Mental health and wellbeing is a current focus for a lot of people, especially when it comes to mental wellness in the workplace, whether that is how a job handles employee mental health, or how they feel about their job.
Many people find that their job is the key to their mental health and can change whether they are feeling low or more positive about the future. Then, if you are determined that a healthcare career is your dream and can help you boost your mental health, here is everything you need to know about healthcare careers and wellness.
Can Healthcare Careers be Good for Your Mental Health?
You may have heard plenty of nightmare stories about nurse burnout and how healthcare professionals encounter a lot of stress and pressure throughout their careers. Although this may be the case, a healthcare career can also help to protect your mental health. This is because your job as a nurse will be incredibly fulfilling and will add purpose and meaning to your life. This will enable you to answer questions that you may often ask yourself about why you are here. This is because, as a nurse or a healthcare professional, you will directly be helping those who are sick and in need and improving their quality of life while they recover. You will be able to save and improve lives and develop meaningful connections with the patients in your care. Then, the job can be rewarding, especially when you put a smile on your patient’s faces, allowing you to look at the world with a more positive spin.
Not only this, but having a job in healthcare has many benefits and can allow you to gain the stability and routine that you require to boost your mental health. You will be able to get stuck into your responsibilities every day, rather than be left alone with your thoughts at home, and you will be able to decide upon goals, such as a promotion, that you can aim for. Working in healthcare can also help you to develop skills that you have not had previously, including soft skills like empathy, resilience, and problem-solving. You can then apply these skills to your everyday life as well as to your job. By doing this, you will be able to thrive.
Healthcare jobs can also be a vocation, which means that you will never feel as if you are truly at work because you will be able to enjoy yourself when you are at work. You will also be able to gain knowledge of healthcare through an online degree or qualification to become a nurse or healthcare professional. This is important as this knowledge about health is information you can use in your own life and can help you be aware of your own physical and mental health and how you can protect it. Working as a nurse will also allow you to be around others who have the same goals and aspirations as you and can give you support and companionship during your career, and making friends is especially important if you are a travel nurse.
How Can You Get a Healthcare Career?
The prospect of getting a career in healthcare can be daunting as you may feel as if you are stuck within the career path that you have already chosen to take. The quickest way that you can get your future healthcare career going is to take an online qualification that you can study for while you work. This qualification can give you all the knowledge and skills you need to become a nurse, and you may even be able to gain practical insight into a working environment through training programs. You should scour online course comparison and search engine websites to find an online course in nursing or healthcare that you believe is right for you. Once you have taken this course, you might want to specialize in a certain area of nursing or prepare for the world of work, and qualifications like the online post masters FNP can help you to do this by preparing you for the assessments that you need to take to become a fully licensed nurse.
However, these qualifications alone are not always the only steps that you have to take to get a healthcare career. Instead, it is vital that you get all of the experience required to go forward and get the position you have always dreamed about. Then, you should look around for opportunities that might allow you to gain this experience. For instance, you might decide to volunteer at a hospital, job shadow, or get a position that is specifically for a newly qualified nurse. You might also be able to get an internship in the department of healthcare that you are interested in. If you do not believe that taking numerous qualifications is the right route for you, you might decide to opt for an apprenticeship, which will allow you to combine education and work. This can be the perfect option for those who want to dive straight into the world of healthcare and work.
Before you take any further steps, though, you need to investigate the types of healthcare careers that there are so that you can find one that interests you, whether this is a traditional one, such as nursing, or one that is more specialist, such as an anesthesiologist.
Can a Healthcare Career Negatively Impact Your Wellbeing?
However, being a nurse or a healthcare professional is not always a positive or happy experience. Sometimes, mistakes are made, or patients become sicker no matter what you do to help them. This can take an emotional toll on you as their carer, especially if you get to know them over a few weeks or months, and you might feel guilty about not being able to help them more. As a nurse, it is then important that you develop emotional resilience and that you can distance yourself from your job when you get home from work. This will mean that you can relax and refresh, ready for the next day at work, and you can enjoy your home life and spend time with your family instead of constantly worrying about what is happening back in the medical setting where you work.
