The healthcare industry was already experiencing staff shortages even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2018, demand for healthcare jobs rose in the US with California projecting the need for at least 500,000 new healthcare workers by 2024.
As the world deals with the risks and uncertainties brought by the pandemic, healthcare professionals are needed more than ever before.
Healthcare professionals are essential to enacting and implementing policies to keep the system running efficiently.
Technological innovations, political party changes, and demographic shifts have helped shape the US healthcare system for decades and will continue to do so.
Let us look at several reasons why the US healthcare job industry is experiencing a massive boom in times of uncertainty:
- Increasing population of baby boomers
Perhaps the most significant reason for the explosion of jobs in the healthcare industry is the increasing population of baby boomers.
Numbers show that roughly 76 million people were born between 1946 and 1964. Known as the baby boomer generation, this is the largest in history.
On average, the oldest members of this generation have retired in 2012 while others are expected to reach social security retirement age by 2030.
Like it or not, most people within this age bracket will likely depend on medical programs for post-retirement healthcare.
This inevitably strains healthcare resources. Add to that the increasing average life expectancy of these boomers and healthcare organizations find themselves in a challenging position.
For healthcare organizations to work effectively, they need to have enough manpower to meet increasing needs and maintain effective healthcare.
- Technological innovation
The rise of innovative healthcare technologies has also contributed to the increasing demand of healthcare workers.
By force of circumstance, the future of healthcare now depends on working together with technology.
This means finding healthcare organizations that can embrace emerging technologies to stay relevant in the coming years. When they do so, they can achieve sustainable systems as well as provide faster, more economical and effective solutions for diseases.
Other than that, innovative home tracking devices present a chance for more healthcare workers to get involved in the growing medical electronic sector.
With the help of advanced home monitoring and diagnostics gadgets, doctors can track patients outside the hospital and provide an immediate diagnosis to specific conditions.
However, for doctors to provide an accurate diagnosis, they need to have an expert who can evaluate and manage data extracted from these technologies.
In other words, these medical technologies can open up opportunities for jobs such as healthcare analyst and healthcare informatics professionals.
- Prevent the next pandemic
How does the world prevent the next pandemic? As healthcare organizations tackle that question, they will also likely be reflecting on the mistakes that were made with COVID-19, and rightly so.
While looking at the past helps healthcare organizations gain insights, ruminating on these mistakes will only do so much.
With more than 115,000 healthcare workers dying during the pandemic, the need for medical organizations to hire more workers to cater to increasing needs becomes paramount.
To mitigate the health crisis, organizations need to bolster the public health workforce in remote and rural regions.
This way, they can implement healthcare reforms that support universal coverage and keep a tight rein on underlying health conditions through effective distribution of routine health services.
Without skilled health workers in rural areas, outbreaks can go undetected for months, or even years.
In fact, reports show that in the US alone, chronically understaffed rural health units struggled to manage with COVID-19 contact tracing.
With the next pandemic most likely to emerge in rural areas as a result of novel pathogens and deforestation, having the right personnel within these communities is vital in preventing the next pandemic.
- Current medical professionals are rethinking careers
The pandemic has devastated the US with over 93 million cases and more than one million deaths as of this writing.
But the pandemic has also had an adverse impact on medical providers, particularly those on the frontlines of care.
According to a recent survey, nearly a third of physicians are planning to change their practice setting or have already done so.
But why are they leaving? Is becoming a healthcare worker no longer rewarding? Well, not exactly.
A similar survey also reiterated that most healthcare workers choose to leave and switch to telehealth visits.
Moreover, decreased insurance reimbursements and increased regulations have also caused many physicians to reduce working hours.
This means that there will likely be an increase in the necessity for more physicians and nurses in years to come.
- Healthcare is no longer limited to hospitals
To expand on the previous point, healthcare is no longer limited to the four walls of a hospital.
In fact, many healthcare providers are also making various strategic and structural changes to their overall operations to cater to patient needs.
