Healthcare Career Resources is a blog for those who work in the healthcare industry. We cover topics ranging from current events to medical humor as well as more career focused topics such as job search and interview tips. We also publish articles written for healthcare human resources and physician recruiters.
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Side hustles offer the chance to earn extra money, whether someone wants some extra spending money without having to pick up extra shifts or is trying to build another source of income. Nurses have the education and experience to participate and succeed in many side hustles in which others may not be able to be...
Side hustles offer the chance to earn extra money, whether someone wants some extra spending money without having to pick up extra shifts or is trying to build another source of income. Nurses have the education and experience to participate and succeed in many side hustles in which others may not be able to be involved.
Health coaches promote healthy lifestyles for those they coach. Nursing is an ideal background for this type of work, as they have a scientific-based understanding of what contributes to overall health, while maintaining a holistic overall view. Health coaching can be done through an employer or can be done by an individual. Health coaches can be generalists, promoting healthy lifestyles for everyone, or can be specialists, focusing on maintaining health while experiencing a particular medical condition.
Part-time caregiver jobs provide nurses with side work caring for an individual who suffers from a chronic or end-stage condition and requires home nursing care. This is similar to home healthcare nursing, but instead of being visits arranged by an agency or employer, caregiving involves working with one or a few specific individuals on a more long-term basis. One of the appealing aspects of this job to some nurses is the ability to arrange their schedule and payment directly with the individual or his/her family.
Blogging can be a very profitable side hustle for nurses, with some top nurse bloggers making over a million dollars a year. Blogging involves writing and publishing regular blog posts. Consistent and engaging content will create subscribers, allowing you to generate income through advertising or offering products. When blogging, nurses need to keep in mind not to divulge patient information or details that could allow people to identify whom they are writing about. Blogging is an appealing side hustle to many nurses because of the potential for it to grow into a significant source of income and because of the low initial costs.
Freelance writing involves writing medical content for others, typically businesses. This could be blogs, manuals, white papers, courses, or any other type of medical writing. Freelance writing has become easier to get into with sites such as Scripted, Upwork, and Fiver that connect freelance writers with potential clients. Medical freelance writing pay can vary, and some experienced writers may make up to $1 per word.
Experienced nurses are ideally situated to teach the next generation of nurses. Tutoring nursing students allows nurses to impact upcoming nurses while generating a side income. Tutors can make up to $60 an hour or more, depending on their level of nursing experience, education, and teaching experience. Tutoring is great for nurses who love to teach and who want to help nursing students succeed.
Expert witnesses are people who are considered experts in their profession and are willing to testify in court about the standard of care in medical malpractice cases. Many times in a civil case both the plaintiff and the defense will have expert witnesses who will provide an expert opinion to the court about what the professional medical standard of care should have been in a particular situation and if it was followed. While any nurse can serve as an expert witness, nurses who have more experience and more education will be seen as more credible and be more desired for this role. Nurses who work as an expert witness can make three to four times their clinical hourly rate.
Nurses who are more committed to developing a side hustle as an alternative income source may start their own small business. Starting a business involves finding a service or product that you can sell. Nurses have invented and sold their own products or have found services that can use their skills and knowledge in new ways. Starting a business takes a lot of work but can provide a significant side income – and can even help nurses to become their own boss in the long term.
Most side hustles in nursing take extra work and time to get into. Some nurses may use their side hustle to generate some extra spending money, while others may choose to become more involved and can eventually generate substantially more than they could practicing clinically. Regardless of how involved you are in a side hustle, it does offer an appealing freedom and income that makes it worth it to most nurses.
As July 1st rolls around yet again, another group of new interns will be starting in every residency program around the country. This time of year is important and symbolic for all residents because it represents their progression to the next year of training, and for the lucky seniors among us, it means that residency has finally come to an...
