Despite the healthcare sector offering thousands of potential career paths to choose from, many require similar skills to enjoy success in the roles.
As patients and their loved ones rely on medical professionals to provide the highest quality care, many organizations need key traits to ensure they deliver the best patient outcomes and set medical standards.
If you are considering becoming a physician, nurse, surgeon, or administrator, check out the eight skills and qualities you will need in a healthcare career.
- Exceptional People Skills
Tensions can become frayed in a medical setting, and you may need to talk to patients and loved ones experiencing various emotions, such as frustration, anger, upset, or fear.
As you may need to convey tough news, calm emotions, or ease a person’s concerns, you must have exceptional people skills.
The essential skill can help you calm and reassure patients during the toughest moments of their lives. Plus, it can help you articulate what they can expect from a procedure, health condition, or treatment option in a friendly, trustworthy, and tactful manner.
Remember, you will need to regularly communicate with senior staff, colleagues, patients, and their loved ones from different countries and backgrounds. Therefore, you must adjust your communication style for different personalities, languages, and temperaments.
Compassion is one quality you must possess when working in healthcare. Medical professionals of all levels will often need to care for patients in distress or pain each day, and they may even feel fearful of their health and future.
If you don’t possess a caring nature or struggle with patience, a healthcare career might not be the correct path for you.
You will need to view worries and concerns from a patient or their loved one’s point of view, as it will help you understand their feelings, take the correct steps for their needs, and support a positive patient experience.
Every patient is different. Each will have specific symptoms, worries, phobias, and opinions, which you must listen to carefully. It will ensure you provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment option for their healthcare requirements.
If you don’t listen carefully, it could lead to a misdiagnosis, which may result in a patient’s disease or condition reaching an advanced stage that could shorten their lifespan or impact their quality of life.
If you pay attention to others when they speak and your mind doesn’t wander, you could flourish in a medical career. Provide patients with the highest standard of care by listening to their exact needs to ensure they receive immediate, effective treatment for a health condition and their desires.
- A Hard Work Ethic
A hard work ethic is a must-have quality when working in healthcare. You will need to wake up every day with a commitment to caring for patients, improving standards, and eliminating errors and mistakes.
However, a hard work ethic requires more than a commitment to work each day. You must display a professional attitude, arrive on schedule, and embody a healthcare organization’s values and standards.
Plus, you may need to complete shifts that exceed the typical 9-5 job, as it is common to work various unsociable hours.
Also, to climb the medical ladder, you must dedicate time to your current role and education. Yet, there are online degree programs that will fit around your busy career while helping you achieve your professional goals. For example, you can join an online DNP program to enter the highest nursing practice level and become a respected nursing leader.
- Good Stress Management
As many people’s health and quality of life are at stake, medical professionals must handle a significant amount of pressure.
Due to the pressures healthcare workers face daily, they are at greater risk of experiencing burnout without the correct stress management techniques.
To avoid significant exhaustion and a loss of passion in the role, learn how to handle substantial pressure in your career.
For example, practice self-care, separate work from home life and find ways to care for your mental health.
As stated, most healthcare careers don’t follow 9 to 5 hours. To enjoy success in a field, you must be a team player, which means possessing a flexible attitude.
There might be times when a colleague may need you to cover a shift, or you might be required to stay late due to staff absences or increased medical demand.
Healthcare organizations deal with new challenges, difficult patients, and unusual medical conditions every day, and you must be able to adapt to a department’s needs to support positive patient outcomes.
- Exceptional Time Management Skills
Most careers require good time management skills, but none more so than healthcare, as patients’ lives are on the line.
Due to healthcare demands, you might feel pulled in different directions each working day.
To manage a busy schedule without sacrificing patient standards, you must learn to prioritize and triage emergencies. Also, you may need to multi-task different jobs and meet deadlines while working under pressure.
- A Receptive Nature
Successful healthcare practitioners understand they don’t know everything. Despite extensive training, they must accept and act on criticism to create positive change and improve patient outcomes in an organization.
As medicine evolves at a rapid pace, healthcare practitioners must regularly expand their knowledge and skills to remain up to date on the latest changes in medicine, medical procedures, and technology.
If you can handle criticism well and adapt to changes throughout the years, you will enjoy success in your chosen field and earn the trust of your colleagues and senior management.
If you are considering a healthcare career, weigh up the above skills and qualities against your personality to identify if it is the right fit for you. With exceptional communication skills, a receptive attitude, a flexible nature, and a hard work ethic, you could enter a rewarding occupation in the field, such as a doctor, nurse, or healthcare administrator, to name a few options.