Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy. For career changers considering a transition into the information and legal side of the industry, opportunities have never been better. The importance of health information can’t be overstated. The entire field depends on good documentation and safeguarding it from those who would use it for nefarious purposes is a whole sub field in and of itself. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, here are a few pointers to get you started.

Do Your Research and Network

If you’re coming into health care as a complete outsider, you’ll find that it has its own culture and language that you will need to become comfortable with. Consider taking some classes in medical language and basic health care regulations. Use social media to connect with as many people in the health care field as possible. Volunteer if you have time to do so.

Assess and Market Transferable Skills

Communication skills within the medical field are of paramount importance both in verbal and written situations. If you have the ability to take complicated information and make it understandable to a patient or another person unfamiliar with the regulations and jargon of the field, you have a wonderful head start.

Further Your Education

There are many opportunities to advance your health care career with education. On the information side, look into the American Health Information Management Association for career paths and certifications. Health care law is one of the most rapidly growing legal fields, and it isn’t necessary to become a lawyer to find a lucrative career in this area. There are many accredited universities and law schools that offer a health law masters degrees with different areas of emphasis.  Learning the basics is the best way to get started in this type of industry.

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Find Work, Even Entry Level

If you’ve been able to volunteer or intern at some point along the way, your path may be easier. It is a common practice for hospitals and other facilities to put their volunteers ahead of outsiders for posted positions. If you’re starting from scratch, be willing to take an entry level job, even if it’s not what you had in mind. You can then demonstrate your willingness to learn and take on greater challenges.

The health care field is one of never ending opportunity and fascination. It may take time and effort to make the transition from your current career but the rewards are worth your time.