Whether you’re looking to start your career fresh out of college or you’re an older adult who is looking to give their career a fresh lease of life and retrain, the medical industry has such a vast variety of jobs and roles that there is something to suit anyone, from any background or specialty. Some roles require no specific training or education and you can enter at high school diploma level and receive all of the training you require on the job. Others may require you to return to university to study on a medical or science based program.
One thing is for sure, though – if you’re looking for a job with career prospects and advancement opportunities, the medical field is almost certainly for you. It’s moving and evolving at a fast pace with the many changes in technology and scientific breakthroughs, so you’re going to be kept on your toes. If this sounds like the field for you, but you’re not sure which job or specialty is for you, here are some handy questions to get you thinking:
Are you a people person?
Some medical jobs require you to deal with people on a daily basis and form strong and close personal connections with patients who rely on you for support and their health. If you’re great with people, then nursing, surgeons, doctors, and practitioners might be the way to go. These roles all require specific training, but they put you on the front line of dealing with patients on a daily basis. If you’d prefer something a little less medical, but still within the care field, then health and social services and care givers might be a good direction to consider. These roles require you to care for the sick outside of the hospital, either in their own homes or in another institution, such as a nursing home. These are great jobs for people who don’t want to head back into a college education, and would prefer to learn on the job or in a community college, but still want to put caring at the center of their career.
If you’d prefer not to work with patients every day, either because you’re shy or just not a people person, but still want to do good and help to advance the field of medicine, then a lab job or researcher’s position could be more suited to you. These posts tend to be accessed through a college education, but lab work can be obtained with a high school diploma and promotions will come through experience in the role. Other positions include a pharmacist or pharmacy assistant, technician, or computer database operative, all of which are essential in the medical field, but don’t rely on regular one on one communication with patients.
Where would you like to work?
Not all medical jobs take place in a hospital or doctor’s office so don’t give up hope yet if that was initially putting you off. If you want to help people, work with other professionals, and you’re not too emotional, a hospital or hospice could be perfect. It’s important to know what sort of roles you wouldn’t enjoy, as well as ones you will. If you’re very easily stressed, it could be best to avoid the ER or other fast-paced environments. If you’d prefer to work in a job which helps people, but isn’t overly heart-wrenching, then why not consider eye or ear care, such as the Ear Science Institute? They’re always looking for people who want to care for people and offer training within the field for people who want to retrain from another skilled profession.
If you’re more interested in working with younger or older people, you could look into nursing jobs at assisted living facilities or pediatric centers. Knowing the types of people you’d like to work with or the types of work you wouldn’t like to undertake can help you to narrow your search to the right type of institution, which can then help you to refine it down to the specific role within that field. Don’t forget to consider some more unconventional locations to work, such as a medical base or cruise ship. Almost everywhere needs some type of medical professional, right?
Do you have computer skills?
You might wonder how your current skill set translates to the medical field, but you might be surprised at the incredible range of non-medical roles which are available. Computing, programming, and coding are always important in the field, so people who have those skill sets are encouraged to apply for jobs and training posts. There are a lot of databases which require maintenance within the medical field for patients and research, so that could be an option. Otherwise, people with computer skills are required in research positions for genetics, where the human DNA is being deconstructed in a way which computer specialists will be familiar with. There is also a lot of technician work available for people with skills using their hands or electricals – the medical machinery and computers need maintenance, after all.
Do you love working with children?
Some people prefer working with adults and elderly people; others find working with children is the ultimate feel good career. There are many roles which involve working with babies and young people. Nursing roles range from midwifery all the way to pediatric nursing for children with long-term disabilities or illnesses. Pediatrics is a field which is highly emotive and can be quite heart-wrenching, so it’s not for the easily upset. Many people consider it to be one of the more fulfilling fields in the medical sphere, though.
How do you deal with stress?
Each different job within the medical field comes with its different types of stress. If you deal well with high-stress and fast-paced environments, working in the ER might be for you. Those who work in the emergency room have to deal with patient after patient, who could be in a tremendously life-threatening situation and the shifts can be long and relentless. People who don’t deal so well with high and sustained levels of stress might find hospice care, clinical work, or research more appropriate.
There are vast numbers of different roles in the medical field for people at any point in their professional or educational life and of different personalities and backgrounds. If you want a job in which you can help people and get immense career satisfaction, consider choosing a career path in the medical field – you won’t regret it.
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