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Employment outlook for healthcare professionals in the age of Coronavirus

Photo: Employment outlook for healthcare professionals in the age of coronavirus
COVID-19 has sparked massive amounts of turmoil in the Australian job market, squelching demand for some types of workers and increasing demand for others. In general, demand for most types of healthcare workers was strong before the Coronavirus crisis started, and it has only strengthened more as the crisis has unfolded.

Let’s take a closer look at what the future employment outlook might be like for a range of healthcare careers in the age of Coronavirus.

Health Practice Managers

The outlook for health practice managers in a variety of specialisations seems favourable in the wake of Coronavirus. Allied health practices have been allowed to remain open during the crisis. While the virus has created many additional challenges for these services, that could actually translate to an increase in demand for strong leadership and additional need for experienced, talented health practice managers who can successfully guide their teams through the aftermath of the crisis. Demand is expected to remain strong for managers of dentistry practices, chiropractic practices, physiotherapy practices, general medical practices and other types of healthcare practices.
Managers who have expertise with implementing telemedicine practices will be in particularly strong demand, as telehealth is one of the top rising healthcare trends in the age of Coronavirus. Managers who hold an advanced degree such as a master health services management are also likely to have an advantage in securing the best available jobs.

Registered Nurses

Australian nurses were already in short supply and high demand well before the onset of COVID-19. Whether or not the crisis continues much longer, demand for nurses is likely to increase.

In particular, COVID-19 has been taking a toll on Australians’ mental health; so mental health nurses, who were already a hot commodity, will be particularly crucial as we deal with the aftermath of the virus. Emergency nurses and aged care nurses also remain extremely employable currently. However, we expect the employment outlook for nurses of all varieties and experience levels to continue to be favourable in the wake of Coronavirus.

Surgeons

Surgeons have had their share of challenges during the Coronavirus crisis. Government officials put them in an uncomfortable position by suspending all non-emergency elective surgeries. This not only severely cut down on their income-earning potential; it also made it difficult for them to effectively tend to their patients’ needs.

Before COVID-19 became an issue, the employment outlook for surgeons was stable and unemployment was relatively low. While there will always be demand for surgery, the future employment outlook for surgeons is uncertain.

This is because it’s not entirely clear whether the crisis is waning, or whether there will be additional waves of COVID-19 infections. It’s also unclear as to how government officials will handle any future surges of infections. In some areas of Australia, about 25 percent of non-emergency elective surgeries are now resuming; but there is no guarantee that they will not be shuttered again if new waves of COVID-19 infections arise.

If you are planning to launch a new career, it would be wise to consider these circumstances before investing the time and resources necessary to become a surgeon – particularly in a specialty that relies on elective surgeries for a sizable percentage of income.

Pharmacists

There has been a huge surge in demand for medications as Australians navigate the Coronavirus crisis. Pharmacists have been particularly stressed and exhausted by the crisis, and many of them have been quitting their jobs or considering doing so.

Before the crisis struck, the job outlook for pharmacists was moderate and unemployment levels were low. In the midst of the crisis, the outlook seems even more positive than before, with many pharmacists reporting an increase in work hours. New pharmacists will be needed to replace those who plan to retire from the job. The Brisbane Times specifically mentions that pharmacists are in demand and employable in their city, and pharmacists are also needed in many other areas of the country right now.

It takes a special sort of bravery to be employed in the healthcare industry during a medical crisis. Coronavirus has caused us to rethink many aspects of the way we approach our patients, our clients and our healthcare practices -- but, for those who are willing to embrace the challenges, healthcare generally remains an industry with solid employment prospects for Australians.

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