A cover letter is like an opening act. It introduces and sets the tone of your résumé, and it provides you with the ability to communicate directly to a hiring manager in a personal, yet professional, way.
Its purpose is to capture the hiring manager’s interest. With many open positions, the manager can become overwhelmed easily by stacks of applications. A well-written cover letter will motivate the manager to learn more about you and keep your résumé at the top of the pile.
Length of the Letter
When preparing your cover letter, keep it short and sweet. Get to the point without unnecessarily wasting the manager’s time. Personalize the letter for the position that you are applying for rather than being generic in content. While you want to intrigue the hiring manager and stand apart from the crowd, you don’t want to rehash your entire life story in your cover letter.
Highlight Your Interest
A hiring manager wants to find a candidate who is truly interested in and excited about the position. While a résumé cannot relay this information, the cover letter can. Go beyond the bland and banal statements about wanting to help people; instead, highlight personal interests that you have in this area of healthcare, or describe special projects related to the position that you’ve accomplished and have been meaningful in your life. For example, mention a recent lecture that you gave to a professional organization.
Explain Why You’re a Great Candidate
In addition to expressing why you’re interested in this specific position, explain why you’re a great candidate for this particular opening. The key difference here is making the connection to how the skills or passion you possess can benefit this hospital, clinic, or healthcare team. This section may draw attention to particular points in your résumé that are most important or applicable to the position, but it shouldn’t be a narrative version of your entire résumé.
Request an Interview
One key point that many job seekers lose focus on is the fact that they’re trying to sell themselves for a position. One key aspect of the sales process is to ask for what you want. In this case, you want to get called in for an interview so that your personal skills can really shine through. At the close of your cover letter, mention that you are eager to meet with the hiring manager in person to discuss the position and your qualifications.
What Not to Do
Like a résumé, a cover letter always should be professional but also original. Word choice and sentence structure are critical to make your cover letter more interesting without losing professionalism. You want to sound passionate about the job and about your field in general, but you don’t want your language to become overly ornate or flowery.
Failing to address the HR representative or hiring manager by name also can be a mistake. If the recipient’s name isn’t listed on the application, visit the website or contact the hospital to ask whom you should address hiring inquiries to.
Your cover letter is your chance to state why this particular healthcare position has intrigued you. Don’t regurgitate your résumé by stating that you focused on a certain field in medical school or list years of work experience in this area of the healthcare industry.
With certain types of online applications, submitting a résumé with a cover letter is not feasible, but don’t miss the opportunity to highlight key points that express your personal interest if an additional comments section is provided.
Consider having several friends or family members read through your cover letter and résumé before submission. Get honest feedback about your wording and content, and ensure that you don’t have any typos.
An effective cover letter may help your résumé or application take center stage and ultimately can result in you being the star an interview.
Although an interview can inspire some nervousness, it’s important to project your confidence by coming to your interview equipped with knowledge about the company along with a few strategic questions designed to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Here is what you need to know about the questions that you should ask and those that you should avoid when speaking with your interviewer.
General Questions About the Work Environment
Every company or organization has a specific work environment that is tailored to fit their mission. Whenever you interview for a position, remember that you’re also performing an assessment of the work environment to make sure that it’s aligned with your career goals. Asking about the work environment will not only help you to decide if the position is right for you, but it also will ensure that your potential employer knows that you’re dedicated to working within the position for a long time.
One of the best ways to do this is to ask about how the person before you performed the job, or what makes a person successful at the job for which you’re applying. The answer will provide you with insight into the expectations set forth for the position and enable you to find out if your predecessor moved on to better opportunities through a promotion.
In addition to asking about the previous employee, ask questions to become familiar with your future supervisors’ personalities. Find out what excites the hiring manager or supervisor the most about coming to work. Interviewers often are willing to share details about management that can provide insight into the work culture. For example, an interviewer may share that the management team is detail-oriented and focused on patient care, which you can then relate to your experience and skills.
Job-Specific Questions to Ask
Although general questions can provide an overview of the work environment, ask specific questions about the actual position for which you’re applying. Determine the length of shifts that are available for your position so that you will know how the job will fit into your schedule or child care needs. Inquire about how the scheduling is conducted. For example, senior nurses may have the first opportunity to sign up for daytime or shorter shifts.
Ask questions that demonstrate your commitment to professional development. Identify the types of resources that are available for continuing education and the improvement of patient care. Get details about job-specific training opportunities, such as company-sponsored seminars and attendance at state and national professional meetings.
Be certain to inquire about the review process for people who accept your position. Do management teams regularly assess the work of nurses and other medical staff? If so, then you also will want to know about the strategies that are implemented for improvement.
Learn about the department’s orientation process, as this will help to establish you as an employee from the interviewer’s perspective. A quality orientation program should have you working closely with the same staff and patients that you will be working with during your time with the organization.
Questions to Avoid Asking
While some questions are ideal for demonstrating your professional knowledge and interest in the company, there are other questions that you should avoid asking on the first interview. For example, asking about lunches, breaks, and vacation time could portray you as someone who is disinterested in working.
While salary may be broached by your interviewer during the interview, it’s best to save salary negotiations until after you’re actually offered a position. Be prepared by knowing the general salary for people in the position for which you are applying.
By targeting your questions thoughtfully during the interview, you’ll engage the interviewer, learn the inside scope about the facility, and stand out as competent, committed, and the right candidate for the job.
Teenagers considering college often don’t have the proper interviewing techniques down, and they may miss out on the school of their dreams. For example if you want to go to a culinary arts school, do your homework and read up on the cooking courses, curriculum, and specifics of each school. Then do some practice interviews with your parents, friends, high school guidance counselor, and anyone who will help. Then, when it comes time to interview with the school in person, you’re ready to nail it.
LinkedIn has become an established resource for finding prospective employees within the healthcare field. The influence of LinkedIn is so important that anyone who is currently looking for a job should know that their profile will be searched for on this social networking site.
While many people have a LinkedIn profile, they often fail to update it or successfully highlight their accomplishments. Additionally, LinkedIn has included a few recent changes that can be utilized to draw prospective employers’ attention. The following tips can help you to create a profile that will impress potential employers with your professionalism and experience in healthcare.
