It’s a difficult realization for many – the feeling that their present career may not be quite right for their current preferences and future goals. While some may struggle to apply their skills to different positions, that’s certainly not true for healthcare workers. People with these unique skills, critical knowledge, and experience have plenty of excellent options for changing their career paths while staying involved in healthcare’s fast-growing, high-paying, meaningful work. Read on as we explore seven of the best choices and why they’re worth a closer look.
While doctors and nurses are busy in the trenches, treating and caring for patients, administrators are responsible for ensuring the lights stay on and the facility keeps running smoothly. Administrators must be organized, competent leaders who can juggle budget considerations, staffing needs, short- and long-term treatment goals, and more mundane issues like maintenance, public relations, and more. While it’s not for everyone, it can be an extremely rewarding position for those with a talent for management and a desire to set up their colleagues for success.
One of the most exciting and unusual ways to apply your healthcare skills while switching up your daily life is to try travel nursing. Travel nurses move from place to place, working at different hospitals that need extra temporary help. With the help of a travel nurse agency, nurses can enjoy incredible flexibility, the chance to explore the country, and significantly higher pay (including benefits like tax-free housing stipends.) Travel nurses also have the opportunity to dramatically expand their skills and experience, making them even more valuable should they choose to return to traditional nursing or medical care.
Instead of working with individual patients, public health experts research and develop plans and policies to help improve the health of large populations. This can include conducting studies, proposing legislation, and other higher-level tasks that don’t involve daily medical care responsibilities. Public health professionals are also important communicators and ambassadors to communities that don’t always have the best access to treatment, educating them on care options and ways to live healthier lives. It can be an excellent choice for those who want to apply their medical knowledge and make a difference while also exploring an interest in policy and public affairs.
Navigating the healthcare system as an inexperienced patient can be overwhelming. That’s where patient advocates come in, a position that can resemble a social worker with an emphasis on health. One of their primary responsibilities is educating patients one-on-one about their options in dealing with their condition or injury and helping them work with their insurance companies or public programs to pay for treatment. Advocates can connect patients with resources for their care and even help with issues like setting appointments and locating specialists. Current medical workers enjoy deep insights into parts of the system that many average people do not understand, allowing them to use their knowledge to make a stressful experience less taxing on patients.
Nothing has changed healthcare quite so much in the past few decades as the expansion of technology into nearly every aspect of the medical world. On the one hand, plentiful traditional IT jobs can be found in healthcare facilities, improving recordkeeping, information storage, and daily tech projects. There are also sophisticated jobs in health informatics and cybersecurity, helping various care areas communicate while keeping critical patient information safe. Meanwhile, telemedicine continues to grow rapidly, opening up many jobs coordinating or maintaining tech for this increasingly vital field.
The healthcare world is changing fast, and those looking to take advantage of these rapid developments can get involved by starting their own business. Many can find ways to improve care, technology, administrative services, and many other factors using their deep, personal insights. It requires a level of business acumen and a tolerance for the risky endeavor of opening your own company. Still, it can result in tremendous growth and earnings for those who are successful.
If you’ve got a gift for communication, you may be able to make a living taking the complex topics and issues of the medical world and translating them for general news audiences. Medical writers who formerly worked in the field have extensive background knowledge and connections and sources to help them gather context and even break news. While it doesn’t involve direct, hands-on care, medical writers can make a significant difference by educating the public on health topics that can improve or extend their lives.
A New Chapter is Waiting in Your Healthcare Career
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut in your current medical job, there’s no need to stay there. Your valuable skills are your ticket to the new position of your dreams, whether you want to switch to more specialized types of care or transition to other fields linked to medicine. All can provide fulfilling careers that offer growth and new challenges for experienced healthcare workers. The hardest part may be settling on just one!