Instead of waiting until someone needs to be hospitalized, most healthcare organizations are now branching out by delivering preventive care in community health centers and at home.
More than anything else, patients have far higher expectations than ever before. They expect to be cared for outside of the hospital whenever possible.
This massive shift will most likely result in the increasing need for patient advocates, healthcare workers and case managers.
For healthcare organizations to achieve high-quality care outside of a hospital, they need to hire professionals who have the skills necessary to deliver better outcomes in specialized medical fields.
Why should you become a healthcare worker?
So, with all that is happening lately, you might be wondering if it is worth pursuing a career in the healthcare industry.
While it requires countless number of sleepless nights and much hard work, it can ultimately be rewarding. Here is why:
- More career opportunities
Outside of goods production, healthcare has become the largest source of jobs in the US, and its growth will only continue.
Estimates by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that healthcare jobs are expected to surge by 15% from 2019 to 2029.
This simply means that you will have more career opportunities and find employment more quickly than job seekers in other industries.
Unlike other industries, healthcare careers are divided into several specializations and pathways.
Having so many different options to select from makes it easier for you to know what you want to do and pursue a path that best fits for you.
Below are just some of the careers you can pursue once you have entered the field of healthcare:
- Mental healthcare
- Drug prevention and control
- Health education
- Dental health
- Maternal and childcare
- Disease prevention and control
- Emergency medical services
- Occupational safety
- Community healthcare
Moreover, it also has a strong job outlook which means that you will never run out of work, as roles are available to suit all skill sets.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an extensive amount of medical knowledge to get started in healthcare. It is an incredibly broad field with numerous different roles you could choose to pursue.
So, whether you want to follow a career path that is related directly to medicine, or you are only searching for something to suit your skills, you will find something to do in this field with the right qualifications.
- Competitive salary potential
Although money is not everything, it can certainly be a massive factor in any career decision. Stable pay can help smooth over any of the mundane moments that come with work.
Careers in the healthcare industry are among the most lucrative job options available due to high demand.
If you have the right educational qualifications and skills to back everything up, you can pretty much demand a salary that would fit your abilities.
According to Indeed, a US physician earns an average of $214,048 while nurses and medical technologists have salaries of $93,639 and $112,692 respectively.
Those salaries are significantly higher than the median annual wage of $41,950 for all occupations.
While earning potential will differ depending on the specific healthcare role, there are definite opportunities for skilled healthcare workers to bring home solid pay.
- Allows for personal and professional growth
Rarely does it happen that someone finds work that helps them grow both personally and professionally.
Working in healthcare makes it possible. Unlike other jobs, the healthcare industry exposes you to people with different personalities almost every day.
This can be somewhat overwhelming, but it also presents an opportunity for you to learn from other people.
Depending on your role, you will learn what makes people tick, what makes them laugh, or what makes them cry and how to deal with these different emotions.
This can be essential in building lifelong skills such as stress management, a positive attitude, attention to detail and empathy.
It also helps you grow professionally. Since healthcare workers are in such high demand, many employers will be providing extra training and professional development opportunities to help their staff progress.
This gives you a great chance to branch out and expand your knowledge and experience, or perhaps study for a degree in healthcare administration if that is something you are interested in.
- Great job satisfaction
It can seem like a little thing but a lack of rewarding work in daily job duties is one of the most significant reasons why most employees feel drained.
The American Psychological Association concludes that finding meaning in your work can lead to increased motivation and job satisfaction.
Meaningful work is the essence of healthcare — working in healthcare can make you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself.
You could save a life or bring a new one into the world. You can care for patients as they recover and help families through some of the most difficult times in their lives or work behind the scenes to keep the healthcare facility running smoothly.
Regardless of your role within the industry, working in healthcare empowers you to cultivate your desire to help others and make a decent living at the same time.
How to get started in the healthcare industry?
By now, you are ready to take the next step into your journey of becoming a healthcare worker but do not know where to start.