Include a Professional Photo
When creating an online presence, include a photograph that can enable employers to put a face to the name. This can help to combat the common barrier of being reduced to words on a screen, which is a common complaint among job seekers. Your photograph may serve as an introduction to a prospective employer, so it’s essential to ensure that it offers a professional representation. For example, a nurse might prefer to include a photograph taken in scrubs instead of casual clothes. Not only will this help to create a personal connection, but according to USA Today, LinkedIn profiles with a photograph are more likely to be viewed by prospective employers.
Create a Custom URL
Many people also overlook their URL when creating their profile. Many employers prefer to revisit a link when narrowing down candidates for their search. Additionally, a long and random URL will seem awkward if a person creates a link within their online resume. Due to the fact that the standard URL is a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters, most employers will not be able to remember how to access a person should they choose to revisit their profile. Creating a customized URL can help to streamline the process while demonstrating that you pay attention to details. Change the profile URL to one that includes your name or a few keywords related to healthcare.
Write a Descriptive Headline
In addition to the photo, a profile’s headline will be one of the first things a prospective employer will notice, so be certain that it successfully defines your career objectives. Take a cue from marketers, and learn how to successfully create a brand that sticks out in a prospective employer’s mind. Keep it short. A quick statement that describes your experience and career goals makes a fast first impression to encourage a potential employer to continue reading.
Include Important Keywords
Employers often will search for resumes using brand names and keywords that are important to their industry. For those who are in healthcare, this means that you should include as many job-related terms in your LinkedIn profile as possible. For example, listing prominent hospitals, universities, or clinics that you have worked within may draw a prospective employer’s interest. Additionally, listing a school can forge a connection between alumni. Keywords placed carefully throughout your profile will appear natural, yet will attract attention.
Focus on Connections
On LinkedIn, job seekers can expand their network of potential job opportunities by focusing on building connections through the use of their profile. This can help to establish their professionalism while increasing potential employers’ interest. In healthcare, prospective employers prefer to hire people who have developed a reputation of providing excellent patient care and reliability. They’re more likely to hire someone who is connected to a person they trust. By building connections, job seekers also can learn quickly about more about job opportunities within specific hospitals or medical organizations. By being one of the first to apply, a person will be able to stand out among other applicants while getting a head start on the application process.
After creating a relevant and professional profile, many people tend to forget about their LinkedIn account. Unfortunately, this often can put them at the bottom of the search list. Prospective employers tend to search for profiles that include recent activity so that they can be certain a person is still searching for a job. Additionally, staying active will enable a person to quickly respond to messages and requests so that they can show prospective employers they always provide a fast response.
Creating an effective LinkedIn profile can put job seekers in touch with the right employer. By taking the time to include a professional photograph, utilize keywords, and build connections with others in the healthcare industry, a person can take advantage of this important site for professional networking.
Networking is important for advancing your career, but it’s also important for researching insurance agents. Rodney Nars Insurance is a great option for people looking for an insurance agent in Chicago.
When applying for a position in a new career, you will be up against others who may already have experience in healthcare; therefore, it’s essential for career changers to take advantage of these tips for writing a résumé that will impress potential employers.
Analyze Past Work Experience
Before beginning to write your résumé, analyze your past work experience, according to San Jose State University. Determine what types of skills you have demonstrated that are relevant to your new career. For example, if you have worked in customer service, you may be able to transfer your ability to communicate well with others into a healthcare position that requires frequent interaction with patients.
Choose the Right Format
Several types of formats can be used for résumé writing. A chronological résumé includes your most recent experience first. On the other hand, a functional format lists your skills at the top of the page to capture a hiring manager’s attention without focusing on dates. By emphasizing your knowledge over employment, a functional format can be ideal for anyone who is changing careers.
Include a Career Objective
A recent trend in résumé writing is to leave out the career objective because it’s often redundant; however, for career changers, this line can be essential for establishing that they’re seeking a position with the healthcare field after completing their training. When writing your career objective, keep it simple and restricted to one or two sentences. This creates an easy transition into the qualification and summary sections of the résumé where you can further expand upon your job-related skills.
Add a Qualification and Summary Section
In most résumé formats, job candidates provide an overview of their qualifications that will enable them to perform the duties of the career for which they’re applying. These sections are especially important if you lack formal work experience in healthcare because they allow a potential employer to view you as more than just a degree or vocational certificate. When this section is clearly written and tailored to a specific position, it can demonstrate your competency within the healthcare field. Analyze the job description, and capture the prospective employer’s attention by including any requested skills at the top of the section. By speaking the prospective employer’s language, you will demonstrate that you’re familiar with the skills that are important in healthcare.
Include a Cover Letter
For those who lack experience in healthcare, a professional cover letter can help them stand out. A cover letter simply serves as an introduction to a potential employer that explains why you’re seeking a specific position and how you will benefit the company as an employee. Additionally, a cover letter can include any other vital information that may not fit within the confines of a résumé. Although a cover letter always should be professional, this is also an area where you can allow a little personality to come through so that hiring managers can get a fuller view of your interest in healthcare. Many people tend to overlook the importance of a quality cover letter, so this is one more way to draw positive attention to your résumé.
Emphasize Education and Training
When writing a résumé, many recent graduates overlook the experience they have gained while completing their education in healthcare. For the majority of students, hands-on training is included in their courses that can be transferred to a résumé as relevant experience. Add a few extra lines to your education section to explain how your experience can transfer to the position that you’re applying for. Clinical rotations, volunteer work, and even observations all can be impressive to a potential employer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, most people will change careers about seven times over the course of their lifetime. By focusing on your knowledge, highlighting past experience, and emphasizing the qualities that are desired by hiring managers, you can write a résumé that emphasizes your passion for your new healthcare career.
Changing careers often means you will be moving if the opportunity opens up in a distant city. If you have a home, you will need to sell the old one and search for a new one. When you are doing a home search, don’t forget to compare mortgage rates and try to get the lowest rate possible so you can find the perfect house for you and your family.
