How to Combine Business and Healthcare Skills into a Career

0
292

For many people, finding a career path is simple. Future doctors who’ve always had a passion and fascination with the human body and who have the drive to heal and care for people have little doubt that a career in healthcare is for them. Meanwhile, entrepreneurial spirits are often attracted to the world of business, where they find the cut and thrust of the market thrilling and engaging. But what about the people positioned in the middle, with a foot in both the healthcare and the corporate camps? This article addresses how you can build a career out of those dual passions, explaining the opportunities that you could take advantage of.

Healthcare Introduction

When we think of the healthcare industry, we’re drawn to the image of doctors with a stethoscope dangling around their necks and nurses in colorful scrubs. But that’s far from the full reality of the healthcare industry, which is underpinned by hundreds of thousands of largely invisible workers without whom the doctors and nurses on the front line would be ill-equipped and overwhelmed. To give you just a few examples of this support or auxiliary staff, here’s a short list of what keeps the industry on its feet:

  • Administrators who are vital to the day-to-day running of all healthcare facilities
  • Researchers who tend to combine data analytics with healthcare know how to derive new insights
  • Pharmaceutical companies who provide healthcare institutions with medicines on the demand
  • Logistics experts who help get much-needed medicine and equipment from A to B
  • Planning experts who prepare for difficult events such as the pandemic

There are, of course, more staff upon which patients’ health depends, including hospital chefs, cleaners, and security guards. But in the context of combining business interests with a passion for healthcare, the above list goes to show that there are many options in that intersectional space.

Business Meets Healthcare

Outsiders might be forgiven for feeling that business and healthcare don’t mix all that well. Healthcare is regarded as a caring and giving industry that’s all about helping people feel better, whereas the world of business is necessarily competitive and adversarial. Still, that dichotomy melts away when it comes to healthcare, which is why so many compassionate entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to be attracted to posts in the healthcare industry after a spell in the corporate world. But how will this work for you – what transition could you make into the healthcare industry.

First, it’s important to be cognizant of the skills you’d be bringing to bear in healthcare. If you’ve just been running a successful business that you recently sold, you may well have most of the skills required to run a clinic. If you’re leaving a job in which you analyzed data, it’s likely that you’d be in a brilliant position to start doing the same thing with patient and health record data. Some of these skills are directly transferrable into the world of healthcare. The only thing to bear in mind is that some roles require you to be certified and trained in order for you to be considered for them.

Getting Certified

A great example of requiring certification to enter the healthcare world is administration. While administration in a business does not necessarily require training, in healthcare, it nearly always does. You need to be trained on handling sensitive patient data, which is regarded as some of the most private information about us in the world. You should also be aware of different drugs and doses, given that an error entering data into a system might mean you over-order or under-order a certain batch of drugs. That means gaining a foothold in the medicinal world, and you’ll get that through training.

Happily, given the requirement for business-minded people in the healthcare space, there are now courses that offer precisely these qualifications. You can study for a Executive Masters in Health Administration Canada in order to spend a year, online if necessary, learning the ropes of this new field. You’ll learn how to interpret healthcare data, how to be a responsible administrator, and how you’ll make a difference in whichever healthcare center you’re working at in the future. These courses tool you up with all you’ll need to know to forge a new and exciting career path in the offices of healthcare institutions around the world.

Using Data

Let’s take a closer look at the data, given that this is the new and exciting frontier of global medicine. It’s data that has driven much of the efficiency and productivity in business across the past ten years, and that’s now arriving in the back offices of hospitals in such a manner that there could be real revolutions in healthcare on the horizon. Playing your part in that, either as a researcher, a data analyst, or a business leader, could be incredibly rewarding. Here are just a handful of ways that knowledge of data could deliver huge benefits for the healthcare industry:

  • Real-time data: this data, which shows the number of hospital beds taken or the supply of certain critical drugs, is now up-to-date to the second. That means healthcare centers are better able to plan for emergencies.
  • Surveillance data: this isn’t about a Big Brother healthcare industry but about surveilling the world for pathogens that might result in the next pandemic. This data is regarded as crucial to preventing disease outbreaks at their source.
  • Risk profiles: with more and more data gathered on the health of citizens across the world, healthcare data crunchers are deriving new insights into risk profiles – helping tailor care and treatments to different types of people in society.
  • Exposing bias: with better data, we can see where the healthcare industry is failing minorities. It’s via this data that those passionate about equality are working to fix the system to give equal care to all.

