These are the people who care for you when the worst happens, it is an extremely rewarding but often challenging sector to work in. It places great demands on your energy, emotions and intelligence. But it holds great appeal for people love working with and caring for people, while doing work with real value to society. There are very high education requirements along with long hours, especially in the early years of a career. Doctors and nurses are the most well-known healthcare workers, but it is a very broad sector, opticians, paramedics, occupational therapists, speech therapists, radiographers and pharmacists are just some examples of specialities in medical and healthcare.
At the end of 2017, 165,800 persons were employed in human healthcare activities, representing 7.4% of the national workforce. Between 2012 and 2017, overall employment increased by 5,100 (0.9%) on average annually (compared to 3.1% nationally). The strongest rate of employment growth was observed for clinical and administrative healtcare workers (excluding doctors) at 6.1% during the period.
Due to international demand for these skills, job opportunities will continue to arise for Medical practitioners. The same applies to nursing, where demand for certain types of nursing skills has remained strong and has resulted in shortages. While demand is strong for healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, psychologists, dentists, radiographers and health services managers, shortages have only been identified for radiographers.
While demand for health services continues to grow in Ireland, recruitment in these occupations is dependent on government funding. As such, there are many occupations where shortages do not exist despite significant demand for services. Pay and conditions of employment remain an issue.
Becoming a qualified medical practitioner is a long road, the first thing you’ll need is a medicine degree from a recognised course. Once you have this, you need to register with the Medical Council and then complete a period of internship.
Nurses are the frontline carers of the healthcare world. They help patients reach the best quality of life possible while going through an illness and assist them in making a full recovery. Midwives work with pregnancy and childbirth, caring for mother and child.
There are many other vital roles in the healthcare profession including those who work in diagnostics, therapeutics professionals, radiographers, lab technicians, and cytopathologists.
There are many specialities dentists can pursue, they could help patients with the positioning of their teeth as an Orthodontist or work with preventing gum disease as a Periodontist.
A pharmacist is a health professional with expertise in the science of medicines, which includes the development, use, and the supply of medicines. Titles include hospital pharmacist, clinical pharmacist and pharmacologist.
A paramedic is a person trained to give emergency medical care to people who are seriously ill with the aim of stabilising them before they are taken to hospital.
If you want to know more about working in the in the sector, hear what the experts have to say.