Returning to work after caring for children often can be accompanied by mixed emotions. While many parents look forward to reestablishing their identity in their healthcare career, they also may be nervous about how they will handle the responsibilities of both caring for a family and working.
Although it may take some time for everyone to adjust to a parent going back to work, this transition can be smoothed by making a few simple preparations. Here are several ways to catch up on any changes in the healthcare field while helping your family to adjust to your new role as a working parent.
Develop a Support Network
One of the first things that a parent should do before going back to work is develop a team of people who can provide support during times of need. This support network should contain a combination of friends, family members, and co-workers. In the healthcare field, it’s common for employees to work rotating shifts or be on call. This makes it especially important for working parents to communicate with their support network about any schedule changes that could alter their current arrangements.
Learn to Delegate
At home and work, many tasks can be done by someone else just as well as a working parent might accomplish it. Although it can be hard to relinquish control, working parents will discover quickly that delegating work tasks and housekeeping chores can be effective when time is at a premium. Depending upon your position in healthcare, you could assign routine paperwork, night checks, or other duties to an assistant or co-worker. At home, establish a chore chart that contains simple duties for children such as sweeping the floor and taking out the trash. Even young children can get in on the action by picking up their toys or helping to feed the pets.
Find Trustworthy Child Care
For working parents, having a reliable child care provider is the key to maintaining peace of mind when at work. The right type of child care will vary according to a person’s family needs; however, it’s essential that the caregiver provides a safe environment while looking after the child’s physical and emotional needs. Parents who work demanding schedules must ensure that their child care provider is aware of the requirements that accompany working in healthcare. For example, nurses who work the night shift may need to find a home caregiver or child care center that offers night services. Additionally, be sure that the child care provider is comfortable with parents visiting at any time. This way, you can stop in on a lunch break to check on your child.
Brush Up on Career Skills
After being out of work for any length of time, it’s necessary to spend some time learning new workplace procedures that were established while you were away. This is especially true for healthcare workers who may discover that new technologies and techniques have been put into practice; therefore, brushing up on career skills is essential for a successful transition. If you have only been away from work for a few weeks and are returning to a current position, then meet with whoever handled your duties during your absence. This can provide helpful insight into how patient records or other paperwork has been handled.
Those who are returning to work after a long period of time may need to take additional steps to impress potential employers. In healthcare, taking continuing education courses or earning a new certification are excellent ways to brush up on career skills while adding something recent to a resume.
Stay in the Present
Although juggling dual roles can be difficult, it’s important for you to focus on each moment. When at work, healthcare professionals must provide their full attention to patients to ensure that they receive optimum care. Worrying about children or feeling guilty can interfere with providing top-quality patient services. At home, parents should shut off cell phones and other distractions so that they can focus on spending time with their children.
When parents go back to work, it can take time for the entire family to adjust to the new arrangements. By establishing a network of support and refreshing you career skills, you can successfully transition back into work while enjoying the benefits of your new role.
Going back to work also can mean your tax situation is slightly more complicated. If you no longer feel comfortable filing your own taxes, then you should hire a tax professional to make sure you pay your fair share of taxes.
When selecting applicants for a healthcare position, an employer will use many tools to screen job candidates. Along with interviews and resumes, providing professional references is an essential part of applying for a position in the healthcare field.
The responses received from an applicant’s references will play an important role in the decision to hire that particular candidate, due to the serious nature of the responsibilities that a person in a healthcare position will be required to fulfill. The right references should be able to provide a clear overview of a job candidate’s ability to provide excellent patient care while adhering to employer guidelines.
The best people to use as references are those who have had the opportunity to observe a job applicant performing the duties of his or her chosen profession. Ideally, these references will include a combination of past employers, supervisors, and professors who have worked directly with the applicant. As a general rule to follow, a professional reference always should come from a person who worked within a higher position than the job candidate, such as a supervising physician or lead nurse.
For those who lack work experience in the industry, it’s sometimes challenging to find professional references within the healthcare field. In these instances, many people find it beneficial to include reference letters in their portfolios that can be provided at the request of a potential employer. When graduating from a healthcare program or leaving an internship, it’s always a good idea to request a reference letter from former employers and professors who can be used as a character reference.
Avoid Friends and Family
In an attempt to provide enough references, many job applicants turn to their friends and family. Although these people may know the applicant well, they usually cannot provide a professional reference that is objective enough to impress a potential employer. Additionally, hiring managers know that a person’s acquaintances are likely to give a favorable opinion. In some cases, using a friend can be detrimental. The last thing a job applicant needs is for a friend to remember the time you were late for dinner when a hiring manager asks about punctuality.
Consult with Each Reference First
Job applicants also should consult with their contacts to ensure that it’s acceptable to use them as a reference. Many people avoid answering strange numbers that appear on their phone and could miss a call from your potential employer if they aren’t aware that one may be attempting to reach them.
Additionally, some former professional contacts may not be comfortable providing a reference. This is especially true if their company policy prohibits or discourages giving professional references. By consulting with each reference before providing their information to potential employers, a person can be sure that their reference list is full of contacts who will provide positive feedback.
Customize the Reference List
After gathering a list of references, a person may find that certain ones may not be helpful for the specific career for which they are applying. For example, the manager a person worked with while waiting tables through college may not be able to provide as effective of a reference as a former professor in medical school could offer. It’s important to tailor the reference list to fit each specific position for which a person is applying.
Provide Correct Contact Information
A reference list is only helpful if the hiring manager is able to contact each person on the list. In the healthcare field, making contact with a specific number of references is a requirement for many job positions. This is especially important for individuals who will be providing direct care to patients in a medical facility; therefore, an applicant should provide the appropriate email address, phone number, and mailing address for each person. Generally, it’s best to provide several different methods for contacting a reference so that potential employers can use their desired method for connecting with references.
By selecting references that have professional knowledge of their abilities and providing the correct contact information on a list tailored to each specific job, job candidates will be able to stand out from the competition while impressing potential employers with their professionalism.
