Between now and 2024, the healthcare field is projected to experience the fastest employment growth, which is creating opportunities for people who are passionate about healthcare and considering a career in the industry.
“The healthcare field is broad and dynamic,” said Doris Savron, executive dean at University of Phoenix College of Health Professions. “A career path in healthcare can range from IT to nursing to administrative staff, and each path is unique in what level of degree, time commitment and licensing are required.”
For those looking to make a career change, the transition is not always easy. But with a bit of planning, you can remove many of the unknowns. According to Samantha Dutton, Ph.D., MSW, program dean at University of Phoenix College of Humanities and Sciences, this transition period can be made less stressful with some preparation.
“The most important thing someone considering a career change is expect a bit of uncertainty during the first few months. Feelings of being anxious or unsure of their decision are normal,” Dr. Dutton says. “It will get better.”
For those looking to make a change to the healthcare field, but don’t know where to start, meet Diana Zuniga. She is in the process of making a change to a career in healthcare by furthering her education at University of Phoenix. She’s a great example of how to pivot directions and find a new path.
Discovering her passion
Zuniga says she’s had a passion for healthcare for years. She studied healthcare while she was an undergraduate student, but like many others, she switched her field of study a few times.
Her husband, who works as a research scientist at a cancer center, inspired her to pursue a career in the field. Through discussing his work and seeing the impact he was making, she was motivated to take steps to finish what she started as an undergraduate.
“Knowing that there are ways I can help improve the procedures in a hospital, have a more positive impact on patient care and really understand the field has made the change to a new career – and all the work involved – worth it,” she says.
Taking the leap
When making her career change, Zuniga experienced periods of anxiety and questioned her ability to successfully make the transition.
She was concerned about her peers having more experience.
“I often wondered if it was too late to change careers,” Zuniga says. “But instead I look at this experience as an opportunity to present an outsider’s view on some of the things we learn in class.”
Being new to the healthcare field is a hurdle and her biggest asset.
“Having more exposure to the healthcare field and the work I will be doing has shed a light on my abilities,” she explains. “And I now remind myself that if I am truly passionate about it, then nothing will stop me from achieving my goals of helping others.”