Advance Your Career in the Health Services Industry

Health services are the medical and other care that people receive to promote, maintain or restore their health. They include prevention, diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation and health education (WHO, 1993). Health care industry encompasses many sectors of the economy that produce or distribute products or services, such as pharmaceuticals, equipment and supplies, hospital services and ambulatory health services, medical practice activities, dental practice, scientific and diagnostic laboratories, pathology clinics, residential health facilities and patient advocates. It also includes the activities of allied health professions, such as nurses, physiotherapists and social workers.

A person’s healthcare needs vary and are influenced by his or her health status and underlying conditions, physical environment and socioeconomic conditions. Individual characteristics include a person’s innate susceptibility to disease and a predisposition toward health behaviors that may lead to illness or require medical treatment (WHO, 2017). People’s environments are influenced by their work, home and community settings. These conditions and circumstances affect the use of healthcare services, including the type and frequency of health care services they seek.

The availability of healthcare services is limited by the available resources in a country, region or time period. These limitations occur because of the availability of certain healthcare services, a shortage of specific healthcare providers, financial constraints, the availability of other sources of healthcare, geographical obstacles and personal factors such as lack of access to transportation and/or paid time off from work to utilize health services.

In addition, the allocation of healthcare resources can be constrained by ethical principles such as distributive justice or sustainability. A principle of distributive justice suggests that present people should not bankrupt the healthcare system by using all of the available resources without ensuring that clinicians are being trained, buildings are being built and funds are being set aside for future generations to utilize healthcare.

A person who works in healthcare can advance his or her career in a variety of ways. Some options include returning to school for another degree, earning certification and licensure, networking and joining a professional organization. Some healthcare professionals also choose to hone their skills by taking online or in-person continuing education courses. Some of these classes count towards certificate or license renewal requirements, while others provide valuable insight into emerging techniques and theories in the field. Regardless of what advancement options are chosen, a working healthcare professional should consult with their employer or HR department to determine which methods best suit their professional goals.