Today, workers are more versatile and adaptive than ever. In a job market that’s continuing to shift with technology and the demands of the digital world, people must pivot quickly to remain relevant. With that said, individuals who work in healthcare have an edge. That’s because society always needs their skills. Even though technology continues to advance rapidly, medical centers and hospitals need more patient-centered professionals now more than ever.
For instance, the demand for nurses is expected to increase by 9% between now and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s fantastic news for anyone who wants a career in nursing. In reality, these positions will never go away, become obsolete or lose demand from employers. So, it could be ideal for you if you love helping people and have an aptitude for this type of work.
But what if you already work in the healthcare field? What are the skills you should master to further advance in your career? Perhaps you’re considering getting an executive master of health administration, or maybe you’re eyeing a new role in leadership? Aside from your education, what other soft skills should you develop? We have the answers for you, so read on!
1. Communication skills
Communication is the foundation of every job. Clearly conveying thoughts and ideas to your coworkers and patients is crucial. It’s particularly crucial in healthcare because you deal with sensitive information. If you work in healthcare, you must keep your patient’s information private and confidential. In healthcare, you need to meet a patient’s right to know without causing alarm.
As communication is such an essential part of the healthcare industry, many schools offer specific courses to help students build their communication skills. Communication is also a skill that you can develop through work experiences. But remember, communication includes the message, tone and body language. So, if you currently work in healthcare and want to improve your communication abilities, try to become more vocal by speaking up at team meetings and offering your opinions.
If you love your job and plan to do it for the rest of your life, eventually you will face challenges. Healthcare workers need to know how to push through the stress and keep going. As a result, healthcare workers should be resilient. In particular, medical workers need to be resilient when dealing with sick people who might suffer from troubling symptoms and face challenging diagnoses.
So, how can you build resilience? There are many ways to train yourself to become more resilient. For instance, you can read books on the topic to better understand what it means to be resilient. You can also take part in meditation or mindfulness exercises to help you focus on the present and avoid dwelling on past regrets. Of course, you can also focus on your health and wellness. Being of sound mind and body helps with resilience.
3. Technology skills
It’s a fact that most workplaces embrace technology in one way or another. There are few places where it’s better represented than in healthcare. For example, almost every healthcare facility uses some form of electronic health records. Also, as we know, technology is advancing how patients are diagnosed and even how vaccines are developed. To stay relevant in the workplace, you should keep up with the latest developments. Fortunately, many universities and colleges offer computer science and information technology courses.
It’s no secret that healthcare is one of the first industries that continues to expand when it comes to technology. Healthcare workers should be proficient with the daily use of computers and other kinds of technology. Even if the technology hasn’t reached your organization, seeing what’s evolving in the industry prepares you. It could place you in a leadership role because you know what’s coming. You can also explore online training options if you want to learn the basics.
4. Organizational skills
Healthcare workers need to stay organized. You might keep track of patient information in a digital logbook or notebook, but you also need to know what’s happening in your facility and with your colleagues. For instance, it may mean you have to stay on top of your schedule or, you may need to remember when to administer specific treatments and keep track of patient interactions. All this takes organization.
If you feel like you’re struggling with this part of your job, try to find ways to stay more organized throughout the day. For example, you could try using organizational apps. You can also talk to your manager about new platforms and tools if you think it could help. Even as someone in the profession, you can train to improve your organizational skills.
5. Leadership skills
Healthcare workers should have the skills to lead others and encourage them to work toward common goals. If you work in a hospital, you may oversee nurses and ensure that the facility runs smoothly. If you work in a doctor’s office, perhaps you manage the administrative or healthcare workers. Leadership is not born. It’s made. So, you can train yourself to become a better leader. For example, you can read books on the topic or take part in leadership training courses. You can even participate in peer groups where you can share ideas with others in similar positions.
Often, healthcare workers need to lead teams and handle these responsibilities effectively. If you work in a hospital or doctor’s office, you may have direct reports or be responsible for managing people. You might find that you’re managing a team of older or younger people with more experience and expertise in a given area. In this case, leading effectively without alienating your teammates is crucial. Leadership skills can be challenging to develop. Fortunately, there are ways that you can improve your leadership skills and all it takes is a bit of effort and will.