When you get out into the work world, there’s no doubt a quality reference will go a long way toward getting you your next job. In addition to a great reference, you need to put your time in and study so you’re prepared before you go on the job interview. If you come to the interview fully prepped, you will have an outstanding chance of acing it and landing that dream job.
Nursing is an exciting career choice that can lead to a lifetime of fulfilling work. The old image of a hospital nurse patiently dispensing pills in a white cap is gone; today’s nurses are vibrant, active, and constantly challenged.
In fact, these days a number of nurses are taking their job on the road. Travel nurses work either full-time or part-time for a period of a few weeks or months at different hospitals across the country. Travel nurses may choose to work in an operating room, a neonatal unit, or for hospice care, among other areas. The experience they gain can help build their resumes when they return home.
One of the fastest-growing job categories for nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the area of traveling nurses. While overall job growth rate for nurses is expected to be 26 percent, nurses in alternative settings (a group that includes travel nurses) are expected to enjoy even higher job growth levels of around 46 percent as the demand continues to grow for nurses in specific locations. Travel nurses, in particular, may see an increase in job openings according to the Professional Association of Nurse Travelers, because the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 will mean more Americans will have health insurance and access to hospitals.
Those interested in pursuing a career as a travel nurse will need to make sure that they obtain the right education and proper licensure.
How Can I Become a Traveling Nurse?
The first decision every nurse must make is what type of traveling nurse they would like to become:
· Home health travel nurses deliver moderate to intense interventions in private homes and may be hired by a company that serves these patients or privately by the patient’s family. These nurses, while itinerant, are not classified as true “traveling nurses” because they have a centralized employment location.
· Location-based nurses, such as those working with the Red Cross, may travel from one specified location to another to perform specific tasks such as collecting blood. In these cases, the patients come to a centralized location rather than the nurse traveling to their homes.
Traveling nurses migrate from one job to another based on demand. They are often employed by central agencies that assign them temporary work across a broad region or even around the country based on the current need for nurses in a particular area.
All travel nurses must complete a registered nurse (RN) program. Travel nurse agencies may require applicants have at least one year of RN experience. Some travel nurses go on to earn a master’s degree in nursing. The higher the degree, the more money a travel nurse will generally earn through job assignments.
Travel nurses must also obtain a nursing license from the state or states in which they wish to work. Some states offer temporary licenses within 24 to 48 hours in the case that an assignment comes up last minute, or in the case that a nurse has not yet filed for a license in that state. These states include Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Vermont and Arizona.
A number of states also accept nursing licenses from other states, though the license holder must be a permanent resident of one of the participating states. This is referred to as the Nurse Licensure Compact, and it allows nurses to practice across state lines. There are 24 participating states.
Qualifying for a nursing license involves passing a state-approved exam, typically referred to as the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN exam, and renewing the license periodically through continuing education. Each state’s requirements are different, so traveling nurses must be sure that they meet requirements for each job.
Finding an Agency
The majority of travel nurses work through an agency, instead of being employed directly with a hospital or clinic. Working through an agency is one of the easiest ways to find a job. In addition, when nurses sign up with an agency, travel assignments and payment are typically arranged through the agency. Some travel nurse companies also offer their employees continuing education courses.
Working as a Travel Nurse
Working as a traveling nurse involves moving from one place to another, so most jobs include some form of room and board. This may be a room in the hospital outfitted as a mini-apartment that may be private or shared with other nurses, or the company or hospital may reserve a hotel room for the nurse or make other living arrangements. Arrangements for food are often provided in the form of a cash stipend that reimburses the nurse for his or her meals or through vouchers to the hospital cafeteria or other location. Traveling nurses also are reimbursed for travel expenses such as mileage or plane tickets.
Most assignments last 12 to 13 weeks, though some may be as short as four weeks. The salary for a travel nurse will depend on the duration of the assignment, but on average most travel nurses earn $75,000 annually.
Clearly, traveling nurses hold one of the most rewarding careers in the healthcare industry. Another rapidly expanding industry is wireless temperature monitoring. You can remotely monitor the temperature of everything from food to refrigerators and even vaccines!
Many people looking for jobs who have neither the time nor the inclination to spend years working for a medical degree can get started in some of the most in-demand careers in the healthcare industry with just a certificate or an associate’s degree. Here are a few to explore:
Medical secretaries earn about $15 an hour, or between $31,000 and $45,000 annually, depending largely on their location and whether they are working in an office environment or a hospital. A medical secretary needs to have a high school diploma and be capable of performing administrative and clerical tasks. Daily responsibilities will often include answering phone calls, preparing correspondence, transcribing dictation, and record-keeping. Some medical secretaries also will be responsible for completing medical and insurance forms.
Good organizational skills are a must for this job, and experience in word processing and spreadsheets are helpful. Although a college degree is not required for many medical secretary positions, a medical secretary can benefit from having taken courses in medical terminology and similar programs. An associate’s degree can help a medical secretary move up the career ladder and take on greater responsibilities.
EMTs and Paramedics
EMTs and paramedics enjoy a fast-paced workplace and are not confined to an office or cubicle. The demand for EMTs and paramedics is growing quickly, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and the field is expect to grow by 33 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than average. The median income of EMTs and paramedics in 2010 was just over $30,000 annually, although that amount can vary according to location and hours worked. Many larger cities hire paramedics to work as firefighters as well, which can boost the median income to more than $45,000 annually.
EMTs and paramedics often work on ambulances and respond to emergency calls. Those who are sick or who have been injured depend on EMTs and paramedics to provide them with lifesaving support and transport them to medical facilities where they can receive the care they need. Requirements to become EMTs and paramedics generally vary by state; the amount of training required is the biggest difference between the two positions. EMTs usually will need to complete several courses and be certified, while paramedics may need to complete a two-year training program or associate’s degree before they can achieve their certification. They will need to be able to think on their feet, work inside and outside, perform hard physical labor, and handle people who are frightened, sick, or in pain.
Medical Technician and Technologist
Medical technologists can go into many different fields. Cytotechnologists examine body cells for abnormalities. Blood bank technologists prepare blood for transfusions. Phlebotomists collect samples. And histotechnicians collect tissue specimens for further testing. Medical technologists generally have more complex jobs and greater responsibilities than technicians.
