Medicine is a highly-regarded and challenging career path. Whether a doctor, a nurse or another hospital worker, you’re required to observe the highest standards at all times, and often you’re expected to have a glittering academic career behind you.
If you’re one of the thousands of people who every year decide to devote their vocational life to medicine, then you’ll need to begin preparation early, gathering around you the resources you’ll need to succeed. This article walks through the preparatory steps that you’ll need to take in order to secure your future caring and healing in the nation’s medical industry.
Choose a Role
There are dozens of roles across the medical sector that you’ll be able to work in if you’ve long held an ambition to work in medicine. Some roles require specific medical training, while others are more administrative, managing patients through systems analysis and efficiency reports. This is where you should start considering your future, weighing up what you have to offer and what you can realistically achieve after investing in your medical future. You might choose to pursue a career in the following:
- Doctoral medicine – Training to treat patients with a wide array of afflictions, eventually specializing in their desired area.
- Surgeons – Like doctors, but more focused on the dexterous surgery side to medicine.
- Nurses – Crucial for the care and monitoring of all hospital patients, with deep medical knowledge and experience.
- Paramedics – First on the scene of an accident or sudden illness, saving lives in the real world,
- Orderlies – Running equipment and supplies around the hospital to ensure efficient operations.
- Administrators – Another utterly vital role, helping the documentation and registering of patients continue smoothly.
Of course, the list doesn’t end there. Hospitals are huge groaning institutions in which a great deal of valuable medicine and equipment is ferried around to help save lives and cure illnesses. To keep these running, they require a huge number of diligent and dedicated workers, all devoted to the wellbeing of patients.
Your first step is to decide on which role you’d like to work towards. From here, you’ll be able to start planning your future studies and time investments.
Before you begin bending your educational choices and career path towards medicine, it’s advised that you first consider what your chosen role will entail for your life. Medicine is a famously testing and difficult career path to choose, and requires a level of mental fortitude and positive spirit that your average office job does not necessarily require. You may, for instance, have to face:
- Harrowing illnesses, blood and gore, and the reality of mortality and death
- Long shifts that can sometimes disrupt your everyday lifestyle
- Overtime work that requires you to stay and sleep in the hospital
- Heightened stress when the going is tough
All of the above can be seen as negatives to the job – or as challenges to relish and to charge into with eagerness and confidence. Certainly, you’ll need the latter attitude to really make it in the medical industry. If this sounds like you, you’re sure to meet like-minded, driven, and caring individuals to work alongside in medicine.
If you’re still unsure, it’s not unwise to seek the advice of qualified medical professionals who’ve worked in the industry for some time. They’ll be able to tell you the trials and tribulations of the job – but you’ll find that without fail they will all tell you it’s one of the most rewarding and stimulating careers in the world. Let them inspire you to achieve the grades to prepare for your life in medicine – whether as a doctor, a nurse or a paramedic.
This article is going to assume that you’re going to work towards the high-level jobs in medicine – doctors, nurses and paramedics – that require the highest levels of education from workers.
That’s not to say that orderlies and administrators won’t require qualifications too – but they’re less difficult and time-consuming to achieve than the famously long and difficult doctor’s training course.
What’s vital in your educational life is that you attain excellence throughout your schooling – even when sitting exams in high school. You should focus on:
- Paying particular attention to the sciences – especially biology and chemistry.
- Working on your numeracy and literacy, as they’re important skills for working in the medical profession.
- Working as hard as you can to achieve the best possible grades in official exams.
- Taking extra classes and tuition if necessary to boost your grades in the required subjects for university courses.
- A good grasp of Latin is a bonus – many medical terms originated from the ancient language.
If you concentrate hard on your studies in high school, you’ll be eligible for the best university courses that’ll give you the requisite medical training to begin your career in hospitals.
Many people decide to pursue a career in medicine long before they reach university age. If you’re one of those people, it’s advised you check out requirements for your chosen course as soon as possible, so you can concentrate all your energy on securing the right grades to apply to a top medical course at university.
Even if you’re a ‘mature student’ with school in the distant past, you’ll have the option of retaking your high school or college exams to achieve the grades to enter into a doctor or nursing course. It’s worth considering if you’ve decided to make a sideways move into medicine.
Finally, it’s also worth ruminating on the fact that the digital age has made possible the study of online courses, like online nurse practitioner programs that you’ll be able to take from the comfort of your computer. Revolutionizing the world of learning and achievement, it’s another option for those who require a more flexible learning experience to shape around employment or familial obligations.
In the meantime, if you’re not yet able to attend a course that’ll propel you towards a successful career in medicine, you’re nonetheless able to manage your time in a smart way in order to build experience that’ll serve you well as you commence your studies in the future.
Consider the following options to help you gain that valuable experience:
- Work in care, whether that be elderly care, care for the disabled, or childcare.
- Get internships in the medical profession to observe the inner workings of the sector.
- Apprentice in a pharmacy to get experience working with drugs for various illnesses.
- Take short online courses from the wide range of educational platforms on the internet.
- Subscribe to and read relevant medical journals to stay up to date with developments in the industry.
Your First Position
Whether you’re applying for a position as a resident doctor in your local hospital, an ambulance driver for your locality, or an orderly who’ll do that all-important work to keep the hospital clean and running like clockwork, you can be sure that your first position will be testing, fast-paced and frequently harder work than you might have imagined. Of course, in the long-run this is deeply rewarding by offering you a pace of life that you can’t get from many other vocations.
The advice you’ll hear from all medical professionals who’ve been before you will certainly be to throw yourself into your role, learning on the go and taking setbacks and steep learning curves in your stride. It’s in this sense that an ability to be flexible and to adapt will serve you best in your first months in the medical industry.
What Can’t Be Taught
One of the wonderful things about working in medicine is that there are whole swathes of knowledge that can’t necessarily be taught. This can seem both a little unsettling but rather exciting to novices entering into their first few years in the job.
Take nursing, for instance. Your course – whether taken online or in a university or college – will give you all the specialist training that you need. You’ll know what dosages to administer to patients, how to go about injections, bandaging and emergency care, but you can’t learn patient manner and instinctive medical know-how in a classroom.
That’s why it’s often said of medicine that it’s a job you never stop learning in. You’re never quite comfortable, your education is never quite complete – but in a way that’s exactly why people are drawn to this profession. It’s endlessly exciting, and new insights can come from the most unexpected of places.
Your Career in Medicine
This article has set out the considerations you’ll have to think through, and the education you will have to undertake, before you can start your career in medicine. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to train as a doctor, a nurse or a paramedic, you’ll need the same set of skills and – perhaps more importantly – the right attitude to make a success of a career working in hospitals.
If the information provided above hasn’t served to scare you off, then it’s time for you to start making those first steps that’ll help you establish yourself in the medical arena. Undertake your studies with diligence, get the necessary experience, talk to professionals in the industry and sign on to the course that’ll help you achieve your dream job. You can be sure that the investment of your time, energy and cash will result in a wonderful, rewarding career helping people in need.