As July 1st rolls around yet again, another group of new interns will be starting in every residency program around the country. This time of year is important and symbolic for all residents because it represents their progression to the next year of training, and for the lucky seniors amongst us, it means that residency has finally come to an end.
As the famous saying goes, “The days were long, but the years were short,” and this applies to residency more than any other experience I can think of. Each day, week, month rotating through the requirements and taking call as a resident can feel like they drag on, and especially for junior residents, the hard work and hours put in feel never-ending. The good news is, however, it DOES end. And when you’re on the precipice of being a full-fledged attending (or, for some of us, a first-year fellow), looking back it all seems to have gone by so fast.
For the rising chief and senior residents, this period is an especially important time, not just because of the responsibility of leading your fellow residents and representing the department within your institution. This period of time, when transitioning into final year of residency, is essential for starting to map out your timeline for the final year and planning what the “next step” will be.
Presumably, by now, you have completed the “deep” thinking required in making the decision as to what general direction you would like to go when it comes to post-grad plans. Of note, this article is referring specifically to those residents who choose to stay in medicine following residency. However, it must also be said that a certain percentage of MD’s who finish residency do not go on to the clinical practice side of medicine. That will be covered in another article!
The main question all residents must ask themselves around their penultimate year in residency is: “Do I pursue fellowship and sub-specialize, or am I done training?” There is no right answer, and different paths are ideal for different physicians. If you decide to be finished and start out with your career (finally!) as an attending, congratulations! You chose a noble path. If you feel the need to further hone your focus and press the gas pedal on research and education, maybe fellowship is the right path, also noble.
In general, the process for starting fellowship applications begins in the second-to-last year of residency. Due to the wide variety of specialties that offer multiple fellowships, it is best to refer to the main governing body for your specialty and click the “Education” link for more information about fellowships and the application process. Of note, in the US there are accredited and non-accredited fellowships. This is based the individual societies within a specialty that deem fellowships to be up-to-par with the standards for education and training. ACGME also accredits fellowships, and monitors/regulates said fellowships similarly to residency programs. The most important aspect of planning out fellowship application process is understanding what the exact deadlines are for your specific desired sub-specialty. Even within a specialty there can be (and often are) varying timelines for the application seasons, and one must be vigilant about this so as not to miss the opportunity. Similar to residency match, almost all fellowship programs operate via the ERAS application system, in conjunction with NRMP for the “match” process. Another important point for residents thinking about fellowship applications is to be communicative with your residency program director early-on, so that they can be aware of your likely upcoming need for PTO days for interviews.
For those residents who have decided to finish training and work as an attending physician following residency graduation, the transition into your final year of residency is also vital for embarking on the job-finding process. The market for new doctors is a hot one, but the job search can become frustratingly complex if one enters without knowing what you really want.
The main divisions to think about when contemplating your future as a doctor will be: Do you want to work mostly in a hospital, or do you want to practice ambulatory medicine within the community? If you stick to hospital medicine, do you want to be in a teaching environment with residents and students, or somewhere where you call all of the shots?
Do you want to be within the hustle-and-bustle of a city, or provide more suburban or even rural medicine? Family and personal factors aside, these questions will help you decide what type of practice or system you would like to focus on for employment.
Before answering any of the (likely) many recruiting emails you are receiving, make sure you settle with yourself how you will answer these questions. Decide what is important to you going forward and how you would like the first few years out of residency to look. It’s OK if your priority is making a lot of money, or having an easier schedule, or avoiding any call. You’ve worked hard, and now is the time to name what you want so that people who are paid to find you a job can actually help you!
By July of your final year in residency, you should also have your resume brushed up and dusted off. Utilize the guidance of professional mentors and your program director to help polish your resume until it shines. You’ve achieved a lot and need to make sure future employers know it!
Similar to fellowship-seekers, make sure you tell the administration at your program you are beginning to look for jobs. Not only will this help in terms of obtaining PTO for interviews, but it will also help put feelers out for potential jobs within your own institution or within their (likely large) professional networks.