Medical technicians will need a high school degree and an associate’s degree in a science or clinical laboratory science program. These are often available as hospital-based programs. Medical technologists will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in medical technology. The median annual income is $41,000 for medical technicians and is $57,000 for medical technologists. The fields are projected to grow 13 percent over the next decade. A medical technician or technologist can work in a laboratory, hospital, or other healthcare facility. Both need to be detail oriented, focused, and careful.
Social workers play an important role in the healthcare field. Hospitals are often a place of healing, but they also can be a place of complex decisions, difficult emotions, and loss. Social workers can provide the support necessary for those facing these situations and hard transitions.
A medical social worker will work with doctors and other members of the healthcare team to provide essential services to patients and ensure that their emotional needs are met. They may perform evaluation and screening services, psychosocial assessments, patient education services, crisis intervention, ensure access to resources, and act as an advocate for patients and patients’ families.
Social workers have a median income of about $65,000 annually and will need a bachelor’s in social work, or BSW, as well as state certification. Those who enjoy fast-paced environments, who are committed to having a positive impact in the lives of others, and who are active team players often blossom in the role of social worker. The job field is expected to grow 25 percent over the next decade.
People everywhere are going back to college to find a new career or follow their passion. At Just Colleges there are plenty of resources, from expert videos to insightful articles to help you determine the career that fits just for you.
Of all the questions a job interviewer can ask, “Why did you leave your last job?” is one that most people would rather not hear. In the healthcare industry, this question can be especially difficult to answer.
Many valid reasons exist for leaving a good healthcare job, but those reasons may not sound rational to someone who doesn’t understand the situation. Here are three scenarios and how you can explain each to a future employer if you’re asked the dreaded question in a job interview.
Scenario One: You Are Still Employed
If you already have a job, it feels somewhat awkward when you’re asked why you’re looking for a new one. Remember that the real question an employer is asking is: “Why are you unsatisfied with your current job? Will you soon become unsatisfied with this one?”
Reassure a potential employer that you aren’t a job-jumper by emphasizing the positive things that you expect to happen if you make a move, not the negative reasons why you’re leaving your current employment.
For example, “My boss is too demanding,” implies that you cannot take criticism or are difficult to work with; however, “I think I have maximized my potential at this job, and I am looking for new challenges,” portrays you as ambitious and ready to take on new responsibilities. Of the two, an employer would rather hire the person who wants to work hard and expand skills.
Most people leave one job to take another. It isn’t a negative thing to want to improve your situation, so don’t feel apologetic for your desire to find a better position.
Scenario Two: You Were Laid Off
When you’re laid off, you already have dealt with a stressful situation. The current economy means even the healthcare industry isn’t immune from job losses. You may feel extreme pressure to get another job quickly, and that pressure can lead you to make mistakes during job interviews. Appearing to be too anxious to get a job can be as unattractive to employers as being uninterested in a job.
Keep in mind that the layoff likely had nothing to do with your job performance. You still have marketable skills that will be valuable to another employer.
Once you have this reality firmly fixed in your mind, you will be in a much better state to deal with job interviews. If you’re asked why you were laid off, answer honestly. There is no shame in admitting that your clinic closed due to lack of funding or that your doctor couldn’t afford to keep two full-time nurses and someone else outranked you in seniority.
Be sure that your former employer will give you a good reference, and walk into your next interview with your head held high.
Scenario Three: You Were Fired
This is admittedly the hardest type of situation to explain to a future employer, and your success at finding another job depends largely on the reason you were fired. If you were fired from your job for being late or absent too often, you may simply have to own up to your mistakes. Stress that you have made changes and are looking for another chance to use your talents and skills.
If you were fired for a serious offense, you will have a much tougher time getting a job; however, there are employers who will hire you under a consent order from your state board or other governing agency and will give you a chance to recover your reputation. If you’re still dealing with the fallout of a criminal charge, you may not be licensed to search for another job until the matter is concluded.
While you don’t need to explain intricate details, you must be honest with future employers about the reason for losing your job. Trying to cover up what has happened will lead to yet another firing, if you’re fortunate enough to secure employment.
Chad Fisher knows that your next job interview will go far more smoothly if you are honest and remember that you have great skills and talents to offer an employer no matter why you left your last job. With the economy turning around there are many more options for job seekers these days, one of them is getting a bachelor degree in interior design from a reputable college.
Making the decision to become a nurse takes personal inner strength and a commitment to help out other human beings. After all, nurses spend every day taking care of people who are far from their best.
Nurses are almost always truly compassionate individuals, and this level of compassion for others is what drives them to seek out a career in the medical field. Although doctors have plenty of perks, and will generally receive a larger salary, nurses are the ones who often have the ability to have the most direct interaction with patients; therefore, they are truly difference makers who not only save lives, but who also enrich them.
If you have been considering a career as a nurse, you might be struggling to narrow down the almost overwhelming number of options. Use the following list of five top nursing careers to help you make a final decision, but keep in mind that whichever role you select should be the one that you feel the most passionate about.
Emergency Room Nurse
Although this is one of the most high-profile — and stressful — career paths that a future nurse can choose, it is also provides plenty of job security. Your salary as an emergency room nurse may vary greatly depending on your level of experience and how many hours you put in each week, but the average annual salary can be in the range of $60,000 to $84,000.
An individual who wishes to be an ER nurse will need to complete a nursing program, maintain excellent grades in their nursing classes, complete a learning term at an ER, pass the state licensing exam, achieve all applicable certifications, and spend at least one year focused on classes about trauma nursing. As you can see, there is a long road ahead of you, but the reward will be worth the time that you put into it.
Those who relish a change of scenery are sure to enjoy a career as a travel nurse. A travel nurse will have access to some of the most interesting locations in the country, along with a competitive salary. In fact, because you will be traveling, you will receive stipends that place your salary above most other nurses. The average salary is close to $75,000 annually, and this does not necessarily include all of your fringe benefits, such as housing and meal allowances. The type of nursing that you do will have a huge impact on what your educational requirements will be. For example, if you are a travel registered nurse (RN), you will need a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. All travel nurses also will have to obtain a license in each state that they travel to.
