The ongoing pandemic has been hard on us all, but front-line workers have experienced more stress and hardship than most. Medical professionals have been doing their best to stifle the spread of the virus, and more people are trying to join their ranks and find different, creative ways to make a difference. However, since your career is likely not just a straight line, and you’ve had your fair share of ups and downs, or you’ve taken a detour, perhaps you need to get back on track in this industry that’s in such high demand.
Whether you’ve taken a break to have kids, develop your own business idea, or simply to give yourself the chance to try your hand at a different calling, the healthcare industry isn’t something you can merely jump back into. It calls for planning, preparation, training, and certification. Here, we’ll cover the most important tips you should take into consideration when you’re ready to go back to work in this noble industry.
Consider digital networking
Despite the fact that most traditional networking events have been postponed until further notice, digital networking is on the rise. No matter how long you’ve been away, look into networking opportunities in your healthcare sector, to see what kind of events are on the horizon and where you can learn more about potential jobs.
Perhaps there’s an upcoming lecture from an eminent surgeon and you pick up on the most advanced methods you should master. Then again, maybe online webinars, workshops, and events can help you contact people from your field of work that can point you in the right direction. Getting in touch with your former colleagues and other associates via LinkedIn is another viable option, too.
Obtain the needed recertification
Healthcare professionals are often well-educated and they’ve already invested heavily in their knowledge and skills. Taking a break, however, means that you’ve likely been out of touch with the latest advancements in your field, which means you should find out whether or not you need to get recertified in order to be fully qualified for your desired position.
For front-line workers who need to know how to perform the latest life support procedures, getting recertified in ACLS means all the difference when applying for a job in this field. Renewing your licenses and accreditation helps you become a more viable candidate, and you can fortunately do it online due to the pandemic, so that you can start applying for jobs sooner rather than later. Mastering the latest methods and tools is vital, especially since you will likely find yourself in situations that call for quick reactions on your part from day one.
Expand your knowledge and skills
On that note, even if your certifications are still valid, if your break hasn’t been that long, healthcare experts do know that learning is a mandatory part of this particular career path. Whether you’re a nurse, a physician, an EMT, a surgeon, or anything in between, acquiring different certifications can help you be more useful in different aspects of healthcare, and choose jobs that are currently in demand.
For example, the benefits of ACLS certification extend beyond emergency situations, since you can apply for nursing and home aide positions where these skills can be of extreme importance. Especially if you work with chronically ill patients, mastering new skills and knowledge will help you apply for more local jobs and expand your search to different fields where these new capabilities can come in handy.
Look into local volunteering options
For healthcare workers who have been out of the loop for a significant period of time, perhaps getting a job immediately isn’t that likely. This shouldn’t discourage you, however, since you can do some research, compare existing job ads with your skills, and then expand to cover potential volunteering opportunities in your region.
In case you have significant experience, perhaps this break might not affect you that much, but volunteering for several months can help you regain your footing, make connections, and send your applications to as many potential institutions as possible.
Update your resume and recommendations
Finally, how you present yourself does matter in healthcare. All your impressive qualifications, certifications, and past experience should be updated to best represent what you have to offer to different medical institutions.
Use a recent photo, update your contact information, and if possible ask for recommendations from previous employers to build a stronger first impression. Even though your knowledge and education are the most important segments of your resume, make sure it’s visually appealing and that it properly outlines your personality and what you bring to the table.
It’s certainly not easy to go back into the saddle after a longer break, but it’s also far from impossible with the right mindset and the right strategy. Although healthcare is brimming with opportunities, especially now that we need all the help we can get to slow down the pandemic, the field remains highly competitive, and you need to make sure you are ready to tackle its many challenges. With these tips in mind, you should have no trouble landing a job in healthcare even after a break, so start preparing and reach out to as many institutions as possible – someone is bound to need your help!