By Christiane Soto, Snelling.com
Despite the massive fluctuations in the economy, healthcare professionals have been repeatedly told that their careers are recession-proof. Is this true? Many people think so, because the news media is filled with statistics about how the healthcare industry is adding thousands of jobs each month. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that healthcare employment has grown annually every year since 2003.
But what about actual jobs? These sectors include a vast number of occupations. Are all healthcare occupations immune to economic fluctuations? Can you simply sign up for training at a local technical college and instantly find a job? Perhaps not. A recent article in Money magazine highlighted newly graduated nurses who cannot find jobs- a phenomenon that most people would never guess could happen.
If sick, still go for treatment…
In many ways, healthcare jobs are recession-proof – most cannot be outsourced to another, country- and healthcare is one of the last things that people cut back on. People might eat out less at Chili’s and other casual dining chains, but they will not refuse to see a doctor when sick.
If optional, it goes by the wayside…
However, patients do cut back in certain areas…sometimes not by their choice. This includes:
- elective surgeries – plastic surgery, dermatological treatments, etc.
- treatments that may help in the long-term but have cheaper short-term solutions – lasik surgery vs. glasses
In addition, many people are cutting back on what they consider to be optional health insurance – vision and dental- therefore skipping vision check-ups and bi-annual teeth cleanings
The issue with prescription drugs…
Monetary reimbursements are being scaled back as insurance companies refuse to cover name-brand drugs, increase co-payments or simply sever ties with certain prescription groups. This causes people to continuously look for cheaper alternatives for their needed prescriptions – doctor office samples, etc.
Decision is Bigger than “Number of Doctors Visits”
In reality, not all jobs in the medical sector are immune to economic fluctuations. If you are interested in pursuing a specific medical career, much more analysis needs to be done other than whether or not people will continue to go to the doctor during tough economic times. The amount of needed education, the availability and cost of that education, the turnover rate of that particular position, and the projected growth over the next decade all combine to determine how recession-proof a particular job really is.
For example, demand for physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and physician assistants is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. However, the training for these jobs is long, involved and expensive. Therefore, a relatively few number of people are entering this field compared to the demand.
In comparison, nursing assistants, home health aides and medical assistants are also jobs in high demand. The training, in comparison is short, compact and less expensive. Therefore, a relatively larger proportion of people are entering this field compared to the demand. So, whereas these jobs are not going to go away, they may be harder to get once your training is complete.
The bottom line is that you may not be able to simply sign up for training and be assured a job. Life is usually not that simple. Snelling Medical Professionals can help. We can provide the resources and practical advice you need to find your best-fit job. We encourage you to register on our website today, locate your nearest office where our medical recruiters and staffing specialists can work with you to best match your skills and knowledge to the job that will that will carry you to the future.