Operating Room Nurse
Working in an operating room will give a nurse hands-on experience with the surgical process, which can be invaluable when it comes to both recognizing future patient issues, or when making the decision to go back to school to become a doctor. Operating room nurses make an average salary of $79,000 each year. In addition to completing all of the education that is required to become a RN, you will also have to log at least 2,400 hours as an RN assisting during the surgical process, and then pass the National Council for Licensure Examination.
Being a military nurse might not pay as well as some of the other nursing positions, but it will provide you with the opportunity to receive free additional education and experience. Military nurses also will have the opportunity to see the world. Military nurses start off with a salary around $31,000, but they can get as high as $126,000 with enough years of service. The military requires all incoming nurses to have an RN license before they join. The only exception is for those who join the reserves and use the education stipend to pay for their education.
Home Health Nursing
Nurses who do not wish to work in a hospital setting can find great success as a home health nurse. Home health nurses provide care for those who may be bedridden or who require assistance with a variety of daily tasks. Home health nurses will typically assist with bathing, grooming, and the administration of medication. An RN working in home health nursing will make an average salary of $72,000 per year. RNs who choose to work as a home health nurse will need to attain the same level of education as any other RN. As the average life expectancy in the U.S. continues to grow, it only seems natural that a growth in job opportunities for home health nurses will soon follow.
Regardless of which specific field you choose, a nursing career can make for an incredibly satisfying, lifelong career. It also can lead to growth within the medical field, as many nurses eventually go back to school and become doctors, surgeons, and other allied health professionals.
Susan Nelson is passionate about the health industry and the wealth of career healthcare opportunities available today; from dermatological physician assistants to professionals working in the field of sleep apnea treatment.
The promises you make to yourself as 2012 draws to a close and 2013 dawns can help you strengthen patient relationships, build your leadership abilities, and help you develop essential skills for taking your career to the next level.
Here are five New Year’s resolutions that can help you enjoy greater success in the workplace:
Keep the Focus on Your Patients
Effective communication with your patients and their families forms the backbone of quality health care. How you communicate with your patients can dramatically improve patient compliance, behavior modification, and adherence to follow-up instructions. Resolve to take steps to improve and personalize your patients’ experiences so that you can help reduce their stress, empower them, interact more effectively with them, and provide improved patient-centered care. When your patients feel more comfortable with you, they are less likely to struggle with anxiety, stress and vulnerability, which can help improve patient outcomes.
Maintain a More Positive Outlook
Your personal outlook can dramatically affect your well-being as well as your job satisfaction, your relationships with your coworkers, and even your ability to care for your patients. When you are unhappy in your job, it shows. Instead of letting the negative aspects of your work get to you, focus on the aspects of your job that you enjoy, spend time with positive people, and avoid those who gossip or who are negative influences. Maintaining a positive attitude can improve your outlook, give you more confidence, and even increase your resistance to infection and illness. If you are genuinely unhappy at your work, however, consider your options. Update your resume, and take courses or seminars to increase your marketability. Sometimes, simply knowing you have options can give you greater peace of mind.
Become a Mentor to New Colleagues
As you continue to grow and develop in your own career, consider taking the time to help someone else grow in his or her new career. Mentor a promising new colleague who is just starting out by encouraging him or her to gain experience and achieve more. Although mentoring someone else can be a purely altruistic act in some cases, it can be beneficial to you, too. Mentoring can strengthen your leadership skills, build professional relationships, and help you learn more about your chosen field.
Set Research-oriented Goals
Goals are essential to helping you take control and keeping you focused. Set clear, research-oriented goals, and then write out plans to help you achieve those goals and maintain the discipline necessary to help you achieve them. When you create your goals, be specific, realistic, and include timed commitments and measurements in order to help you keep track of your successes. Consider setting both short-term and long-term goals. Are you a nurse who would like to become more competitive or explore another specialty? Consider setting a short-term goal to attend a seminar or conference on a certain health condition or care practice. Want to pursue a career in nursing management? Consider setting a long-term goal to earn a bachelors or master’s degree.
One of the top New Year’s resolutions for most Americans is getting fit. This can be a good resolution for those in the healthcare industry, too. An estimated 8 percent of nurses smoke, and another 55 percent of nurses are overweight or obese. Although these numbers are less than those for the general population, they are still high. Smoking and excess weight can make it hard to do your job efficiently and effectively. They can shorten your lifespan, decrease your ability to perform everyday tasks, and drain your energy. Drastic changes may not stick, but taking small, healthy steps can be good ways to move forward on your personal pathway to health. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, and skip the fried, fatty, or prepackaged cafeteria foods. Try to work some physical activity into your life every day, and if you smoke, consider exploring your options for quitting. Make this New Year count, and work toward being a happier, healthier version of you for 2013.
Kevin Fitzgerald is a writer who covers health related topics as well as real estate and finance including www.AnyHouseWanted.co.uk.
Healthcare continues to be one of the fastest growing job markets in the nation, and studying for a career in healthcare makes sense for those who want job security and growth opportunities. Here are several “hot” jobs in healthcare that are currently promising good salaries for those who are trained to take these positions.
Physical therapists design and implement strategic plans to help patients regain mobility and use of body parts after strokes, injuries, or other traumas. Jobs in physical therapy are expected to grow 39 percent in the next 10 years, more than three times the national average for all jobs combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Much of this job growth is attributed to the aging population, so geriatric physical therapy will be particularly rich in job opportunities in coming years.
The investment in time and education is significant — physical therapists are expected to have earned a master’s or doctoral degree; however, the median salary for a physical therapist is more than $76,000 per year, making this a good educational investment. Physical therapists must be compassionate and patient because they work with long-term therapy goals. They should have strong organizational skills and the ability to work well with patients and other healthcare professionals.
