The hospice and palliative care sector is in its nascent stage worldwide. Is it a good idea to plan a career in such a sector? Let’s explore the opportunities in the hospice and palliative care sector to evaluate the possibilities.
Is a career in hospice/palliative care a good idea? Well, for starters, the competition is quite low. You can find jobs with ease if you know where to look for them. However, this cannot be the only reason to choose a career path.
The other reasons that make this a good career choice are as follows:
A flexible schedule: You need not work for fixed hours if you become a care worker. You can work for a few hours every day or a few hours every week. This means you can take this up as a secondary career and then, if you like it, you can move on to make it your primary one.
An easy place to begin: You do not need to have a great academic background to excel in this field. You may join in as a trainee at a palliative or hospice care center after you have completed college.
A rewarding experience: If you like to work with people and want to improve the quality of life others lead, you may find this sector to be appropriate. The jobs are lucrative, once you acquire the necessary skills and attain the necessary experience.
It is convenient, worthwhile and flexible; the next step – the right place to find jobs.
Are jobs available in hospice/palliative care? Even though the sector is at its embryonic stage, there is no dearth of jobs, wherever your preferred location is. This gives you a number of opportunities to work in this field.
Who employs care aides? The prospective employers in this sector are quite a few:
Hospice care units of healthcare facilities: Hospitals and nursing homes often have a division devoted to hospice and palliative care. They provide support and care for the patients, with life-threatening conditions such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, and their families.
Voluntary organizations: A number of non-profit organizations work in this field. You may have to work as a volunteer with them initially. However, once you have acquired the knowledge and skills, you can be included as a care worker.
Agencies that specialize in hospice care: Some agencies provide in-home hospice and palliative care for patients. You can find work opportunities with these agencies. An advantage of working with them is that the opportunities available are quite numerous.
You may have to register with a specialized recruitment agency to find the right openings.
How do you prepare for a job in hospice/palliative care? You have to work hard to get the right opportunity sin this field. However, if you work hard without a specific objective and a particular plan, it would be of no use.
A step-by-step approach is what it takes to get a good job in this sector:
Improve your communication skills: Verbal and non-verbal communication comes in handy when you have to deal with a patient who is aware that his/her days are numbered. These patients often have to undergo a lot of pain and stress; you have to deal with it calmly.
Acquire the right training: Many institutions provide hospice and palliative care training for care workers. This includes learning to recognize illnesses and symptoms, moving and handling patients and providing help with personal tasks.
Find agencies that focus on hospice care: Registering with a specialized agency can help you find good jobs that match your profile and preferences. They can also help you with getting the training necessary for managing the job.
Create an appropriate resume: A resume is your first opportunity to impress a prospective employer (if you fail, it may be the only chance you had). Focus on your professional qualification and experience, even if it is as a volunteer, to create the right impression.
Prepare for the personal interview: You need to prepare for the face-to-face interview with a prospective employer. Find out as much as you can beforehand. Dress well. Answer their questions and ask anything you have in mind.
If possible, talk to a supervisor or experienced care worker before you face an interview.
You may find a career in the hospice and palliative care sector to be a good choice if you plan the details with care. Moreover, the competition is not high, which makes it easier to find good jobs in this field.