The summer and early fall of this year will likely be the period when you will begin speaking to recruiters, practices, and hospital administrators about first interviews. If you’ve had your eye on a specific practice or hospital and haven’t heard much about job openings, it’s okay to call them directly and ask to speak with HR or even department chairs about potential job openings. Ask for “informational interviews” to learn more about an institution so that if a job does open up, they know you’re interested.
Now that you’re prepped with your priorities, resume, and with time on your side, you can begin preparing for interview season whether that is for fellowship or for attending positions. We will discuss how to look your best and nail the interview in another blog post.
Maybe you are a healthcare provider on the frontlines of COVID-19. Maybe you are a young mom watching as decisions are made about school reopening in the fall. Whatever your specific life circumstance, you are not immune to the anxiety that comes along with such unsettled times. With calm, focus, and armed with the facts, we can face the future together with a more settled heart and...
Just as many of us begin to venture out in the world for more than groceries and essential medical care, a second COVID-19 wave has struck many places across the country. Once again, we’re encouraged to stay home. Hugging or close contact with those outside our immediate family or friend group is discouraged. Not knowing what comes next only heightens our current stress. Some people live in states still under lockdown orders. Others are in states that have reopened businesses, parks, and close-contact services only to have outbreaks threaten to close them down again. Maybe you are a healthcare provider on the frontlines of COVID-19. Maybe you are a young mom watching as decisions are made about school reopening in the fall. Whatever your specific life circumstance, you are not immune to the anxiety that comes along with such unsettled times. With calm, focus, and armed with the facts, we can face the future together with a more settled heart and mind.
Anxiety often manifests in physical sensations. A racing heart, sweating, and feeling like you could jump out of your skin are common physical symptoms of anxiety. Many people feel physically ill during panic attacks. Take a moment to quiet these physical expressions of anxiety through meditation. Focus on your breathing. If sleep is disrupted or hard to come by, try the free Calm or Headspace apps or countless others. Medical students, residents, and physician members of the American Medical Association can access a free 2-year membership to Headspace.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recognized as a best practice in treatment for anxiety and depression disorders. CBT involves separating feelings from facts. Focus on processing facts in a way that limits emotional stimulation and anxiety. Write the facts around what’s causing your anxiety. Maybe you are very afraid you will contract COVID-19. On the fact column, write down things like “safely staying at home” or “limiting exposure to others through social distancing.” Include facts like “close to 90% of US COVID-19 patients recover.” Use this list and repeat the phrases and focus on the facts when anxiety begins to churn.
Your best friend is working remotely at the beach and perfecting his chili recipe. Social media highlights our idealized selves and captures a single moment in time. If you can’t help but make comparisons to your life through the filter of social media, step away from all but essential work-related social media for a bit. Likewise, if you find yourself drawn to catastrophic COVID-19 news that heightens your anxiety, look to local media resources and limit how often you receive notifications about COVID-19 related data or news. Stay up to date on news impacting your family’s daily lives and leave it there for now.
The death by suicide of COVID-19 warrior Dr. Lorna Breen serves as a tragic harbinger to all healthcare providers on the front lines of COVID-19 care. Dr. Breen’s healthcare provider colleagues and tens of thousands more like them are vulnerable to more than COVID-19. These frontline providers have a much higher risk for severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking when compared to other US citizens. Healthcare providers who feel they are going it alone or are just mind-numbed with grief and loss need special support. If this describes you, please talk to a colleague, partner, or friend NOW. If you wish to remain anonymous, call a physician helpline staffed by psychiatrists dedicated to those providing care to COVID-19 patients. Resources for COVID-19 nurses include a curated Wellness Initiative with a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and extensive support networks. Those COVID-19 healthcare providers not in crisis will find useful information at the Mental Health First Aid and American Medical Association websites.
