Grow with Your Profession
As the demands of the aging population increase and technology continues to improve and change, so will your profession. You will need to be willing to continue to grow and change, and you will need to see the changes as opportunities to improve your skills and to make a bigger and better contribution, as well as to find greater satisfaction in your career.
Some people are terrified of change and experience physical symptoms and illness if they have to change. Health care is probably not a good choice for those individuals. Learning to recognize new diagnoses and to find new and innovative treatments and cures cannot take place in a stagnant situation.
Learn from your peers and explore opportunities to find mentors who can enlighten and educate you and ease your fears of the unknown. Concentrate your continuing-education efforts on learning new skills and developing your talents through workshops and seminars, or by returning to school for an advanced degree. Avoid taking the easy route with continuing-education units (CEUs) just so you can quickly take and pass a test to be done with it. Use the continuing education as an opportunity to expand your horizons, not just to prove that you know what you already learned.
As the need for more professionals continues to grow, so will the need for those who can educate students in the field. If you enjoy teaching others, consider the possibility of becoming a mentor or a teacher in your field at least part-time.
Share your knowledge. If you have learned a new technique or skill, consider holding a workshop or in-service for your coworkers. Time is limited, and knowledge and information are crucial. By sharing information and techniques with your coworkers, you help to increase the overall knowledge base.
If your profession develops new specialties and opportunities, consider moving into the new realms. This helps to keep you from becoming burned out and affords you opportunities to maximize your skills and abilities.
You may also look for entrepreneurial opportunities. Opportunities for consultants and independent contractors are becoming quite popular. With the many changes in health care reimbursement, such as the new Medicare Part D drug coverage, other issues surface. This program got off to a very rocky start due to the wide variations in formulary and payment schedules. Consultants who can understand the program and how to access information on plans and formularies have become much needed.
Health care literacy affects over fifty percent of the population. Helping patients to understand their responsibilities and how to access care — including how to obtain transportation, how to maneuver the maze of a managed-care environment, and how to decipher prescription instructions — are just two examples of areas in which patients fail due to an inability to comprehend the health care process. Consultants who can assist patients in these areas are always needed. Someone will eventually figure out how to turn this into a lucrative endeavor.
Wellness and promoting health is a big issue. Presenting workshops and seminars for the general public to inform and educate them on ways to prevent illness and promote a healthy lifestyle is also very popular.
Podcasts are gaining in popularity, as they can be downloaded to MP3 players and taken with you. Multiple programs can be designed, and a subscription process can easily be set up to promote your information through this media and constantly update your subscribers. Web casts are another media option for sharing information and holding workshops and seminars to reach a broad audience.