Did you know that people age 65 and older are expected to jump in their representation percentage of the population from 16% in 2018 to 21.6% by 2040? That’s almost a quarter of the U.S. population.

In addition to people’s increasing longevity due to medical advancements in treatments and diagnosis, there will be an unmistakable increase in the demand for nursing homes. Yet, similar to other careers in healthcare, starting a nursing home career will require a specific mindset, as well as characteristics that prioritize patience and high tolerance of responsibility.

Keep on reading for a full breakdown of the key factors that you’ll need to know before deciding to start a career in nursing homes.

Starting a Nursing Home Career 101: High Degrees of Responsibility

Simply taking a quick look at the career opportunities for caregiving, you’ll find ones with different requirements. However, one thing they all have in common is the very high degrees of responsibility.

Once a patient’s life is placed in your hands, you’re responsible for their wellbeing. Besides, this sense of responsibility corresponds to the high degree of uncertainty heavily-tied to the job.

There’s no knowing what to expect daily. For instance, you might go in thinking your patient is in perfect shape, only to find them dealing with respiratory distress.

Required Clinical Skills

This isn’t a field that you can access by getting an online degree (or three). You’ll need to have a specific amount of basic clinical skills, as you’ll be working with other home care professionals, like nurses.

Also, there might be a significant amount of clinical work, depending on your role, and whether your facility requires a high level of clinical care to be shown to their critically-ill patients.

An Independent Streak

When it comes to home care, you’ll find yourself in situations that require high levels of autonomy. You might even spend a huge chunk of time without interacting with your coworkers or your supervisors, except through phone calls and pagers.

If you prefer a career with isolation baked into its fabric, then working in a nursing home can be a great option for you. However, if you’re more of a people person, and crave the water cooler conversation like air, then it might not be a good fit for your personality.

You’ll Need a Reliable Means of Transportation

As a nursing home worker, you can expect to receive multiple house calls daily. These will need to be met, regardless of the weather and your personal needs.

Thus, you’ll want to have your own personal vehicle or have access to reliable public transportation.

Switching Careers: The Nursing Home Edition

As with other healthcare-based careers, starting a nursing home career isn’t for the faint of heart. The hours will be long, but the pay will be appropriate with some great benefits.

But before making a decision, we hope our little guide on the important factors that you’ll need to have to not only survive but flourish in your new career. Remember to conduct some solid research in picking the right nursing home for you.