Substance Abuse Counselors
Although counseling and psychiatry in general is seeing a bit of a downturn in job hiring, substance abuse counselors are in high demand. Substance abuse counselors earn a median salary of $38,120 with only a high school diploma and can expect better-than-average job growth of 27 percent over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Substance abuse counselors deal with those with alcohol or drug dependencies, often in a controlled clinical setting such as a rehabilitation facility.
Home Care Aides
If you are looking for a quick path into a healthcare career, becoming a home care aide may be your first goal. Home care aides require a minimum of training compared to other healthcare workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that while these workers tend to make less than their counterparts with a median annual salary of $20,170 per year, they also can secure these jobs even if they do not have a high school education. Home care aides help people who are chronically disabled from accidents, illnesses, and other factors by visiting their homes and providing support for daily activities. This can be an entry-level healthcare job for someone who wants to work his or her way through school to a higher degree and can give on-the-job experience that will be useable in a new healthcare career at some point.
This job category has expanded in the past few years, as doctors are called on to serve more patients with fewer resources. A physician assistant has the equivalent of a master’s or doctoral degree but is not a medical doctor; therefore, a physician assistant’s practice is limited in terms of providing advanced healthcare — although physicians assistants do many things physicians do, such as write prescriptions. Physician assistants can expect to earn median salaries of more than $86,000 per year and will enjoy a growth in job opportunities of 30 percent over the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. PAs must be board-certified in their states and hold a degree from an accredited school.
If you have always wanted to work in healthcare but do not care for the hands-on strategies necessary in so many fields, pharmacy technician may be the job for you. Pharmacy technicians earn a median salary of $28,400 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also predicts a 32 percent job growth rate over the next decade in this field. Pharmacy technicians usually have a high school diploma and train on-the-job through a large company or vocational program.
No matter what your strengths or talents, there likely is a healthcare field job that is right for you. Visit your local college or technical school to find out about positions in the healthcare field for those who are willing to work hard, study, and take advantage of these opportunities.
Stacy Pearson was on her way to becoming a registered nurse before deciding that she was better suited to research activities. A part-time research assistant in a laboratory, Pearson is also a freelance blogger who also has written for www.chemicalwire.com.
Many healthcare professionals insist that searching for a job between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is a fool's errand, yet the holiday season is a surprisingly busy time for healthcare recruiters.
Despite the fact that many non-essential employees use the vacation hours that they've accumulated over the course of the year to take trips or cook meals, the raw reality of this demanding industry forecloses any possibility of a complete pause in hiring and recruiting activities. While it’s not the same overwhelming rush that retailers experience during the holiday shopping season, the healthcare industry usually increases the number of patients it treats from early November until after the New Year begins. During this time, understaffed healthcare providers and claims offices must often scramble to find qualified employees to fill needed shifts and provide secondary or tertiary support.
If you're vigilant in your pursuit of appropriate opportunities and respond quickly to holiday-time postings, the efficiency of your job search may increase markedly. Here are some useful tips:
Use Holiday Parties to Network
The holiday season has become a ready-made excuse to make contact with a wide range of professional acquaintances. Virtually every hospital, clinic, and insurance company throws some sort of holiday party between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you have prior healthcare experience or attend medical or nursing school, chances are good that you'll be invited to several such parties in your area. Attend every gathering that you can and meet anyone who might be in a position to offer you a job or connect you with someone who is in such a position. Fortune favors the bold, so don't be afraid to mention that you're actively seeking employment.
Make Holiday Greeting Cards Double as Business Cards
Remind certain parties that you're actively looking for work with tasteful holiday greeting cards. Any mention of your current employment status or your willingness to discuss potential opportunities must be well-hidden within a genuine expression of good tidings. This caveat shouldn't stop you from including your business card or contact information with each card that you send.
Take Advantage of Others’ Busy Schedules
The holidays are also a perfect time to take advantage of your fellow job-seekers’ human weaknesses. Most job seekers shelve their ambitions until January because they wrongly believe that few, if any, major employers continue to hire between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Assuming that their efforts will go unrewarded, many of these folks simply drop out of the workforce until the New Year has begun.
In addition, many job seekers remove themselves from contention by default. Some may become overwhelmed by the expectations and obligations of the holiday season. Even unemployed or unhappily-employed folks must purchase presents for friends and family members. Likewise, plenty of job seekers are also parents who may need to prepare big holiday meals, host gatherings of little-seen relatives, or travel long distances to attend someone else's holiday event. With so much to keep straight, they simply forget to field phone calls from prospective employers or are unable to show up for interviews in distant cities.
The job seekers who aren't racing around to prepare for seasonal celebrations are probably just tired after months of living in transition. Even if they're desperate for work, many folks eschew a full-time job search during the last six weeks of the year. The holidays are a traditional time for relaxing and reconnecting, during which job seekers may feel less pressure to line up interviews and play the networking game.
Armed with your knowledge that the holiday season represents a great networking opportunity, you'll need to take advantage of your out-of-commission peers and kick your job search into high gear before the opportunity passes. If you haven't done so already, update your resume and call old employers, colleagues, or educators to line up references. Establish a robust presence on social media outlets to flesh out your professional profile and humanize yourself in the eyes of potential recruiters. Finally, don't be shy to follow up with prospective employers to whom you've already sent out your resume. With fewer job seekers competing for their attention, they'll be far more likely to appreciate this extra effort.
Jessica Riener, a freelance blogger and specialist in supporting those wronged by a long-term disability denial, believes that there is never a poor time to search for new and challenging employment opportunities.
As one of the few industries that has seen substantial expansion in this sub-par economy, the healthcare sector has recently experienced tremendous amounts of labor-force churn. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over the past year employment in healthcare has increased 295,000; however, this figure tells only part of the story.
As one of the few industries that has seen substantial expansion in this sub-par economy. Although the industry has experienced a net jobs gain in recent years, thousands of healthcare workers across the skills spectrum have packed up and left their jobs during that same time period. Firings and voluntary quits have accelerated as employers respond to increased competition and higher input costs by demanding better performance, higher production, and longer hours from their employees.