At a minimum, entry-level positions usually require a health-related associate or bachelor’s degree.
For instance, if you want to manage medical facilities and personnel, you may need a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
A healthcare administrator is involved with the daily operations of a healthcare facility that involves finance, efficiency and staffing.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare administrators earn an average annual salary of over $115,000.
But how do you earn a bachelor’s degree in health administration? Well, there are two options: you can either go with the traditional on-campus experience or the more economical yet equally respected option of online learning.
The advantage of getting a healthcare administration degree online is that it is flexible and can accommodate busy professionals.
Say for example, you have been working as an administrator for an IT firm but always wanted to try your management skills in the healthcare field.
You can simply enroll for a program in healthcare administration at online universities like Central Christian College of Kansas and complete your degree in as few as six weeks.
But we get it — you may have reservations regarding the legitimacy of an online degree. Is it even respected by healthcare organizations?
Yes, it is. As a matter of fact, 61% of HR leaders believe that online education is equal to or greater than more traditional methods in quality.
This is because getting your healthcare administration degree online allows for more focused learning.
Since you have complete control over your learning, you can move quickly through the course and get your degree.
It also helps you review topics that were not clear at first and ensure that you can master the topic before moving into the next one.
What does a healthcare administration degree online look like?
Now that you have considered trying online education to earn your healthcare administration degree, you might be wondering what the process looks like.
In many ways, a healthcare administration online class is like a face-to-face course. While you will not be meeting at regularly scheduled times, you can expect the same variety of work online as you would in person.
Online courses provide a combination of assignments, essays, examinations and group quizzes. Depending on your chosen academic institution, you may work together with other students in groups, debate on discussion boards, and participate in peer reviews.
To get admitted, you will most likely need a completed application form, a higher education transcript, and a high school diploma or GED.
Moreover, healthcare administration classes will also differ depending on the academic institution you choose to enroll in.
However, here are some courses that you will most likely take when working towards a healthcare administration degree online in colleges such as the Central Christian College of Kansas:
- Human resource management
In this course, you will identify the unique values and perceptions of specific groups affecting economic and social life.
You will be conducting thorough evaluation of policies and practices related to the development, recruitment, training, selection and compensation of employees.
- US healthcare systems
This course will provide you with a complete overview of the US Healthcare Delivery System. You will learn about the organization of healthcare providers such as nursing homes, hospitals and clinics.
Topics that will be discussed also include healthcare regulation, quality, healthcare planning, and professional roles in healthcare and modern healthcare reform issues.
Students will also be taught about the complex relationships between access, quality and cost in healthcare.
- Strategic management
In this course, you will be introduced to a wide range of management planning models and techniques that will be used in business cases. It emphasizes important concepts such as strategic management and strategic planning.
- Advanced professional communication
This course will provide a comprehensive discussion of existing communication topics such as correspondence applications, workplace diversity technology, nonverbal messages, listening and interpersonal communication.
Other topics that will be discussed are communication, business plans, employment communication and presentation skills.
Depending on your chosen academic institution, you will most likely need a junior or senior level standing and one lower-level course to be eligible for this subject.
- Organizational behavior & leadership
In this course, you will learn about the several sociological and psychological variables linked with individual behavior in an organizational environment.
You will be asked to identify personal styles of interaction and the impact of those styles in group settings.
- Principles of healthcare management
This course discusses several types of managerial functions necessary for business operation. You will explore topics related to controlling, directing, organizing, planning and decision-making.
It will also use cases and examples to better illustrate how it can be applied in healthcare settings.
- Leadership and change in healthcare
This course focuses on the development of your ability to exercise leadership at management level in healthcare organizations.
You will learn essential concepts on how to remain firm amidst evolving changes in healthcare management.
Work towards your degree in healthcare administration today
The healthcare industry is growing and from the looks of it, there seems to be nothing stopping it. You can take advantage of that exponential growth by working towards your degree in healthcare administration online at the Central Christian College of Kansas today.