When managing a team, it’s important to remember that you are dealing with people. Mismanaging your team could have a negative impact on their productivity. It could also create an unproductive atmosphere for the rest of the group. Skilled management is particularly important if your team members have more experience. In many cases, managing a team includes providing regular feedback, assigning tasks and helping your team members to reach their full potential. While leadership skills are essential for anyone who wants to work in management, you’ll also need to know the essential functions of management.
If you want to move into a managerial role at some point in your career, you need to understand management. In short, you need to understand people management, finance and budgets. That’s because managers must know their numbers and how to use them to make the best departmental decisions. Generally, to move into a managerial role, you need to understand revenue, profit and loss. You need to understand financial management to work in leadership and administration. Knowing how to manage people and finances properly allows you to make positive critical decisions for your department and as you know, that’s a good thing for the organization and your career.
7. Patient experience
Working in healthcare allows you to impact the patient experience directly. Sometimes in healthcare, a patient may not find an experience to be excellent. Moreover, you may not have influence over the incident directly. Still, you can be a part of the team making it happen. When choosing a healthcare career, you should consider the patient experience. For instance, you should ask yourself how your work directly impacts patients. If you’re unsure, talk to your manager or other healthcare workers in the field. Ask them how your work impacts the patient experience and what you can do to improve it.
However, if you’re not in direct patient care and care about the patient experience, for instance by working in administration, you may need to learn more about the overall patient experience. If you want to help your organization become more patient-friendly, this can take many forms. For one, you could make the patient intake process better and easier. You could also increase the level of communication and interactions with patients. These things impact the patient experience, especially if done with compassion and care.
8. Emotional intelligence
As you know, you’ll find yourself dealing with all types of people as you progress through your career. If you’re in management, you’re likely in a position where you must give other people feedback. Perhaps you need to gauge their performance or general job satisfaction. Performing this task requires emotional intelligence. If you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you can control your emotions. In addition, you sense what others may think and feel, which is a vital skill in management and healthcare.
Healthcare work tends to be incredibly emotionally demanding. You deal with people who are under a lot of stress or with serious diseases that are causing them pain. A significant example is what occurred in healthcare during the pandemic. So, it’s important to recognize when someone experiences an emotion. Further, you need to identify what that emotion might be and know what you can do if needed. Therefore, if you want to grow to become a better leader or manager, it’s vital to develop your emotional intelligence.
9. Organizational finance
Finally, top leaders become familiar with the basic concepts of organizational finance. Even if you don’t lead a whole organization, you can prepare yourself for a leadership position. Those who understand administrative finance make better decisions about spending, which ultimately improves the organization, and your career. With a basic understanding of financial terms, you can identify budgeting problems and devise solutions to fix them.
Organizations are expected to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible in today’s world. If you work in a hospital setting, you may have to purchase healthcare equipment, which is expensive. You may also need to ensure that your team has the necessary resources to complete their tasks. As a manager, working on the organization’s financial side could be something you get asked to do. At times, managers complete organizational financial training to become more proficient in their jobs if they have responsibility for corporate budgets.
Enter into a booming industry
The healthcare industry is booming. As a result, plenty of opportunities exist for individuals who want to work and grow in this field. However, it’s always essential to make sure that you have the necessary skills and experience. If you love helping people and enjoy being hands-on, working in healthcare is an ideal line of work. However, continuously developing your skills makes sense because it increases opportunities for your career.
The healthcare industry is expected to grow over the next 10 years. Again, demand will always exist for people in healthcare, but if you’re interested in advancing in healthcare, continuously training for your career is essential. For competitiveness, you should develop a wide range of skills to succeed in this industry. Moreover, it’s best to begin as early as possible.
Today, workers are more versatile and adaptive than ever. In a job market that’s continuing to shift with technology and the demands of the digital world, people must pivot quickly to remain relevant. With that said, individuals who work in healthcare have an edge because their skills are always necessary.
Working as a healthcare worker is challenging at times. There are delicate and sensitive situations you may deal with on any given day. However, developing and improving other skills that extend beyond your technical job knowledge help. Developing emotional intelligence and financial acumen, for example, position you better for your next job. The reality is that the field of healthcare is exciting. It’s continuously evolving and changing, which makes it incredibly exciting. If you love helping people and have an aptitude for this type of work, keep going.