8 In-Demand Healthcare Specialties for 2020 and Beyond
by Torey Jovick
June 1, 2020
In South Florida and across America, the healthcare industry has consistently grown for decades. However, it is not immune to repercussions from the coronavirus. Healthcare jobs have declined in recent months, but in a very specific way. Patients are putting off elective procedures and pushing out their non-urgent, regular appointments. However, even in light of the pandemic, there are certain healthcare specialties that are crucial today and for the foreseeable future.
One of the most visible healthcare specialists, especially recently, is nursing. This is a broad category for a reason; nurses of all types are in great demand. Nurse practitioners who are licensed to conduct many of the same activities as a physician are needed more than ever. RNs and nursing assistants are today’s heroes. Whether they are on the front lines of the pandemic or specializing in emergency care, cardiology, or oncology, nurses keep the healthcare industry running.
There’s a reason why pharmacist positions are some of the highest paid in the sector. These individuals are charged with a heavy responsibility where the difference between life and death is measured by the milligrams. Combined with concern over the country’s opioid crisis, it’s a lot to take on for those working in pharmacies. Mail-order drug delivering has increased in popularity, but that does not diminish the need for or importance of pharmacy technicians, coordinators, supervisors, and managers. These individuals will play especially key roles as coronavirus cures, treatments, and vaccines become available.
Psychiatry & Psychology
Stigmas surrounding mental health have faded in recent years, leading to increased demand for various forms of therapy. With COVID-19 disrupting people’s lives and placing them in isolation for long periods of time, all indications are that Americans will seek out psychiatrists and psychologists at record rates. Even during quarantines, therapy sessions are taking places virtually, underscoring the great need for these services.
Most patients only see a fraction of the work that goes on in a medical lab setting. As healthcare advances, so too does the need for testing. Yes, phlebotomists who draw blood from patients are important healthcare professionals, but so are the technicians, microbiologists, histotechnologists, toxicologists, molecular pathology technologists, and others behind the scenes. With rampant testing for coronavirus, medical labs are seeing extremely high levels of activity and require all the talented individuals they can get.
In many ways, technology is the backbone of the healthcare industry. New innovations improve the safety of procedures, limit risk, streamline processes, and enable remarkable discoveries. Healthcare IT departments are charged with leveraging cloud-based scheduling systems, mining data to discover analytics, modernizing health records, creating patient portals, securing information, and much more. Today, there are strong calls for the continuous improvement of telemedicine so patients can have consultations, chat with providers, or have their vitals monitored remotely. In the midst of this perfect storm, technology positions within the healthcare industry will continue to see healthy demand.
That fact that people are enjoying longer lifespans is a testament to the great work in healthcare. Unfortunately, as a large number of Baby Boomers grow older, their healthcare needs will increase. That means healthcare professionals who specialize in geriatrics will experience heavy demand for many years to come. Additionally, since these older citizens are most at-risk of contracting coronavirus, they’re not just cancelling or postponing their regular appointments with their doctors; they’re avoiding emergency care altogether. As America slowly reopens and these individuals seek out care again, there will be a spike in diagnoses and treatments for conditions that are currently not being tended to.
As telemedicine improves, more healthcare will take place inside the home than in the past. This is partly due to convenience, and partly due to the fact it can be dangerous for an at-risk individual to walk into a roomful of sick individuals at a doctor’s office or hospital. If patients can receive consultations and even be monitored inside their home, then home healthcare professionals can safely visit and provide certain treatments as well. Just as remote work is reshaping office jobs, home healthcare will play an important role in the future of the healthcare sector.
Specializations in the Leading Causes of Death
No matter how much attention goes to COVID-19, there are still other major causes of death to treat and try to prevent. Heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease kill vast numbers of Americans each year. Talented individuals who are focused in any of these or similar areas are in short supply and will continue to make a huge difference in improving healthcare.
In-Demand Healthcare Specialties
Despite a momentary drop in healthcare employment, and a very small one in comparison to other industries, professionals in this sector will see strong demand throughout the remainder of 2020 and beyond. Roles and specialties will continue to evolve according to the needs of patients, and the return of elective procedures and regular visits is imminent. At a time when consumers are changing their buying habits of material goods, it’s important to remember that healthcare is a need, not an option. That makes it the one of South Florida’s most recession-proof fields, and is the reason why demand will continue.
Need more information on the industry? Download your free 2020 South Florida Healthcare Salary Guide here.