Why Work in Healthcare? 4 Reasons You Should

Whether you are a graduating high school student looking for direction or someone ready for a career change, the medical industry is filled with possibilities. Why work in healthcare? There are plenty of reasons, but here are four of the best.

Where "Human" and "Service" Come Together

When you provide medical assistance to somebody, whether as a doctor or nurse's aide, the unique moment of human contact when you apply your skills to help another is the true reward of human service. It doesn't matter that you are paid for your work — it is still a service that helps people that others cannot or will not provide. Your work embodies the universal maxim to "love one another."

Plenty of Career Choices

From children to geriatric populations, healthcare offers plenty of opportunities to work with specialized groups of people. You can even specialize in particular areas of medicine, such as cardiology, orthopedics or emergency care. For those who don't want to interact with patients or can't stand the sight of blood, there are still plenty of jobs in healthcare available.

You have the flexibility to work practically anywhere in the nation; in fact, if you don't want to stay in one place, travel employment agencies can send healthcare workers across the nation and around the world. Hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctor's offices, nursing homes, health departments, military bases, schools or correctional facilities are just a few examples of the many work settings from which you can choose.

There is a job in healthcare that can fit practically anybody's interests. If you enjoy plenty of hands-on patient care but don't want to invest the time and money for nursing school, you can work as a personal care aide, where a high school diploma and a little training is all you need.

Opportunities for both lateral and upward movement abound. For example, you can change from being a radiology tech in a small clinic to working in a large hospital radiology department. Or, if you start with a certification as a nurse's aide, you can work your way up to an advanced nursing degree.

Healthcare is Booming

Some of the nation's fastest-growing jobs are in healthcare. While the national average growth for all U.S. jobs combined is 11 percent, some healthcare jobs are predicted to grow at a rate that is two, three, even four times faster. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of personal care and home health aides will increase by nearly 50 percent through 2022. Other rapidly growing medical professions include physical and occupational therapy assistants by a projected 41 percent, sonographers by 39 percent, audiologists by 34 percent and dental hygienists by 33 percent.

Rewards and Appreciation

One of the greatest rewards you may receive as a healthcare worker is the profound trust people have in you. In November 2013, Gallup polled 1,015 Americans, asking them to "rate the honesty and ethical standards" among a list of 22 professions. For the 15th year in a row, nurses topped the list. The remaining top ten included pharmacists, medical doctors, dentists and psychiatrists.

Why work in healthcare? In an economy with otherwise gloomy prospects, it stands as a huge exception. Few sectors offer so much opportunity partnered with the potential for minimal time and money investments in required education.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Charles R. Hooper, MSW

About Charles R. Hooper, MSW

With over 20 years experience as a medical social worker and a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have been honored to dedicate most of my professional life to service in health care. I have worked in multiple medical/nursing settings, including cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, trauma care and others. I also founded the medical social work program at a regional trauma center and a very busy emergency department. View all posts by Charles R. Hooper, MSW →