Healthcare can be a rewarding sector to work in because you’ll see first-hand the impact your work has on patients’ health.
You'll also have the chance to specialise in particular areas through further study and training.
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Society will always need healthcare professionals to take care of people. If you are interested in working within healthcare, it is likely that you will have a job for as long as you want to work in the sector.
There are many medical and non-medical jobs that allow you to work not only in hospitals, but also in day centres, schools, the high street and at patients' homes.
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Choosing a healthcare career
Not all healthcare professions offer the same experience. Consider these factors when choosing a healthcare profession.
Time with patient
Some professions allow you to see and care for a lot of patients every day in short interactions (for example, A&E nurse). Other professions let you build a relationship over a longer period of time (for example, speech therapist).
Place of work
Healthcare professional care for their patients in a variety of settings. If you wanted to be in the operating room of a hospital you could train as a surgeon or become a surgical nurse. If instead you prefer to care for older patients or patients with long illnesses you could work in a hospice providing palliative care. You could even be a health visitor (for example, midwives, optometrists).and deliver care in patient homes or community centres.
Duration of training
Your undergraduate degree might be 3, 4 or 5 years long. After the degree, you might register with your council or have to do further training (pre-registration or foundation year) before being a fully qualified healthcare professional.
If you wanted to specialise (for example, become a GP), you will need to undergo further training after your foundation year.
Your work life will be different depending on which role you go into. For example, an A&E nurse works in 10-hour shifts and often has to switch between night or day shifts. A high street optometrist would have a regular 9-to-5 type job.
Even within the same healthcare area, the balance will be different; a hospital dentist will work different hours to a GP dentist, for example.
Studying healthcare at Manchester
There are a variety of courses at The University of Manchester that will help you to take the first step towards a career in healthcare.