be a great investment of time to determine which areas would be a great fit.

First Steps

As each area of expertise has its own specific requirements, all will require some sort of certification or licensing. For example, nursing is one of the most flexible types of positions that enable a seasoned individual to step into many roles. Flexibility can come in many different forms, for example a twelve hour shift for three days and four days off can be a very normal schedule for hospitals and nursing homes. This kind of rotating schedule can be very rewarding in terms of monetary means. Medical technologist positions that cater especially to radiology or operating room technicians are fields in which it is sometimes easier to find work than in other professions. The areas of concentration could be within the intensive care unit (ICU), emergency room (ER), or even the operating room (OR), to name a few. Some students are geared towards leadership positions, or want to teach. Many individuals find that they would like to further their studies to become a surgeon or have consider opening up their own family practices. Private practice can come in many forms such as psychology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), neurology, oncology and even pain management specialists. The possibilities are endless, but each option needs to be researched and carefully considered.

Time Involved

The amount of time required to complete these types of licensing is a consideration that needs to be addressed right from the beginning. For instance, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) would not be required to study for the additional requirements, and a student interested in a nursing degree would. This could be a great stepping stone to eventually becoming a nurse or phlebotomist. Many individuals use their time to examine if there are other areas of interest. Whether the goal is to become a surgical nurse, orthopedic specialist or gastroenterologist the need for adequate training is crucial to one’s success. This holds true in many facets of the medical profession, and taking the time to explore one’s interests can certainly pay off. Hospitals, hospices and nursing homes all employ specialized physicians, expert specialty surgeons and CNAs to assist in all phases of patient care, so it would be a good idea to visit some of these institutions to find out more about different career options and whether they are compatible with your ambitions and interests.

Special Areas of Interest

Setting realistic goals for implementation can sometimes also be determined by the amount of time and finances available. Many students opt for school loans that will need to be repaid or extended to meet the financial obligations that will come with these kinds of specialized training. It is important to have a plan of action that balances both work and personal commitments to ensure that one achieves the highest levels of productivity.

Medical Recruitment

One of the greatest advantages of this field is there will always be a ‘need’ and calling for these types of professions. Hospitals, nursing homes and even private duty are just an example of what types of environments these medical recruitment agencies can supply for the qualified professional. In most cases these medical recruitment agencies will administer tests, as well as run a background check on the individual’s past working experience. This is why it is crucial to begin planning your career and learning about different options available in the early stages of your studies.

Dunya Carter writes about career planning and development for several websites and blogs. She writes for Ochre Medical Recruitment, a medical locum agency in Australia.

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