Healthcare is a continuously growing field with more than its fair share of diverse and gratifying positions. From doctors and nurses to medical billers and administrators and beyond, millions of Americans are employed in the industry. But what does it take to join the ranks of some of society’s most brave and caring individuals? Do you need special skills?
Well, aside from having the right training and education, there are a few skills that are petty much universal in the healthcare field. These are skills that can not only help you connect better with other people, but will also help you find the gratification you’re looking for from your position.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important skills that healthcare workers possess. And, from all of us, thank you!
Attention To Detail
While this is a skill that benefits pretty much every industry, it’s one you simply can’t do without in healthcare. Why? Because someone’s life could literally depend on your attention to detail. Or, you could be responsible for someone’s medical records, billing information, or other sensitive data. You must have a good eye for mistakes, the ability to reflect, and the ability to grow and learn from mistakes.
Even in the most simple healthcare duties, you need attention to detail. If you’re someone who can pick up on details, is motivated to learn, and are a self-regulator, you might fit right into the industry! Online healthcare degrees are more accessible than ever before, and you can get certified in certain areas in less than a year’s time.
This is another skill you simply must possess in order to find success in any industry, but healthcare demands punctuality. Imagine if you’re coming off of a 12-hour shift in the ER fighting COVID-19, and your replacement is 30 minutes late. You’ve just had to cover an extra 30 minutes of work because someone else wasn’t on time, adding to your exhaustion. When you’re late, it looks like you don’t value other people’s time. Yes, there are certainly valid reasons for being late, but you shouldn’t be late all the time! A good rule for being punctual is if you’re not early, you’re late. If you think you’re going to need more time to get to work, leave earlier. Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes every time you leave the house to ensure you’re not inconveniencing anyone.
Compassion and Empathy
Compassion and empathy are two of the most important human emotions, and mastering them is something of a challenge. That’s why we’ve listed them as skills because really, they’re skills we learn along the way in life. We’re taught compassion and empathy (or not), it’s not necessarily hard-wired. Empathy in healthcare is one of the most important skills the industry couldn’t thrive without. Empathy helps us connect to people we don’t know, understand their situation, and truly relate to how they’re feeling.
If you’re a compassionate, empathetic, and generally caring person, the healthcare field is perfect for you. Often, you’ll be helping someone else with a health concern, and sometimes, your efforts can even save a life. Just look at the number of healthcare workers who stayed on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting themselves at risk for the benefit of others. That’s true compassion and the sacrifice of a hero.
Teamwork and Leadership Skills
Even if you’re the most empathetic, compassionate person you know, if you can’t work well with others, you’re going to struggle in healthcare. Healthcare is very much a field where you simply can’t go it alone. You’ll be part of a healthcare team working to heal patients and better their lives, so you need to be able to communicate well and honestly, have emotional intelligence, and bring an asset to the team.
Problem-solving skills are something that employers across the country look for in every field, but they’re especially relevant in healthcare. The nature of healthcare and illness is complex by itself, and you’re likely going to run into problems that require an extra amount of thought. Problem-solving requires attention to detail and an honest perspective of the problem. You’ll need to be able to identify the problem, suggest a solution, and implement that solution(s) to see if it works.
Good problem-solvers also know how to be team players, and the best problem-solvers often ascend to leadership positions within their companies.
The Bottom Line
The healthcare field is competitive and ever-changing, but these skills will always be relevant and necessary for anyone working in the industry. Taking care of other people takes a great deal of compassion and personal sacrifice, and not everyone is cut out for it. If you’ve got these skills already, you might be looking at a bright and rewarding career in the healthcare industry!
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