There are literally hundreds of other use case examples of data kicking off in the healthcare industry, from AI applications to personalized healthcare treatments. Spearheading this development as part of a hospital administration team could be an incredibly fulfilling career change for a business leader.

Training Up

We’ve touched upon the essential qualifications you’ll need in order to be considered for a business role in the healthcare industry, but what about the other skills that will sit you in good stead? There are dozens of these, and they’re all things that you will be able to take from your previous role, in whatever state of development they currently are at, into your new position. Training new skills is an exciting part of building a career, as it’ll expand your comfort zone while making you more employable in the future. By training new skills, you’ll also make yourself a more attractive proposition for more senior roles in your current healthcare position, too.

First and foremost, training can come in-house. Always ask senior leaders about these. Ask whether there’s a chance that you can observe the goings-on in the hospital in order to understand how your actions in the office are impacting the hospital floor. Ask whether there are any training modules on offer and how you could access them. And ask if they’ve ever brought in consultants or external training companies to up-skill their employees. Be keen to learn, bringing that ceaseless energy you had in business to the world of healthcare in order to have the greatest impact on this sector.

Learning Medicine

Some people arrive in healthcare as an administrator and love the career so much that they consider training as a nurse. Others choose to volunteer somewhere in the hospital because they enjoy the sense of giving back and being closer to the action. Others still, though, just wish to broaden their knowledge of medicine as a whole so that they can be more effective in their jobs and so they truly straddle the two worlds of business and medicine with a good deal of knowledge in each. For such people, learning about medicine is a responsibility they take very seriously. Here’s how you’ll be able to do it:

  • Find books on healthcare, either written by a professional in the industry or written by scholars who aim to introduce medicine to outsiders
  • Find online resources that speak to different pain points in the healthcare industry
  • Listen to medical podcasts and podcasts that position themselves at the cutting edge of data science and healthcare
  • Talk to as many medical professionals as possible during your career, organizing coffees with relevant doctors and nurses in order to learn about their trials and tribulations
  • Network across the healthcare space more broadly, reading thought leadership pieces and listening to keynote speeches from the sector’s movers and shakers
  • Attend conferences and workshops that aim to introduce people like you to the world of medicine in order to build up your knowledge of a key sector

By being proactive and searching for medical knowledge wherever you might find it, you’ll become a far more well-rounded professional in the healthcare space. It’s also this kind of knowledge that might one day help you to set up your own healthcare company, confident in the knowledge that you are abreast of the major issues affecting the sector.

Business Acumen

While the focus of this article has been on healthcare, it’s also important that you don’t neglect to keep building your confidence in business. You shouldn’t put this side of your development on hold entirely in order to learn all about medicine. Remember that it’s because of your diverse skills and your different experience that healthcare institutions hired you in the first place. They’re looking for different perspectives and people who are driven by efficiency, productivity, and cost-cutting. If you let that side of your character fall away, you’ll actually be less useful to those hiring you.

As such, it’s important that you hit the ground running with business-centered ideas when you’re hired into a healthcare institution. Immediately treat the back office like a business, looking for inefficiencies and things that you believe should or could be improved. Be willing to make difficult decisions that may ruffle feathers if you know that it’ll have a positive impact on patients and the outcomes that you’ve been set as desired. Be confident in your position as someone who is bringing in key skills from the market, and use those skills as much as possible in order to prove your worth to those who hired you.

Career Progression

Progressing your career in healthcare can take time. If you’ve joined the sector after some years spent on a separate career, you’ll find that young starters may well be ahead of you in terms of seniority. You’ll also be faced with a steep learning curve when you first join a healthcare facility, which means that you’ll take some time to be operating at your dazzling best. But once you’re comfortable in your role, you’ll be able to start thinking about where exactly you want this new career to lead you. People are motivated by different things, of course. Some desire more power over decision-making in order to feel they’re making a difference, while others look to more interesting roles and begin training in those.

Whatever you decide is your career goal, you should work hard to get there. Set smaller goals in order to start your progression, including attaining pay rises, getting more training, and developing your knowledge and your network. Be willing to go the extra mile in order to impress the right people, and remain curious about what else you might be able to learn. All of this ambition is underpinned by the reality that hard, dedicated work in the office has positive real-world results in the healthcare center you’re working in, which is precisely what makes a business-centered job in healthcare so incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re interested in cracking the data behind disease spread or saving hospital funds to buy new machines, this is a job with endless goals to set for yourself.

There you have it: a complete guide to combining our business prowess with our interests in healthcare. Use the tips and advice here to start your career change today, moving into a sector in which work rewards and fulfills.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here