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Overcoming Common Health Career Problems

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 4 Apr 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Health Career Discrimination Problems

While a health career can be a very rewarding choice, as with any career it can still bring problems. Most problems can be overcome, however, if you take appropriate measures to remedy them early on in your health career. It can help to learn about the common health career problems even before embarking on a career. This will allow you to better choose the right health career and troubleshoot long before issues become significant, severe ones.

Burnout in a Health Career

Burnout is probably one of the biggest challenges in any health career. Shortages of critical staff in healthcare can mean that other staff are forced to take on excessive working hours. While there are certainly standards and laws in place to regulate the working hours of healthcare staff, these are still quite broad. This means they often allow for significant variations in how they are interpreted.

Handling Significant Overtime Hours

Most healthcare staff such as physicians and nurses will attest to the sometimes or even often high number of working hours. Since healthcare is also something people need twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, many people working in healthcare jobs will find they have to work some overnight shifts, particularly where they work in a hospital.

For independent people, overtime can actually be a key benefit to a health career. It allows them to work additional hours to help build their financial stability over the long-term. It can be a good time to establish themselves financially and prepare for a future that includes a family. But for others, it will mean ensuring you take good care of yourself and establish a healthy lifestyle with sufficient sleep when you have to work longer hours.

Better Sleeping Patterns and Quality

It can be tough adjusting your sleep patterns to late or overnight shifts. Some hospital workers find it hard to get a normal sleeping pattern when they have to work these kinds of shifts. As they are a normal reality for many people, however, it’s best to look at ways you can make the transition easier. Some people find it helps to try a natural sleeping aid if you have trouble winding down after a late shift and going to bed when, for instance, your partner is just getting up.

Successfully Handling Childcare

Another challenge can be when you have a family and work odd hours, especially late ones. This can make it more difficult to be there for children. Usually, this requires some planning ahead with your partner or childcare worker to ensure adequate childcare during your working hours.

Discrimination in Health Careers

Discrimination can occur across all careers, including healthcare ones. Nursing in particular is slanted toward women and many male nurses experience discrimination. Executive health jobs tend to favour men, however, so here women can experience discrimination. It is an unfortunate reality but can be improved if those who experience it speak out and report the actions to the appropriate superiors. Filing a complaint is also critical if you feel that you have experienced discrimination in the interviewing process for a health career.

Physical Issues from a Health Career

For those in office jobs, problems with their neck, back, hands and fingers can be an issue, particularly where they are spending a lot of time at a computer. These kinds of issues can plague virtually any office workers. Most employers will provide office chairs and other equipment that help support physical health for those who work primarily at their desks. It is, however, your responsibility to ensure you have adjusted your working station in a way that supports your physical health. If you do suffer from problems, alert your employer right away. Don’t wait as problems will only worsen and can be more difficult to treat later.

Enjoying a Health Career

All careers bring challenges and health careers are no different. Being able to overcome problems will be key to getting the most enjoyment from your career and succeeding in it over the long-term. Take action now to maintain a happy, positive working environment and you can enjoy your health career for years to come.

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