While industry projections published late 2019 estimated some significant challenges for 2020, nothing could have prepared the sector for the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These analyses identified unsustainable overcrowding among providers, too little demand for available resources, and primary care physicians becoming increasingly divorced from hospitals as the biggest 2020 threats to success . Additionally, nearly every source suggested that the collision of the tech industry with healthcare jobs would continue, but at a slow pace that delivered a few revolutionary changes .
COVID-19 Has Changed The Market For Healthcare Jobs
Most analysts also suggested that the most significant industry-wide locus would be on mental healthcare jobs, especially those focused on the treatment of substance abuse disorders, not on managing an outbreak .
Yet with the rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a global public health crisis — and one which threatens to change the demand for healthcare jobs for months, if not years, to come — the industry to reverse course on several vital trends . Specific positions are suddenly in incredibly high demand, where the demand for most healthcare jobs was relatively fixed before.
Medical resources are already (or are expected to be) stretched thin. And the need for better, faster, clearer communication within (and outside) the healthcare sector is driving rapid innovation . As a result, the following positions should become the most in-demand, highly-compensated, and rewarding healthcare jobs available in 2020.
Patient Care Practitioners:
1. Traveling/Home Nurse
The need for home healthcare workers was already growing pre-COVID-19. Now, these healthcare jobs are highly in-demand and are expected to remain in-demand as more people need recovery assistance .
2. Respiratory Therapist
Also already previously considered one of the top-10 healthcare jobs in Canada, respiratory therapists are some of the most critical employees during the outbreak, as COVID-19 primarily impacts the respiratory system . Treatment and recovery will both require significant intervention by these specialized healthcare workers .
3. X-Ray, CT, & MRI Technician (Medical Radiation Technologist)
Similar to respiratory therapists, medical radiation technologists are specialized staff who perform critical functions for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19. Already one of the top-10 healthcare jobs in Canada pre-COVID-19, this healthcare job should only get more necessary going forward .
4. Occupational Therapist
Patients recovering from chronic COVID-19 are expected to need some degree of occupational therapy . Consequently, as the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 grows, occupational therapy will likely prove one of the most successful job search focuses.
Around the world, therapy providers are already seeing an increase in demand as a direct result of COVID-19 . For people interested in healthcare jobs but concerned about exposure risk, a psychology job (especially in teletherapy) may prove ideal.
The growing opportunities in healthcare jobs are not limited to patient-treatment positions; the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted a significant and pressing need for healthcare support staff and adjacent positions. Consequently, applicants with little to no background in healthcare should not narrow their job search to exclude healthcare industry positions, including:
- Health Policy Specialist/Consultant
- Health Researcher/Scientist
- Medical Data Specialist
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Healthcare Communication Specialist
All of the above positions are already increasingly in-demand — and will continue to be essential to the healthcare industry’s progress forward post-COVID-19 — as these healthcare jobs are what will enable the sector to scale in response to surging demand .
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