Reasons People Quit Their Jobs
If you're thinking about leaving your current healthcare job, you probably feeling overworked, unstimulated or just plain underutilized. Or perhaps your coworkers might render your otherwise fulfilling job completely unbearable. Whether it's a supervisor who tracks your minute-to-minute movements a bit too closely or a peer who carries an unshakable personal grudge, you might have a natural workplace enemy who makes your job far more difficult than it should be. Of course, you might wish to leave your healthcare job simply because you've found a higher calling or a more lucrative opportunity.
Regardless of your precise reason for leaving, you'll need to quit your job tactfully and avoid the age-old temptation to burn your bridge. In the eyes of potential future employers, the way in which you quit your current job may carry tremendous weight. Keep these tips in mind before walking out of your place of employment for the last time.
Give ample notice before you leave. If you walk out on the job, fail to show up for a shift, or resign without allowing for a transition period, you'll earn a black mark on your employment record and may become permanently ineligible for rehire. Most hospitals and clinics prefer at least two weeks' notice. Depending upon your specialization level, your employer may request that you stay on for a longer period of time.
Write a Letter of Resignation
Be sure to make your resignation official. Regardless of your job's title or duties, compose a formal resignation letter that outlines your reasons for leaving and sets an official last day of employment. Even if you hate your job, ensure that the letter sounds upbeat and grateful.
Return Company Materials
Depending upon your duties, your job may have required you to use a company-owned laptop or tablet. Before you leave, remember to return this and any other job-related items that don't belong to you. You'll spare your former employer the cost of replacing expensive electronic devices and ensure that sensitive data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
Make Sure Your Patients are in Good Hands
Even if you're not asked to do so, offer to train your replacement. To save on labor costs, many hospitals and clinics tend to replace outgoing veterans with fresh-faced recruits who don't demand high salaries or benefits. While they may have the professional training necessary to provide excellent medical care, they may not have spent much time in an actual clinical environment. Make yourself available to help ease them into their new role.
Earn Strong Praise from an Employer
One of the main reasons to leave an employer on good terms is the growing tendency for hiring managers to request letters of recommendation from prospective employees' former employers. Human resources professionals can glean valuable information from "between the lines" of these documents. They typically pay careful attention to word choice, strength of praise, qualifying terms that serve to diminish or negate such praise, and factual descriptions of work habits and disciplinary records.
A negative letter could weigh heavily on your chances of securing a sought-after job and relegate you to less attractive positions within the industry. While it is illegal for employers to write defamatory remarks on your letter, without solid praise from your most recent employer, many recruiters simply won't consider your application.
Even if your former employer chooses not to sully your reputation with a negative reference letter, its human resources department undoubtedly maintains a record of your time as employee. Should you choose to leave abruptly, your file will be updated to reflect the occurrence and closed for good. Upon your return, you'll find plenty of cold shoulders and closed doors.
Keep Emotions in Check
You've probably had more bad workdays than you can remember. At times, you may have even contemplated walking off the job or exploding in a fit of rage at your coworkers, superiors, and support staff. When it comes time to leave your healthcare job for good, resist the temptation to go out in a blaze of glory. Instead, remember why it's important to remain on good terms with your former employers, and resolve to quit your job tactfully.
Stephen Hawthorn completed his teacher certification program before deciding that he wanted a career in healthcare. Eighteen years, and many employment positions later, Hawthorn is a strong advocate of making as good an impression when leaving a job as one does when they begin it.
An estimated 13 percent of all jobs will be in the health care industry by 2020 — from patient care and support positions to jobs in administration. If you are joining this vibrant, growing field, you will need to be ready to impress on your first day on the job.
Even if you have achieved a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or beyond in your chosen field, you will still need to pay your dues and prepare to work your way up the ladder. On your first day, you will most likely not be expected to get much real work done; however, you will be expected to take the initiative and get the lay of the land. Show up early, and be willing to stay a little late. By doing so, you will be demonstrating your strong work ethic and your role as a team player.
Introduce Yourself Professionally
You will be meeting many new people — both coworkers and patients — on your first day of work. Practice introducing yourself professionally. Remember that you have less than a minute to make a good first impression. Look the person you are meeting directly in the eyes, repeat his or her name, state your own name and title or position, and shake hands when appropriate. Speak clearly and concisely.
Focus on getting to know your coworkers so that you have allies in your new environment. Although you certainly want to be friendly, it is best to avoid idle chatter at the water cooler or gossip around the nurse’s station — this can be risky. Even though you may have landed the job of your dreams, you could still be facing a 90-day probationary period. You don’t want to misrepresent yourself or be inauthentic, but it is crucial that you maintain an upbeat attitude. Be considerate and a team player.
Ensure that you are complying with your healthcare facility’s dress code. Your clothing choices generally will be limited to scrubs, if you will be working on the patient care side. Remain mindful of the fit of your uniform, and check that you’re not showing too much skin. Make sure scrubs are clean and stain-free. The shoes that you wear with your scrubs should be comfortable, yet also clean and professional.
Those in administrative or management positions tend to have more leeway but still want to dress tastefully. Your grooming should reflect respect for the job you have, as well as your job aspirations.
A first day at any new job can be overwhelming. You will have procedures, names, and other information to remember. By taking notes, you will have an easier time recalling critical information. Flesh out your observations by listening closely and query your preceptor to ensure that you fully understand your new job. Write down your most pressing concerns before your first day, and ask questions as you go through your day, even if those questions seem trivial or mundane. Find out which procedures or jobs are priorities, and pay special attention to your facility’s protocol.
Begin looking for a mentor who can teach you, provide constructive criticism, or even advocate for you when necessary. You are only new at this job once, so it is best to take full advantage of your training time.
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities expect their employees to maintain a professional demeanor at work and outside work, which means be wary of what and how you share on social networking sites. Discussing sensitive patient information could result in you being passed over for a promotion or being terminated, particularly if it is a HIPAA violation. Posting offensive opinions or content may have the same result.
Use media carefully in order to protect your reputation and your career. Wisely used, social networking sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn can help you locate resources for advancing and furthering your education or develop your skills.
Stacy Schiller is a freelance healthcare blogger with experience in the healthcare billing world, including Medical Billing and coding U.