- Keep your eyes on the prize from day one and earn the best grades possible in each and every course in order to achieve and maintain your GPA.
- Obtain as much clinically relevant experience as possible either through volunteer or paid work or internship course credit. The more diverse the work, the better. Students should experience the following types of environments: hospital, private practice, clinic, nursing home, rehabilitation center, etc.
- Obtain research experience, whether it be conducting a research project with a faculty member for course credit or full-time research over the summer.
Choosing a Career in Healthcare
Deciding to pursue a career in health requires that you are well-informed. Part of our goal at Stonehill is to provide you with the information you will need to decide if a career in health care is right for you.
Health care is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of our society and therefore offers a variety of career opportunities. A career in health care has many obvious rewards, including intellectual stimulation, economic security, and pride in service. However, the choice to commit to the health profession also carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility.
Professional health school involves a long, strenuous course of study and may require that you spend several years in a residency program. After you have completed professional health school and received your certification, you will then have to spend time and effort keeping up with the technological developments in your field, so that you can provide your patients with best care possible.
The most important part of your decision is ensuring that you are committed to the particular health field that you pursue. When you choose the field you would like to enter, you are essentially choosing your life’s work. In professional school, you are trained to perform a specific function, and that is what you do. You usually cannot change fields within health care unless you reenter professional school. Choose wisely!
Before considering if a particular health care field suits you, you must decide if you are cut out for health care. The following are some points you should consider when evaluating your own interests and characteristics:
How much do you wish to deal with people?
A warm and caring personality is one of the most desirable attributes for a health care professional that interacts with patients on a daily basis. As an exception, there are health care fields that do not require much patient interaction. For example, if you want to become a surgeon, it is more important to have good manual dexterity and to be able to stay calm under pressure than to have an outgoing personality.
Are you comfortable studying science?
Some programs demand much more science study than others, but preparation for all health care careers involves some laboratory science study.
Are you prepared to enter an area where you will have to spend time and effort keeping up with developments in your field?
Competent practitioners have an obligation to their patients to give the best care available. If you do not continue studying throughout your career, you will compromise your malpractice insurance and your license.
Are you comfortable in a health care setting?
Some students fail to anticipate the effect of spending much of their life in the company of sick, disabled, or dying people. With the aging of the American population, much of your work may be geriatric. Many students also assume that they will be working in a comfortable, middle-class setting. However, the greatest health care needs are in chaotic inner-city neighborhoods and isolated, impoverished rural areas. Do you have the spirit of service? Are you emotionally able to deal with a wide variety of people? A good way to address these questions is to volunteer in your community.
Are you a team player?
Health care is increasingly a group activity where a successful outcome depends upon each member of a medical team performing his/her specific function.
What lifestyle do you envision?
Some health care careers include many emergencies and long hours. This kind of career leaves you with less time and energy for family life and leisure activities.