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Preparing for a career in health and social care

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With the general election less than two months away, there is a growing focus on the next political incumbents and what the healthcare sector would like to see from them. Clearly, the NHS and even the private healthcare always provide topical talking points, while the burden carried by the social care sector also offers genuine cause for concern.

While it is hard to discuss the future for health and social care in the UK without knowing the precise outcome of the next election, it is possible to determine the key considerations for those who wish to work in these sectors. This is crucial preparation, as the demanding and difficult nature of these industries can overwhelm without the strength or ability to overcome such challenges.

How to prepare for a career in health and social care

With this in mind, it is worth considering the key factors that will help you to prepare for a career in either health or social care provision. While these are two distinct markets, they have some similarities that can be evenly compared when appraising career options. For example…

Health and social care are vocations

As dramatic as it sounds, it is true to say that a career in either health or social care is more of a vocation than a traditional occupation. This is because the hours of work and the challenging nature of its duties can test your mental toughness as well as physical stamina. To survive this and maintain a high standard of care, it is imperative that you have genuine empathy for your patients and are able to prioritise their needs ahead of all others. Without this, you will lose the will to succeed and cannot hope to sustain a long-term career in these fields.

The need for flexibility

Are you a flexible worker? If not, it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your career goals in the health or social care sectors. After all, many jobs within these fields require you to work long or unsociable hours, even during public holidays or over the course of night shifts. Unless you are willing to embrace this aspect of work and it is something that fits well with your schedule, you will need to seek out an alternative career path that offers more relevant rewards.

Locating agencies and work opportunities

As with any niche sector, you will need to identify key recruiters and job opportunities when launching a career as a social or healthcare professional. These jobs are only usually marketed through specialist recruiters with knowledge of the field and an appreciation for what candidates are required to show. The Tutorcare website is a good example of this, as it is a comprehensive resource for existing and aspiring healthcare professionals who are in the market for job roles and relevant skills.

Would you go into a career in health and social care? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: matchfitskills / Flickr

Neil BucklandPreparing for a career in health and social care

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