There are many ways to make a good impression during a virtual interview. Just as an in-person interview, you’ll want to put your best digital foot forward. A bit of advanced planning can help the technical aspect go smoothly. It can also highlight your professionalism and readiness to...
As market conditions shift the way we hire, more companies are moving to virtual, online interviewing over face-to-face connections. The practice helps healthcare providers meet with candidates more quickly, especially those who are not nearby geographically, but even locals benefit from the virtual interview. They offer job seekers the opportunity to pitch themselves for a job without the hassle of commuting or waiting for an interview to begin.
The challenge for many candidates is acing the virtual interview. Being prepared to connect online with a recruiter takes a bit of advanced prep. Make sure to have the necessary bandwidth to assure a smooth conversation as well as familiarity with the platform you’ll be using. Nothing is more frustrating than a glitch in online conversation.
There are other ways to make a good impression, as well. Just as an in-person interview, you’ll want to put your best digital foot forward. A bit of advanced planning can help the technical aspect go smoothly. It can also highlight your professionalism and readiness to work.
Remember that you’re not only providing a visual of yourself in an online interview, you’re giving the recruiter a peek into your home. Look for a location that has a neutral background or, at minimum, one that won’t distract. Your collection of action figures may impress your WOW peers but may not scream professionalism to a recruiter. In advance of the interview, practice with the software to see what the background reveals about you. Don’t overdo it with stacks of books or a cutesy Zoom background. Neutral tones and visuals are your best, professional-looking bet.
A best practice for any interview is to dress as you think the current employees in the company dress. If you want a job in a hip clothing store, wear your most bohemian attire. If you want a job in a professional setting, a shirt and tie or blouse and jacket is appropriate. You want the recruiter to be able to visualize you as part of the team. Showing up in a biker jacket and chains to an accounting interview may not land you the job.
With virtual interviews, you may be tempted to dress only from the waist up. If you’re not going to wear pants, make sure your lower half isn’t visible and don’t stand up for any reason during the interview.
You may be at home with family and pets during the interview but do your best to keep them at bay. Children, spouses, roommates and Fido can be a distraction. Warn them ahead of time that you need an hour of uninterrupted time and set up in a place in your home without a lot of foot traffic. You may be tempted to use the privacy of a bathroom, but the acoustics of tiled walls can make communication difficult.
Be on time or early for the meeting. It’s better to be the first person in the online chat than the last. Just as you wouldn’t want to show up late for an in-person meeting, make sure to be on time for a virtual one.
Your mother scolded you to sit up straight and she was right. Slouched posture projects a lax attitude. You’re being assessed by the interviewer, not just on your skills but your presentation. You may feel comfortable talking to the recruiter (it’s his/her job to put you at ease), but avoid being too familiar or using foul language. Even though you’re in your home, you still want to project professionalism.
Be ready to discuss the position as you would a face-to-face interview. Know what the job description or posting outlined about the vacancy and be ready to discuss the relevant skills and experience you bring to the table. When you are well-versed in what the facility is looking for in a candidate, you’re better able to demonstrate what a good match you are for the position.
A bit of background on the company is helpful, as well. Understanding their mission and goals provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate where you and the facility connect. If they’re going through expansion, for example, you may ask the interviewer how quickly they anticipate growth. Look for clues on the facility’s website and social media pages for topics you can discuss that show you’ve done your homework and are familiar with what they do. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask how long they anticipate the interview process will take, if there are others you may be asked to meet with, and when they hope to make a final decision. One question to always ask: “When can I start?”
Finally, remember to be polite. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration at the end of the meeting and remember to send another thank you by email or text (if that’s how they connected with you) no later than 24 hours after the meeting. Include in your thank-you that you appreciate their time and look forward to joining the team. Good luck!
As facilities restructure to satisfy the new normal, positions are opening up. And the more I’m contacted by recruiters trying to fill those positions, the more I see just how many and how varied those positions are. With all of this opportunity, one can’t help but ask oneself: Is this a good time to try something...
