Long-term care is a fast-expanding industry worldwide that has skyrocketed in demands for the past few years mainly because of increased need from the elderly. Consequently, more companies offer more perks and benefits for qualified nurses, therapists, dietitians, and more long-term care career-driven individuals.
Here are three reasons why you should choose a career in long-term care.
- Caring for patients builds compassion for others. Working in long-term care involves seeing and helping the same patients every day. Naturally, knowing the patient comes with taking care of them, which can foster compassion towards them. Being a nurse or a therapist helps you see every individual’s vulnerabilities and makes you want to alleviate their discomfort away.
- Long-term care companies emphasize teamwork and a calm work environment. Working at a hospital or a clinic often involves different people in one team. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to learn to work together, particularly in dire situations. Besides the occasional emergencies, long-term care operates in a predictable schedule that promotes uniformity that helps you manage your patients’ health.
- Helping patients brings a sense of pride and accomplishment. Fully knowing that you’re helping plenty of patients at work will satisfy you more than any job can. Consequently, taking a career in long-term care opens many opportunities to provide assistance and teach patients how to take care of their help and others.
Long-term Care Professions
At its core, professional care providers aim to assist patients through improving their quality of life, alleviating pain, and offering companionship, comfort, and compassion. If you’re interested in long-term care, below are five examples of its career path.
Registered Nurse (RN) graduates utilize their skills by providing medical care, comfort, and education to patients in the field. They can work in hospitals, emergency clinics, and community clinics. Furthermore, RNs use their teamwork, technical, and communication skills to work with doctors and fellow nurses.
Qualifications: To be a registered nurse, you need to have a two-year or four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an accredited university in your state. Consequently, you need to meet state licensing requirements to be a licensed RN. Studying BSN often requires scientific knowledge since it mainly involves anatomy, psychology, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition.
Certified Nursing Assistant
While registered nurses are a viable long-term career path, you might be more interested in being a certified nursing assistant. Certified nursing assistants (CNA) provide essential healthcare assistance by assisting patients with their personal care needs and daily activities while RNs have more independence in the hospital. In addition to that, CNAs are responsible for changing bedsheets, transporting, bathing, dressing, or feeding the patient. CNAs can work at hospitals, but long-term care facilities and rehab centers often employ them.
Qualifications: To be a certified nursing assistant, you need to have a high school degree and finish a CNA program. Thankfully, the CNA program can be taken online or in-person through CNA training courses or community colleges. However, before enrolling in a class, make sure that your state’s nursing board accredits the school.
Therapists provide treatment that aims to alleviate physical and mental health conditions or prevent upcoming health issues that can hinder a patient’s treatment. If you’re interested in being a therapist, there are various areas you can specialize in, such as speech therapy, physical therapy, infusion therapy, or occupational therapy. Hospice care therapy is a career route you can take too. This area focuses on a patient’s pain management or spiritual guidance. Therapists often conduct exercises that address any issues a patient is experiencing and providing ways to perform new tasks in new ways that won’t inflict pain or hinder movement.
Qualifications: Every state varies qualifications to be a therapist. All states require a bachelor’s degree to be a therapist. Often, a master’s degree in a related field of your chosen specialization. Furthermore, most states require additional licensing to be a qualified therapist. The licensing often involves hundreds of supervised therapy experience hours and a required passing grade in the final test.
A dietitian focuses on providing patients with proper meal plans, but they also identify nutrition problems and assess the patients’ situations. Furthermore, dietitians promote and enhance the health of the community by providing them with strategies to prevent nutrition-related diseases. Dietitians also offer guidance and teach individuals about nutrition and food chemistry.
Qualifications: If you want to be a dietician, you need to have a bachelor’s degree with approved course work from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Additionally, a national examination by the Commission on Dietetic Registration is required.
Regardless of which career path in long-term care you choose, salaries and incentives only go that far. While it’s nice to have financial stability, long-term care work gives more than that. Working and helping people in need is rewarding and fulfilling. Whatever choice you make, good luck!