Chances are that you have seen the headlines. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every single day, the health care industry is facing a major labor shortage. In fact, it is estimated that the elderly population will double within the next couple of decades. This will have a tremendous impact on a great number of people.
Given that this population often wants to live out the remainder of their lives in the comfort of their own home as opposed a hospital or nursing facility, a huge burden is being placed on family members – more and more of whom are looking for outside help. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are also feeling additional stress from being understaffed. And the shortage of home health aides, medical and lab technicians, nursing assistances, and nurse practitioners will only continue to grow in the coming years.
So, what does this all mean?
The Opportunity Is High
For many positions, such as a home health aide, the barrier to entry is generally very low. Often, only a high school diploma is required. And for higher skilled positions, many employers are more than willing to offer signing bonuses and additional benefits in order to fill their growing number of vacancies.
For someone who may be looking for a career change, either because they want a fresh start or because their current job is being threatened by automation or offshore labor, the health care industry could be a compelling option. There is almost guaranteed job security for the foreseeable future and lots of opportunity for growth.
The Risks Are Also High
The fact that there is such a great demand for nurses also means that those currently in the industry are often overworked. Many employees in the health care industry are having to handle two or three times the typical workload. This can have devastating effects on the health of the patients, made as a result of careless errors or oversight. But this added stress can also result in employee burnout – putting the health and happiness of the employee at risk.
Make Sure You Weigh Your Options
A career in health care can be incredibly rewarding. And, right now, there is almost limitless opportunity to enter and grow within the industry. But this opportunity does come with a level of risk that should not go ignored. Before making a decision, you should consider all perspectives. If you do decide to pursue a career as a home care giver, or a related position, make sure that you continue to make your own health a priority as well.