As facilities restructure to satisfy the new normal, positions are opening up. And the more I’m contacted by recruiters trying to fill those positions, the more I see just how many and how varied those positions are.
With all of this opportunity, one can’t help but ask oneself: Is this a good time to try something new?
Locums, short for “locum tenens”, is essentially a temporary physician. The term itself means “place holder” and refers to a physician who is contracted, usually on a temporary basis, to plug a scheduling hole until a permanent physician can be hired.
Staffing companies that specialize in locums positions are easily discoverable online. I have worked with one of the larger companies for locums gigs in two different states. The process went as follows:
Limited obligation: I never signed a contract requiring me to work longer than six months.
In times like these, when you’re asking yourself whether you want to leave for good or just need a break, the opportunity for a temporary change is perfect. I agreed to cover a set amount of hours each month for a set period of time and when those months were done, I had no obligation to return.
By doing locums, I was able to explore new opportunities without having to commit.
Experience a new region: You may not get a locums job specifically in the hospital you’re interested in, but you can almost certainly find something in the region.
There are locums opportunities all over the country and in various parts of the world. You aren’t stuck with the same geography—if you want mountains, ocean, desert, urban, rural—you can check it out without having to move there.
A temporary assignment in a region you’re interested in can tell you a lot about what you need to know—schools, other hospitals, crime, entertainment. The people you’ll work with have all of the information you need to help make a decision about whether you want to live in a new place.
Experience a new setting: We get tired of the same old thing—the same broken processes, the same roadblocks. By working in a new system, you get a fresh look at situations that have become your norm.
Working in locums will let you know whether the problem is really your hospital. You’ll apply your medical skills in new ways, with different populations and get a fresh perspective on your career.
Flexibility: I’ve enjoyed a good deal of flexibility in scheduling with locums. If I said I couldn’t work on certain days, that was it. When the contracts ended, they ended; there was no difficulty in completing work at one hospital and moving on to the next phase.
The schedule: I would get the days off that I wanted— but the actual shifts themselves (or combination of shifts) were almost never good.
Remember, you’re in the mix with people who work there full time; people that are committed to working there through whatever event led to the need for locums in the first place. You are temporary, fungible and often expensive; administration wants to keep the main people happy.
Regardless of the hours I gave for availability, I wound up with the least desirable shifts—almost exclusively nights, swings, and weekends.
On one hand, this was expected. But on the other hand, only working at night makes exploring a new place nearly impossible to do during the day. This meant that if I wanted to stay in the new area longer than the days I was scheduled to work, I’d have to coordinate lodging and pay the difference in car rentals out of pocket.
Travel: This starts out sounding fun—you get to go to a new place for a few days at a time. But after months of having to pack everything, fly or drive a few hours away, work a stretch and then fly back, it began to lose its charm.
If you’re thinking of moving to a new place, it helps to look at “travel assignments” as an investment. You’re traveling now to keep yourself from making a bad move in the future.
New systems: A new system can take a while to learn. If you have a six-month locums assignment, you may not really understand how things flow until halfway through that contract.
But learning new systems is a skill; you start to ask better questions sooner in the process. In the meantime, it can be frustrating and potentially risky.
There’s a reason they’re hiring locums (and it’s not always good). Sometimes hospitals are expanding rapidly, or their volumes grew unpredictably, and they need new doctors fast. This would be good reason that a hospital needed to hire locums.
But sometimes it’s not a great place to work. It’s understaffed. They don’t have working processes; they’re changing ED groups and need coverage between. They can’t keep people. Everyone’s leaving for a different hospital or the system is broken —those hospitals hire locums as well.
This is information you can gather during the early stages of selecting a hospital. Do your homework as well—online information, social media, or word of mouth can help you learn why a position is open in the first place.
