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The healthcare sector is one of the largest employers in the UK with around 1.5 million members of staff working on the National Health Service payroll in England alone.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have their own National Healthcare systems.
Hundreds of thousands of people also work in the private healthcare sector which encompasses private and complementary medicine, therapy, medical related scientific services and research.
As such, the choice of areas in which a person can work is vast and medicine is only one in a long list of healthcare career paths one can choose to go down.
Jobs in healthcare demand an extremely high level of responsibility and a balance of compassion and professionalism at all times.
Medical and healthcare professionals need to work by a strict code of ethics, the fundamental values which apply are:
Do no harm; act in the best interests of the patient; allow the patient to accept or reject treatment; always treat the patient with dignity; keep the patient informed in order that they can evaluate treatment and make decisions for themselves; and remain truthful, entirely discreet and fair.
The sheer scale of the industry means that people from all walks of life and with a variety of academic backgrounds – highly-qualified people and unqualified people – can find an area which suits their skills and interests.
Popular career paths include medicine, nursing, emergency services, dentistry, eye care, cosmetic surgery and various branches of physical, sport and psychological therapy.
For more in-depth information on the the different job paths within healthcare, please follow the below links:
With so many different jobs within healthcare, there are equally as many ways to get into the industry. It all depends on what type of healthcare you want to work in.
Typically, with medicine, dentistry and nursing, there are very structured routes into the profession. In order to keep a high standard of care, healthcare professionals will need to be properly qualified.
Doctors and dentists will need to complete a university degree in order to get into those professions, whilst careers in nursing are available through degree courses or postgraduate diplomas. Other healthcare professions within the therapy job path may have a less structured entry route.
Different professions within the healthcare sector demand different personal attributes, although a genuine concern for the health, comfort and wellbeing of others is absolutely fundamental across the board.