When you have lived as a carer for a child with special needs, you are likely to have picked up a number of key skills. These skills are used as part of your caring responsibilities, but you may be surprised to learn that these skills are transferable into another area of life— the workforce. Most specifically, the healthcare workforce. If you are looking for a career that could fit well with your family, you may want to ask yourself this question. Could a career in healthcare be a good fit?
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If your time caring for your child has made you want to expand into healthcare as a professional choice, you’re probably curious about how you may be able to make this a reality. If you’d like to find out more, here are the answers to the most common questions that parents have about transferring their caring skills into the healthcare industry…
What careers could you choose?
The most obvious answer to this question is caring career; careers that involve an element of clinical, medical, caring, support, and plenty more besides. Take for instance, my husband is a nurse. Because of this, his schedule is semi flexible. We are able to plan our children’s appointments around his days off. He also has top notch medical coverage, which comes in very handy with our children’s needs. Additionally, schools are always looking for nursing staff. This would allow you to have the same hours as your child. While nursing is just one option, healthcare is a growing field. This growth makes a job in healthcare a solid career choice.
Will I need to retrain to enter the healthcare profession?
This is entirely dependent on which area of the healthcare industry you want to enter. Here are a few examples of areas that may be applicable, and whether they require specific training and qualifications:
- If you want to become a nurse or a doctor, you will need to undergo formal medical training. Furthermore, if you decide to become a medical student, you will also benefit from certifications in clinical competence. Such certifications are a useful tool to help verify your existing, and developing skill set. With help from a step 2 CS Skype coach, you should be able to qualify in a relatively short time period, which helps to ensure you have the clinical skills you need to progress in the medical field.
- If you are happy to work in a less formal role — for example, working as a healthcare assistant — then vocational qualifications or on-the-job learning experience placements can be beneficial.
- You may also want to talk to support and therapy groups, who may not require any formal qualifications if they know you have direct experience assisting children with special needs. When it comes to caring, experience is often more vital than direct qualifications.
How viable is retraining or recertifying when also caring for my own children?
Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question. It is entirely subjective. It really depends upon your family, the needs of your children, and your own energy reserves.
While we can’t judge exactly whether such an endeavor would be suitable for your family, we can mention that there are ways of juggling a schedule. It is possible to study around the care of your child. Learning to plan your time effectively can be crucial to enhancing your career options without causing issues with your existing caring duties.
Finally, you may also want to look at support worker or assistant roles. Here your experience may be more valuable than a qualification. Becoming a certified nursing assistant is a relatively quick thing to do. Quite often this can be accomplished in just a few months. Once you have this certification, you can provide in home care. Your personal experience will make you a sought after candidate. The best part is that being an in-home provider can allow you to set your own hours.
If you have developed healthcare-related skills due to your role as a special needs parent, then leveraging those skills to expand your career horizon is well worth considering. A career in healthcare could be a great fit for you. Good luck!