You’re not always welcome: Locums doctors sometimes get a bad reputation. They are sometimes paid at a higher rate than the people who work there full time. Some locums providers are perceived as having “no skin in the game” positions and are therefore less eager to see patients than their colleagues.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression; dispelling these myths requires being a good team player and good worker. It’s just important to remember that not everyone will be excited to see you.
Locums can provide a great opportunity for you to explore new jobs without risking your current stability.
Having done it, I can honestly say that I’d work locums again in the future. To me, the benefits outweigh the risks in general, but if you know what the risks and downsides are, you can enter the locums arena with even less to lose.
Registered Nurses may have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Many people who are considering a career in nursing wonder what the difference is between an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). There are some similarities between these degrees and some important...
Registered Nurses (RN’s) may have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Many people who are considering a career in nursing wonder what the difference is between an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). There are some similarities between these degrees and some important differences.
An associate’s degree in nursing is a two year degree that typically also requires a year of prerequisite courses. These prerequisite courses may be done during the two years of nursing education, but typically add an extra year of study, making most ADN courses three years.
Time: An ADN provides the core education needed to become an RN in a shorter time than it takes to obtain a BSN. This allows those who pursue an ADN to start practicing as a nurse earlier and reduces the amount of time that has to be spent pursuing an education.
Cost: It typically costs less to obtain an ADN, due to both the decreased time in school and because the schools that typically offer ADNs are community colleges with lower tuition costs than larger universities.
Limited long-term opportunities: To advance in the field of nursing into a position involving higher level skills, such as education or management, a BSN is typically required. Even in advanced positions where a BSN is not required, candidates with a BSN will typically be preferred.
Limited jobs in competitive markets: Larger, more competitive markets, such as large cities or teaching hospitals, may be less likely to hire ADN-educated nurses. In some markets, like New York City, it may be practically impossible to get a job as an RN without a BSN.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing is a four year degree that includes the same training on clinical skills as an assoricate’s degree, while also adding additional training on management, leadership, and research.
Long-term benefits: A BSN allows for opportunities for professional advancement that someone with an ADN will not have access to. Opportunities such as management, teaching, or quality assurance all typically require a BSN.
Higher quality education: A BSN education is more in-depth than an ADN education, and some studies have indicated that patients who are cared for by nurses with a BSN are more likely to experience a positive outcome.
Pay: The pay for a BSN-educated nurse is very similar to the pay for an ADN-educated nurse in the same position. While BSN nurses may have more opportunities for positions that pay better, they will not typically be paid significantly better in positions that ADN-educated nurses work.
More time and cost: Pursing a BSN degree takes longer than an ADN and is normally done through a four-year university. This makes it cost more and take longer than an ADN. The increased cost and time for a BSN is the most significant disadvantage to this option.
Overall, a BSN education provides more long-term opportunities for career advancement and improvement as a nurse, but this degree costs more and takes longer. An ADN education is quicker and less expensive to obtain, but it is not ideal when taking long-term nursing goals into consideration. ASN and BSN-educated nurses both have the same scope of practice, and there is no difference in what they are permitted to do in a clinical situation when caring for patients. ADN and BSN-educated nurses also have roughly the same level of skill and knowledge when it comes to how well they take care of patients, although some studies have shown a slight advantage for BSN-educated nurses.
One popular alternative to choosing one or the other that helps nurses to have the best of both options is to first obtain an ADN-level education, then start practicing as a nurse while pursuing a BSN degree. There are several bridge programs that allow someone with an ADN to achieve a BSN in one to two years. This allows nurses to begin their careers more quickly, while still eventually having access to the benefits of a BSN degree. It also can help from the cost standpoint of education, as many employers will pay at least part of the cost for ADN-educated nurses to pursue a BSN.
Whether future nurses pursues an ADN or a BSN degree, they will find both to be a challenging education and a rewarding career. Regardless of the level of education, nursing will offer many opportunities and be rewarding both intrinsically and extrinsically.
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