Options for Older Workers in Healthcare
Dan Woog | Monster Contributing Writer
Other healthcare companies reach out to nurses in different ways. Bon Secours Richmond (Virginia) Health System provides benefits for as few as 16 hours per week, while Freeport Health Network in Illinois offers pet insurance starting on day one.
Many Options for Career Changers
Career changers interested in healthcare, yet unable to spend the time and money necessary for a nursing degree, should consider a shorter, less arduous certification program in areas like radiological imaging, ultrasound or physical therapy.
Some healthcare workers never see the inside of a hospital or office. Transcriptionists (who take medical dictation) and coders (who translate patient records into insurance bills) often work at home. A two-year degree in RHIT (registered health information technology) leads to opportunities in these and other information-type fields.
Career expert Beverly Kaye points out the opportunities available to men and women with diverse backgrounds — none of which require medical certification. “Someone with a business background can go into accounting, billings or collections,” she says. “If you’ve worked with people, you can go into management, patient services or admissions. If you have any kind of life experience, there’s a position in healthcare for you.”
Costs for training and certification need not be an issue. According to Kaye, many hospitals are so desperate for qualified workers that they provide scholarships in areas such as pharmacology, coding and radiology.
The healthcare industry prizes older workers for more than their availability and flexibility, Kaye notes. Hospitals, in particular, prize loyalty. “They need people committed to their work, not people who are climbing the job ladder,” Kaye says. “And older people in healthcare generally want to make a contribution and help others. Their wisdom pays off.”
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