Those individuals who choose to work in aged care are a unique group, caring for elderly patients with complex medical needs that don’t apply to other generations. Many of the people they encounter on a daily basis are suffering from dementia or other ailments that are difficult for both a patient and their loved ones. At the same time, these health care professionals are a fortunate bunch who provide personal and emotional support as a patient approaches end of life. The relationships that can develop through caring for the elderly are heartwarming and memorable.
If you think you fit the bill to become a member of this talented segment of medical workers, you should consider a few reasons why aged care employment is a good career path for you.
There’s a shortage of healthcare professionals who work in aged care
When compared to other specialty areas in health care, there’s a considerable lack of individuals who focus on the elderly. It’s quite rare that you see a student in school or even a new, job-seeking graduate pursuing a career in aged care, despite the fact that there are many opportunities out there for those with the right qualifications. Many institutions of higher learning have changed their course offerings accordingly.
The demand for aged care workers continues to increase as the population ages
It’s no secret that people are living longer, especially as general health care and technology continue to go through huge advancements. Even as other market segments are affected by the ups and downs of the global economy, work in aged care receives a boost in demand because the elderly population is increasing. Employment in the field is quite secure and even growing.
Work in aged care offers fascinating variety
Of course, the primary focus of elder care is treating ailments and maintaining proper health, but there’s so much more to the practice than the medical side. You’ll interact with patients throughout the day, developing relationships and providing emotional support. These individuals often need someone to confide in, help with an easy task or simply provide a friendly smile. Sharing a cup of tea and conversation goes a long way to making a patient’s day more enjoyable, as each moment in their life counts. You’ll never be bored with the wide range of daily encounters.
A career in aged care ensures that you’re constantly exercising your health care skills
Unlike emergency room or hospital work, aged care enables you to use many of the skills you gained during your educational experience. You’ll need a working grasp of mental health, personal care, wound management, orthopedics, cardiology, diabetes, physical therapy and social work, just to name a few.
Aged care workers often have some say in patient care
Because you’re involved with the day-to-day care of an elderly patient, physicians and other health care workers often refer to you when determining care. Your opinion actually can impact treatment options because you know the personality of the individual and can offer insight. In a sense, you’re the advocate for the patient in making recommendations.
As an aged care specialist, you develop memorable and rewarding relationships
Again, you work closely with your patients and their loved ones on a daily basis, giving you the opportunity to get to know these people well. To many elder care workers, it’s similar to having several grandparents and cherishing a certain bond. You get to hear their stories and share in their experiences in a way that some health care professionals do not. In other settings, such as hospitals or medical practices, the patient encounter is brief. Taking their temperature and vital signs pales in comparison to the work you can do when caring for the elderly.
The feeling of fulfillment is wonderful.
Working with the elderly is incredibly rewarding, as you’re involved with so many aspects of the patient’s life. Many times, you’re the first person they see when they wake and the last they see before going to sleep.
After considering the above factors, you may be encouraged to look into work in aged care. It’s a rewarding career, personally, emotionally and financially. However, it’s important that you research the best programs available in your area in order to obtain the right education, qualifications and licensing. At the same time, it’s important to develop a professional network of mentors that can offer support and experience. To find out more about entering the world of aged care and related fields, check out the course offerings at Kangan or give us a call with any questions.
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