A career in medicine can be one of the most rewarding, both professionally and financially. And aside from the fact that the medical field is one that’s always growing and looking for new candidates, with the COVID-19 pandemic now affecting industries all over the nation, the demand for competent healthcare workers is now at an all-time high.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic inundated hospitals and clinics around the world with sick patients. And during a time when little to nothing was known about the virus, it was the people who work in healthcare who stepped up to the plate and began doing what they’re trained to do.

Even though in 2021 the pandemic has subsided a bit and regulations have begun to be relaxed, the pandemic has left the healthcare industry needing more qualified medical workers.

Here, we’ll explore how the pandemic has affected healthcare careers.

Surge in College Applications for Nursing

Believe it or not, the pandemic has caused a serious shift in mindset when it comes to healthcare workers.

For example, while some seasoned nurses and other HCPs have opted to move away from a hospital setting due to the overwhelming patient load, many new prospects are filling out applications for nursing–much more than in years past.

In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges has noted that applications for nursing school have risen nearly 25 percent over the course of the last year. And this also comes at an inopportune time for students due to the shortage of training staff who are still busy assisting in hospitals and clinical settings across the country.

Despite the deadly effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge in interest in medical fields shows that there are still many people willing to walk the line of first responder in communities across the country.

Renewed Interest in PA programs

If you’re looking for a Physician’s Assistant job (PA), then you’re not going to have too much trouble finding one as this profession has been in high demand since the pandemic began in March of 2020.

Studies have shown that interest and applications for medical schools across the country have risen over 18 percent in the past year. And this is a remarkable increase considering that most PAs come from medical professions such as paramedics, EMTs, nurses, and the like.

A PA program is a required educational component in order to become licensed as a PA in the United States, and the prerequisite for attending a PA school is a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as nursing or biology.

With more people interested in PA programs, like nursing, this has also placed a bit of strain on the educational system, with many educators working full time in hospital and clinical settings.

Changes in HCP Fields

As mentioned, many seasoned nurses and PA’s have opted out of the hospital settings within the past year because of the overwhelming patient load that hospitals across the country are still dealing with.

But this doesn’t mean that they’ve left the healthcare field altogether. In fact, many have looked for employment in other healthcare sectors such as at-home assistance, nursing aids in smaller clinics, and healthcare administration.

But as the veteran healthcare workers have begun to leave traditional settings, this has opened the gateway for new applicants and traveling HCPs to fill in where room is adequate.

It should also be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has also shifted some HCPs away from healthcare entirely, with a large number of former HCPs looking for new industries of employment altogether.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our societies across the globe. And without our healthcare workers, we would all be in a much worse position. But thankfully, this is one industry that has always shown massive growth year after year. And the pandemic has only strengthened this statistic around the country.