Rates of nurse burnout have increased in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has led to a nursing shortage across the globe and a reluctance by individuals to go into nursing. Many nurses have also looked into changing their careers and moving away from nursing. One of the reasons for this nursing burnout is long shifts, with some of these shifts being night shifts. This may mean you do not have the work-life balance you crave. As a nurse, you will have to complete manual and active tasks throughout your shift with little time to rest and sit down, and this can take a physical and emotional toll on you, especially as you get older and develop health issues. You may find that you quickly become exhausted and that you lose interest and passion for your job.
If you are experiencing burnout as a nurse, you should ask your employer about the counseling services they offer. You should also take some time off, try to rest on your days off, and get support from friends, relatives, and other nurses. You might also look into relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. However, although nursing burnout can be difficult, it is possible to prevent and overcome it, and you should not be put off from becoming a nurse because of this. For instance, you should focus on the tasks at the moment, lead a healthy lifestyle, and ensure that you take the time to look at your worries when they overwhelm you instead of ignoring them. This will ensure you can have a great time as a nurse without constantly feeling as if your career is too much to handle.
Not only this, but even though it is likely that you know how to live a healthy lifestyle if you are a nurse, you may struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a nurse because you do not have a lot of time to do this, and are incredibly busy and stressed. This may mean that your career as a nurse then takes its toll on your health. However, instead of letting yourself have an unhealthy lifestyle that makes you miserable, you should try to find ways to stay healthy. For instance, you should try to get the same amount of sleep each day and download a sleep app to do this. You might also create a relaxing sleeping environment and use essential oils like lavender on your pillow. You should also find simple healthy recipes that you can enjoy, even if these are not cooked, and you should make sure that you always keep a bottle of water with you so that you do not experience dehydration. This will ensure that you can stay healthy as a nurse for many years.
Should You Become a Nurse?
It is difficult to work out whether becoming a nurse is the right option for you, as healthcare careers can damage and improve your wellness in many ways. However, you should consider becoming a nurse if you are resilient and passionate about healthcare, as this means that all the stress of your job will be worth it, and you will enjoy every day you are at work. You should also consider becoming a nurse if you have patience and empathy and are desperate to help those in need. Then, for those with the right soft skills, nursing can be a career that can allow them to thrive until they retire if they take the right steps to protect their mental health.
However, it is important to recognize the lifestyle changes that becoming a nurse may bring to your life, and you should be prepared for these. If you want a flexible and laidback lifestyle, then nursing is not likely to be for you. If you want a job where you can help people and which your entire life can revolve around, nursing could be the right option for you, although you might have to look around for appropriate childcare options if you have children.
You should also become a nurse if you want to form connections with people and if you are an extrovert who thrives off chatting with different people every day, as you will likely have an ever-changing rotation of patients who need your care and attention. This will then mean that you are never on your own. You will also be working with a team of other professionals to improve people’s lives, which means that the job suits you if you are sociable and love working with others.
Suppose you are still unsure whether a healthcare career is for you. In that case, you should consider speaking to a career counselor who will be able to give you more personalized guidance on whether a healthcare career is what you truly want and how you can get one. They will also be able to give you more information on what a healthcare career involves and the impact that this will have on your life. If you decide that it is the right decision for you, they will help you spruce up your resume and application forms and allow you to find the best nursing or healthcare course.
Healthcare careers are full of both pros and cons when it comes to your wellness. However, for those that are passionate about healthcare and want to improve others’ wellness as well as their own, a healthcare career can be a great option that can allow you to feel fulfilled and excited to go to work every single day of the year. Then, as long as you take the right precautions and want to devote your life to nursing or healthcare, a career in the healthcare sector could be the right choice for you.