From nurses and midwives to physician’s assistants and dental hygienists, today, the healthcare sector is not only a lucrative but is extremely rewarding. HEALTH speaks to the Gulf Medical University Career Counselor Jose Jeffrey Puentespina who explains what is required to attain a career in healthcare…
The Top Jobs
A recent report in Gulfnews.com from January 7, 2014, revealed that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce projected the UAE healthcare sector at the rate of Dhs 44 billion by 2015. With such staggering figures, is it any wonder that healthcare is considered one of the most appealing and defining careers of the future? Further to that, Puentespina indicates that Forbes (forbes.com) listed 12 of the best jobs in healthcare for 2014. “It cited the *CareerCast list which considered, amongst its study, factors ranging from income, hiring outlook, work environment, hazards, physical demands including heavy lifting, and stress factors including life-threatening risks, competitiveness, travel and the data on annual median salary and projected job growth of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of United States of America,” he explains. And the 12 jobs in the list are as follows:
1. Biomedical Engineer
2. Dental Hygienist
3. Occupational Therapist
5. Physical Therapist
7. Speech pathologist
10. Respiratory therapist
11. Medical records technician, and lastly
12. Physician Assistant.
The Steps to Pursuing a Career in Healthcare
Wanting to pursue a career in healthcare is more than just studying hard but rather, Puentespina explains that it also requires intelligence, discipline, a good foundation in science; that includes the subjects Biology, Physics, and Chemistry, as well as emotional maturity. “This means your career in healthcare starts when you enroll in a course related to healthcare,” he says and choosing a course related to healthcare essentially means that honest self-reflection and self-evaluation is required. “This means identifying your strengths and weaknesses in academics, specifically in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and basically your aptitude in science can tell you if you can surpass the grueling academic challenge of healthcare courses,” he tells.
However in a case where your grades in these subjects are just average however you have the drive and determination to succeed in a career in healthcare then Puentespina says that this indicates that when the pressure of academics press hard on you, you have to double or triple your effort to meet the set standard. He adds that this also means that students who have good to very good aptitude in science will have little difficulty hitting the academic marks, have time for extra-curricular activities, and may not have problem breezing through college. “Hitting the marks for you might be tough and this is where your motivation plays that critical role – increasing your persistence to study harder,” he explains and in fact, an aspect of self-discipline is accepting reality as it is those individuals imbibing discipline who tackle reality head on; they do not screen it. This attitude says Puentespina, is paramount in decision making and problem solving – assessing the problem. “Facing reality in its entirety enables the person to tailor-make a plan of action that is congruent with one’s ability to solve the problem at hand,” he states, and in fact, this ability is much related to emotional maturity.
Puentespina further explains that it is now an established fact that the core of Social Quotient is Emotional Quotient. “This involves the skills relating to people, being a team player, an effective leader, communicating and rallying constituents to achieve the vision, conflict management, public relations, and relationship building are demonstrated with ease,” he says. “However the good part of the emotional quotient is that in fact, it can be learned and developed through conscious effort and training.”
It is also very important, indicates Puentespina, to remember that healthcare courses prepare you to serve patients effectively, either directly or indirectly. “The highest standard in saving lives is always expected and ingrained in the curriculum,” he says and it is understood that both clinical and diagnostic skills are developed through training years, and negative qualities such as negligence and mediocrity are never tolerated nor accepted.
The Future of Healthcare
The reality based on data and research concludes that healthcare, as a sector, is here to stay. “The business prospects will always be bright and there will always be a career in healthcare and compensation will start from a medium to upscale pay grade,” says Puentespina. “Choosing the right healthcare course and persistently pursuing your passion in healthcare will always translate good fortune in your life-career.”
While it goes without saying that younger individuals imbibe greater levels of energy, the down side is they need the temperance and the wisdom of those who are more seasoned and tenured. Puentespina elaborates that in an entry position, the reasonable age required by most companies is between 23 to 35 years of age. “Supervisory and middle management is 35 years old or older, however there are many cases where individuals younger than age 35 were promoted to supervisory position,” he says and it is basically the balance between the skill set, experience, and age that the management is more interested.