How to Qualify for Entry-Level Healthcare Careers

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The healthcare industry is projected to grow 15% between now and 2029, adding around 2.4 million new healthcare jobs. However, despite this rapid industry growth, if you don’t have the right experience or qualifications, it can be difficult to secure an entry-level position. 

Medical jobs are competitive. If you want to stand out among your fellow competitors, you need to nail your job interview. That means you should start preparing long before you even apply for the job. Here are a few essential items to have on your checklist as you prepare for a healthcare career. 

Create your own opportunities to gain experience in the industry

One of the single most important things you can do to stand out among other applicants is gain experience in the medical field. Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re familiar with the whole, How do I get experience if I need previous experience to get the experience I need? paradox. 

But “experience” doesn’t always mean part-time or full-time employment. It also means real-world exposure in clinical settings.

Consider any of the following options to get your foot in the door: 

  • Training – The best way to learn the basics of any profession is to get solid training. Look for online providers with programs specific to the healthcare industry — and that leads to industry-recognized certification. 
  • Job shadowing – Ask a local professional if you can shadow them for the day or even just a few hours. Not only will you get to see what a typical workday is like, but you can also ask them for a few career tips on getting started in the industry. 
  • Volunteer work – Hospitals and other providers are always in need of volunteers. If you don’t see an official posting, don’t be afraid to ask and offer your services. 
  • Internships/Externships – This is an excellent way to receive a little entry-level healthcare training. You can also make some great connections with people who could later be listed as a professional reference.

Get familiar with HIPAA laws and patient privacy

A great way to prepare for your interview is to review some of the most commonly asked questions for entry-level healthcare jobs. Guaranteed to be on the list is some sort of question-related to HIPAA laws and patient privacy. As someone preparing to enter the healthcare industry, it will be beneficial to become familiar with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and your specific responsibilities as a healthcare professional. 

Practice using electronic health records (EHR) software

Before your interview, make a list of all of the different software that you are familiar with. Even if you only know a little bit about it, be sure to add it to the list. Any training you already have is the knowledge that your future employer won’t have to teach you, which saves the company time and money. In particular, familiarity with EHR software will be especially appealing as it means you will require much less technical training than other potential candidates. 

Make sure your certifications are up to date

Having current certifications will help beef up your resume and illustrate your commitment to working in the healthcare industry. 

The increased availability of online education has made the certification and recertification process more affordable and easier than ever. CareerStep offers several online career training programs to help you prepare for an entry-level position:

All of our courses are online by design and available 24/7. That gives you the freedom to complete your training at your own pace from virtually anywhere in the world.

<Sign up for a CareerStep course today!>       

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