Experience First, Money Later

In healthcare, I see how reality has not matched the promise of easy employment after school in lucrative “shortage” jobs.

Have you ever heard these lines before?

“Your profession will be in high demand”

“Because of the shortage, you’ll have no problem getting a job after school”

“You can expect relatively high wages for this career path”

I see many newly graduated Therapists, Medical Coders, RHIA’s, RHIT’s, and even nurses join the Clear Medical Network on a daily basis, and many of them are having a hard time finding the type of employment they were expecting after school in this economy.

Not the right pay.  Not the right specialty.  Not the right type of facility.  At least not until they have experience. 

What does this mean?  For those of you who are graduating soon or have just graduated, it’s important to realize that everyone is paid in two ways:  money and experience.  It seems that in this economy, sometimes grads have to work (sometimes for less pay) to earn experience before they will earn the higher pay others with more experience are earning.  

Even RN’s I know that want careers in a specific specialty (L&D, ED, etc.) or type of facility have had to volunteer (yes, for free) at the type of place where they want to work, all the while working in a clinic/unit that they don’t get excited about.

Reality?  I’m afraid so.

For those of you still in school or deciding on a career, please know that careers in nursing, medicine, therapy, coding, and so many other healthcare positions will indeed be great careers in the long run.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that we’re looking at a 22.5% increase in new jobs in our industry by 2018.  Combine that with Baby Boomers starting to retire, and it’s obvious that there will be a shortage.

Just don’t expect it to feel like it right now. 

If you’re looking for mentoring, advice, or career opportunities, we started the free Clear Medical Network to bring experienced healthcare professionals together with new grads and students to help bridge the gap of experience. 

Hang in there, it’s worth it.  It’s a wonderful career to care for your neighbors when they need it most.


About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.