Humans have always had to face illness, since the dawn of civilization onward to today. We’ve faced plague, chronic illness, sudden disease, injury, and more at the hands of other humans and natural processes. The unfortunate reality for us is that our mortality also means facing some of life’s most difficult challenges, and facing sickness is something none of us want to do. The healthcare field exists to help with those illnesses, providing treatment, recovery, and support.
Why will the medical field always be in demand?
1. Unfortunately, Sickness Will Always Be A Reality:
Some of the oldest diseases to plague mankind date back to about 8,000 B.C.E., long before humans ever stepped foot on the moon or discovered antibiotics. As long as there have been microbes and animals for them to attach to, there has been illness. The unfortunate truth for us is that illness and disease will always be a part of human life, short of a sci-fi-esque superpower that prevents all illnesses.
Where there is an illness, there needs to be care—and our healthcare providers are there to provide it. There will always be jobs in the field. Even during economic downturns, people still get sick. New jobs open up as technology advances and healthcare techniques evolve. Even as things like AI and machine learning come into play, you simply can’t replace the people that operate on the frontlines of our healthcare industry, providing more than just care and medical knowledge to patients.
2. It Takes A Certain Kind Of Person To Do Specific Jobs In The Field:
The truth about working in healthcare is that it’s simply not for everyone. Some jobs involve long hours, stressful environments, and can even expose you to potentially harmful conditions. Let’s take our frontline workers during the pandemic, for example. We’ve all seen the pictures on social media and in the news of healthcare workers with marks on their faces from wearing masks for hours on end, their tired eyes looking at us mournfully to please follow COVID guidelines. Working in such an environment isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes a certain kind of compassion and empathy to put yourself at risk to help others. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with not wanting to do that—it’s just not something that everyone can be happy about doing on a daily basis.
This does create a certain demand, however. Since not just anyone can jump into scrubs and work a 12-hour shift in a hospital, there are often openings in the field. Not every job will require such dedication and personal risk, but you get the point.
3. The Industry Is Always Growing And Changing:
As we learn to better understand the human body, disease, and illness, the healthcare industry evolves and changes. We’ve come a long way from the Greek theory of four humors, but that doesn’t mean we know everything, or will ever know everything. What it does mean is that there will always be new kinds of jobs added to the healthcare field as new technology and methods emerge.
Even as AI becomes more prevalent in a number of industries, something like healthcare needs people. AI simply can’t match the caring, compassionate nature of an actual person providing care to someone who’s sick. It can’t console a family when their loved one is diagnosed with cancer. It can’t hold their hand while they undergo a serious operation.
The bottom line is that the industry will always change and evolve, adding new jobs and techniques, but it will always need people. People are the core of the healthcare industry.
4. Training Is Becoming More Streamlined:
The industry becomes more and more competitive as training programs become more streamlined. Now, you can complete training for certain positions entirely online. This leaves more flexibility and inclusivity in the industry, but can also mean more competition. You can obtain a medical billing and coding certification online in just under a year, setting you up to enter the field very quickly.
But remember that others are also taking that path, potentially blocking you from your career if you’re not doing something that helps you stand out.
5. Not Every Job Requires A Degree:
When you think of healthcare, you automatically think of doctors and nurses in scrubs and white lab coats, but the truth is, there are thousands of healthcare jobs out there, and many don’t require a degree. You can become a medical biller/coder/pharmacy tech or even a dental assistant without a degree. You’ll need to get certified and complete a training program, but you won’t be in a college setting for years on end, and you won’t be thousands in debt at the end of the program.
6. We’re Unhealthy:
The truth is that the United States is not a healthy nation. Heart disease is still the number one killer of adults in the US and in many parts of the world, and things like smoking, poor eating habits, and lethargic lifestyles contribute to this pandemic. We don’t eat well, many of us don’t get enough exercise, and we practice poor stress management habits; all of which contribute to poor public health. We like to think we’re number one at a lot of things, but the sad fact is that we only fall at about 35 on the world scale when it comes to health and healthcare. 35th place is far from being a winner.
7. The Pandemic Has Shown Us Its Shortcomings:
If there’s any sort of “silver lining” in the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, it’s that the sudden onslaught of the disease has brought into sharp focus the glaring problems that exist in our current healthcare system. The bottom line? We don’t have the right infrastructure, enough dedicated people, or a good insurance system to care for our citizens. We need people who are compassionate and willing to put themselves at personal risk for others, and that’s rare enough nowadays.
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