Recent data released by the US Census Bureau has projected that older adults will outnumber children for the first time in US history by 2035. The important shift in demographics reveals an aging population, one that will lead to an unprecedented number of new healthcare jobs in these critical settings: homecare and hospice.
“The entire baby boomer generation will be older than 65 in nearly 10 years,” says Kyle Mattice, President of ES Healthcare, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “To prepare for their evolving needs as they age, healthcare companies and governmental agencies are making greater investments in home and end of life care by committing new technology and more financial resources to these settings.”
As a healthcare provider, these are two settings that you can no longer afford to overlook when searching for new healthcare jobs. “Homecare and hospice have traditionally had lower participation rates amongst providers,” says Kyle. “However, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind when considering new career opportunities. This population is not only pivoting towards in-home care, but also living significantly longer than any generation in our history. In other words, the need for end of life care will continue to increase.”
As healthcare delivery changes, there will be a major push to improve the quality of homecare and hospice services. While part of this requires strategic improvements to internal operations and infrastructure, ensuring each patient has a robust care team in place is another priority. To accomplish this (while maintaining appropriate caseloads for each staff member), healthcare facilities will need a high volume of providers, ranging from physicians to nurses to therapists, for both clinical and non-clinical roles.
Here are three reasons to take advantage of this market trend:
Increased marketability + job security
It is no secret that homecare and hospice are two of the most challenging settings in the industry. “The work will be challenging, but it will make you a better provider,” advises Kyle. “Technology, for example, has enabled practitioners to deliver more complex care outside of an in-patient setting. This experience will push you to develop an array of technical and soft skills that will increase your value as a professional in the years to come as these settings become foundational components of our healthcare system.”
Since it’s historically been more difficult to staff these settings, healthcare companies are offering very competitive compensation to attract and retain talent. For example, ES Healthcare typically sees homecare and hospice providers in staff-level positions making $10,000 – $15,000 more a year than their counterparts in acute care and outpatient settings. “Our clients who utilize our temporary and contract staffing services pay a premium for these providers and skillsets,” adds Kyle.
Great experience for new grads
Navigating the healthcare job market as a new grad isn’t always easy, especially with many organizations looking for experienced candidates. “Many new grads tend to focus on hospital positions without fully understanding the scope of opportunities available to them,” explains Kyle. “Hospice and homecare organizations are great places to start your healthcare career. You’ll get valuable experience right out of the gate, a premium pay scale, and access to a field that is projected to hit unprecedented growth within the next few years.”
If you are still not convinced, don’t be afraid to play the long game. “Even if this career move seems to go against the grain, remember, today is not tomorrow,” advises Kyle. “Now is a great time to get experience in an emerging field before all your peers do.”