The United States Department of Labor shows the field of healthcare growing significantly over the next decade. Although there are positions in the healthcare industry that require advanced degrees, there are many that simply require a high school diploma, while others require either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. However, if individuals in those positions want to advance their career, they may need to return to school for an advanced degree. Unfortunately, because many in the healthcare industry work unusual hours, including shift work, this can be difficult. These unique educational tips can help those in the healthcare industry advance their education while continuing employment in their field.
Online Degree Programs
For those in the healthcare field who wish to pursue higher education, one method for achieving that goal is through online degree programs, such as those offered by Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Many colleges now offer online degree programs in healthcare that can be completed without attending a traditional classroom. Even those degree programs that require internships or practicums may allow a student to arrange for those requirements locally. Online degrees offer flexibility to students who have work, family or social obligations that make it difficult to attend a traditional classroom. Students can take classes at any time, during breaks, at lunch or in the early morning hours after an overnight shift.
Join a Professional Organization
Another method for getting additional education as a healthcare professional is to join a professional healthcare organization. There are many organizations available that help promote the healthcare industry. These groups often offer continuing education, conferences and other methods for healthcare workers to gain additional knowledge. Groups such as the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, National Healthcare Workers Association and the Association of Occupational Health Professionals are examples of groups who promote the continuing education of healthcare workers.
Find a Mentor
A mentor helps build the skills of someone else and finding a mentor who can help you advance your career in the healthcare profession can be extremely beneficial. Mentors work one-on-one with you on many topics, such as management of complex cases, tips for patient consultations and more that can improve your experience as a healthcare worker. There are professional mentor programs available or you can reach out to a senior staff member where you work that may be willing to work as a mentor.
Subscribe to Industry Publications
Another way to advance your education in the healthcare industry is by subscribing to one or more of the many industry publications available. There are publications dedicated to healthcare safety as well as healthcare technology among others. Reading these publications can keep you up-to-date on the latest trends and make you more likely to advance in your healthcare career.
Obtain Additional Certifications
Although most healthcare careers require initial certification in order to enter the profession, there may be additional certifications that can also help you advance. Visit your state and county health department website to see what courses they may offer for certification in certain areas. For example, if you have taken computer courses but not completed a degree, you may qualify for certification in Healthcare Informatics even if you are working in another area of healthcare. Be sure to check what requirements are necessary to sit for any certification examinations to be sure you meet those qualifications.
Employer In-Service Training
Healthcare companies often provide in-service training to employees at no charge. When these situations arise, take advantage of the free training in order to advance your education. Although you may not find the training useful in your present position, you may find it beneficial should a different position come available that would advance your career. Visit your human services department to learn how you register for in-service training.
Technical schools in some areas of the country offer continuing education courses on a wide variety of subjects. They may offer courses that could benefit you in your healthcare career as well. Often, the schools charge a small fee for the course, but some do offer certification in a certain area, depending on the state requirements.
These unique tips can help you advance your career in the health industry while also keeping you informed of the latest trends. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you may find yourself in a better position to apply for advanced careers in health.
My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.