I first knew I wanted to go into healthcare when I took a health sciences class in the 10th grade. From there I did an internship at a hospital and spoke with different people to find the right fit for what I wanted to do!
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What was also helpful for me was shadowing in college. I was fortunate to shadow various healthcare workers in high school, and that helped me narrow kind of what I wanted to do. If you have an interest in a field, whether that be business, healthcare, or technology, I would strongly suggest shadowing! See what the day-to-day is like, imagine yourself in that position, and see if that's something you'd be interested in. Good luck!
The number one prerequisite for working in healthcare is a vested interest in the betterment of your patients. Everyone from the doctors and nurses all the way to the technicians, help desk support and custodians must be focused on the impact their actions have on patient outcomes. If you want to help people, this is a good indicator you might like healthcare.
Volunteering at a hospital, rehabilitation facility, or retirement home is a good way to see what is happening on a day-to-day level and interacting with the sick and recovering.
Taking a physiology, biology or human anatomy class will give you a sense of the kind of learning you will be doing in higher education. If the human body fascinates you, great!
Also healthcare is incredibly broad with many types of roles that emphasize different skills or focuses. If you find you are squeamish (let's say it turns out you're afraid of blood) there are many roles within healthcare that are not directly interacting with the more 'gory' type of work (wounds, blood, operations, etc.)
-Heavy patient interaction, get hands dirty figuratively and literally: LNA, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Doctors, ER, EMTs, etc.
-Analysis focused, still have patients but more lab work: Radiology tech including MRI, CAT scans, Ultrasounds; Lab work such as blood or biopsy)
-Technology focused, less patients: Nursing informatics, healthcare infrastructure, IT support, billing
-Patient focused rehabilitation: Physical therapy, psychology, psychiatry, prosthetics
There are so many areas and avenues for medicine you can almost always find a niche that works for you, as long as you care about your patients.
My wife is now a Nurse Practitioner who focuses on wound care, specifically with patients who have severe mobility or physical disabilities. She does home health visits and travels for much of her day visiting patients and doing documentation. Typical 9-5, M-F work schedule but sees maybe only 3-4 patients a day because their needs are so complex.
On the other hand, our mutual friend is a Nurse Practitioner who thinks what my wife does is too hard, and instead works in the Emergency Room (!!) She works 12-16 hour shifts, sometimes overnights, sometimes several days off in a row. She enjoys the immediate need to triage and help when things are critical, to stabilize and help someone be healthy enough to get help from others in the healthcare system. She is less interested in following the patients long-term health and having the same patients every week, she thinks that is too stressful, but is ok working with someone who has multiple gunshot wounds and could literally die any moment.
In short, It takes all kinds of people with different skills and areas of expertise. Talk to different people in your community, try and volunteer and study that human anatomy!
What is great about working in the medical field is that there are many different directions you can go at it from. The obvious choice is to become an MD. But there are nurses, medical researchers, rehab therapists, medical social workers, coders, etc. who all bring a very necessary skills to Healthcare as a broad field.
Great question. There's no one-way path to the answer. You've received some great comments from the Prof CV community. I'd like to add that on "RARE" occasions sometimes a person might know in high school what they want to do as a career. "This is an inspiring true story".
While in middle school, my son and a friend paired together on a project to talk about the veins in the human body. They were provided with long paper to draw the body. One person lay down on the paper while the other outlined the body. They drew the organs, veins, and bones. This was a very impressive project for such young boys. To this day, I still have that precious paper outline of the body because I honestly think that it was the launching pad for my son wanting to go into the medical field. Of course, while showing much interest in the medical field at a young age close Aunts, family members, and friends also encouraged him along the way. He has first cousins that is following in his footsteps to become a Psychiatrist and Psychologist.
I share this personal story with you to let you know that sometimes, there are teenagers who do know what they want to do in a career. The hard part is deciding on which field you are interested in. And, it's okay to change your mind. Nothing is concrete that can't go in a different direction. It's up to you to do the work to make it happen. You can do it! 👩🏽⚕️
During high school, i enjoyed some subjects more and looked
forward to the next time I will have their lectures/classes. For me then, it wasn't just about good grades in a subject but about how eager and focused i was during those classes.
I believe that what ever you are passionate about , you will enjoy doing it and that helped me choose health field.
I think most people will respond they want to work in the healthcare field because it's a stable profession, usually pays well, and is a service profession.
I recommend volunteering at a hospital, job shadowing, touring community college health programs, or have informational interviews to determine which field you want to go in, and start growing your own passion for wherever your curiosity leads!
If you decide to major in health science, you will take a variety of classes that cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and disease prevention. You will also learn about the social and psychological aspects of health, as well as the ethical and legal issues that arise in the healthcare industry.
As a health science major, you will have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of how the human body works and how to maintain good health. You will also learn how to work with patients and other healthcare professionals to provide care and support to those in need.
Depending on your specific interests and career goals, you may choose to specialize in a particular area of health science, such as nursing or public health. Alternatively, you may opt for a more general degree that gives you a broad foundation in health science and prepares you for a variety of careers in the field.
Overall, majoring in health science can be a rewarding and challenging experience that sets you up for a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.