Now that you’ve started your healthcare career, do you find yourself wondering about what will come next? Even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s a good idea to have career goals and a plan on how to achieve them. If you’re ready for the next step but aren’t sure where to start, here are 5 easy ways to help you advance your healthcare career:
1. Get the Right Career Training
Education is a great foundation for success. Find the right healthcare training program to acquire the skills and knowledge you need to excel in your chosen healthcare career. Take time to do the research and select a program that has the right balance of classroom learning, labs, and on-the-job-training through an externship.
For example, if you want to become a Medical Assistant, your classroom instruction will give you the foundation of knowledge to prepare you for your career. This would include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and laboratory skills. Once you’ve practiced your skills in class and labs, you should have the chance to apply them in a professional setting through an externship. Because Medical Assistants work in a variety of settings, your externship could be in a clinic like McLaren, a hospital like Ascension Burgess, or a medical lab like Arcpoint.
2. Get Certified!
Along with the right career training, you can earn professional certifications to show that you have the skills and knowledge to be successful in a particular role. A certificate will also show prospective employers that you are dedicated to your field and willing to go the extra mile. Examples of professional certifications include Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA), Medical Assistant, and Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). You can also earn certifications that can be helpful across all healthcare roles such as HIPAA, OSHA-BBP, EKG Technician, and CPR and Basic Life Support.
3. Find a Mentor
Another way to advance your career is to find a mentor who can provide you with valuable advice and guidance. Your mentor can be someone you work with or another healthcare professional outside your work who can share their own experiences on how they advanced to their current role. For example, if you’re a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) and want to become a Medical Assistant, seeking a Medical Assistant as a mentor can help you understand how you can get to this next step of your career. Make sure you let your mentor know how much you appreciate their guidance, and you can pay their good deed forward by someday having a mentee of your own who wants to get started in their healthcare career.
4. Network, Network, and Network Some More
Just like it’s important to make a connection with a mentor, it’s also important to connect with other healthcare professionals in your area. Networking helps you form relationships with people who can let you know about potential job openings as well as opportunities for professional development. One way to network is to join the local chapter of a professional association in your healthcare field such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants. Along with making connections, you might even have some fun at their social events!
5. Work Hard in Your Current Role
Even if you feel that you’ve outgrown your current job, it’s important that you remain motivated and continue to work hard. You will likely need professional references when you make your next career move, and one way to set yourself apart from other applicants is to have great references. Also, there might be opportunities for advancement in your current setting once you have the right training. Or, if you prove to be a valuable employee, your employer might provide you with the training and resources you need to help you take the next step in your career.
If you’re interested in taking the next step in your healthcare career, contact Career Quest Learning Centers. We have campuses in Bay City, Jackson, Lansing, and Mt. Pleasant. Call us today!