Jobs in healthcare will always be in demand. According to Forbes.com, among the top three most sought-after specialties include family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, and nursing. So whether you choose to be a surgeon or a physician, you’ll surely have a part in the ever-dynamic and rewarding industry.
As the healthcare sector involves a lot of stress, it’s unavoidable for practitioners to usually feel burned out. While others are able to cope well, the constant pressure has driven a good percentage of them away from the profession. Aside from exhaustion and less personal time, one of the biggest factors why physicians quit is because of toxic working environments. It could be due to their immediate supervisors or conflict between their colleagues.
Occasionally, a few hours to unwind is enough to get things back to normal – other times, it’s not. For the latter, the decision to leave healthcare is as painful as it is for the people they are going to leave behind: their subordinates, their coworkers, and especially their patients. However, these days, a healthcare expert doesn’t necessarily have to stop his or her practice because of burn out.
Aside from shifting to another field (i.e. from caregiving to nursing), they could choose to work in a different environment (like in a cruise ship or even abroad). Here are the top four alternatives for healthcare professionals searching for solutions:
#1 Private Practice
Physicians or caregivers don’t necessarily have to be confined to hospitals. They can work in private settings where they’ll have more control of how they do things.
For example: doctors can open up their own private practice (either by themselves or with other physicians), managing everything from finance to administrative duties. Unlike working in a hospital where you might be required to stay longer hours or serve patients outside your expertise, you are your own boss in a private practice. Aside from a closer family-like relationship with your staff, you also enjoy flexible working hours.
#2 Volunteer Work
If workload seems too much and you want to take an indefinite time-off, volunteering is the perfect solution. It allows professionals to practice their skills, while being able to participate in a community they might end up working for someday.
Just because you don’t get paid for your time and energy doesn’t mean you’re not gaining anything from the venture. If you decide to volunteer for a nonprofit organization for instance, you could end up being a fulltime worker once a position finally opens. Plus, there’s nothing like being rewarded with the feeling that you’re doing something for the greater good.
#3 Tourism Industry
Have you always dreamed about combining your love for travel with your medical profession? Then sharing your expertise with the tourism industry might just be the best choice. Healthcare professionals are always wanted in hotels, resorts, and cruise ships. This is your chance to see the world and take care of people at the same time.
Contrary to what a lot of folks believe, doctors and nurses on cruise ships are highly competent. They are usually on call 24/7 and work more than six hours a day. Cruise lines have strict requirements when hiring healthcare practitioners as he or she would be in-charge for the well-being of about 5,000 passengers. Carnival Cruises for example, need their doctors to have certifications for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
Apart from a busy working schedule, you’ll also enjoy perks such as visiting popular tourist destinations. Medical professionals on cruise ships don’t need to worry about food and lodging either because it’s typically included in their contract. For those who want to bring loved ones along, some cruise line companies will allow you to do so albeit with some restrictions.
#4 Locum Tenens
The term “locum tenens” literally means “to substitute for or hold the place of”. The practice became popular back in the 1850’s, when doctors risked their lives traveling to patients located in far off areas. During the war, plenty of physicians would also trek to nearby communities to help residents as well as soldiers.
Today, locum tenens is a great alternative for healthcare providers at every stage of their career. For those who have yet to complete their medical school requirements, working as a locum provides the needed experience as well as extra cash. Meanwhile, doctors, caregivers, and nurses who are suffering from burn out can use their time as a locum to earn income while enjoying flexible working schedules. They can choose to work for weeks or months, and then take an indefinite vacation after that.
The healthcare sector can be one of the most fulfilling segments to work for. Stress and pressures aside, there’s nothing like seeing satisfied patients on the road to recovery. You might be on the brink of a burn out right now – but know that there are better solutions than to simply quit the industry. Pause, breathe in, and take a look around. See what answers are available for you and try each one until you find something that supports your goals.
Healthcare may be a demanding industry, but it’s only because a lot of people need your care.
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