A great career in healthcare takes more than a top-notch degree and hands-on training. Nowadays health employers are looking at more on your CV than just your technical abilities. As a result, it is also important to develop soft skills. These are personal attributes or traits that will help you a lot when you start working as a healthcare professional
In this article, we are going to take a look at many soft skills that you should acquire to work as a medical assistant, doctor, respiratory therapist, nurse, pharmacy technician, or other healthcare position. Here is a list of what we will talk about:
- What are the most important skills health employers look for?
- Other important skills to have when working in the healthcare industry
- How can we help you find a healthcare job in the UAE?
1. What are the most important skills health employers look for?
1.1 Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Critical thinking is necessary for almost every healthcare job. Healthcare workers need to be able to perform physical examinations, test hypotheses, ask the right questions, observe, and draw conclusions to diagnose and treat patients. Critical thinking is not just an ability, but a habit that can be developed throughout the years.
Although critical thinking can be learned in the classroom, it needs to be applied during real-world training in the hospital; therefore, you can develop the habit of using critical thinking in your workday. According to the Association of Colleges and Employers, critical thinking abilities are the top priority for health employers when hiring healthcare workers.
Although the ability to think critically is one of the most essential skills for health employers, they think that the average recent graduate is only “somewhat proficient” in critical thinking. This means that, while healthcare employers think critical thinking abilities are 99.2% essential, only 55.8% of graduates have good critical thinking skills.
1.1.1 How can you develop critical thinking skills?
By deliberately focusing on active learning and problem solving, students will begin to develop and apply critical thinking skills to their work. Active learning can occur through many opportunities. Whether it be a cooperative educational opportunity, practicums, an internship, field experience, or labs, active learning puts the students directly in situations that they would be handling in their careers. By doing so, the student will not only gain real-world experience but also will be able to put their problem-solving abilities to the test and truly begin to develop them.
Critical thinking skills can also be learned through engaging students in problem-solving activities during class. By being involved in class discussions, clinical cases, and engaging with other classmates and the professor, you will not only develop your problem-solving skills but will also work on your teamwork and collaboration skills.
In the healthcare field, you must empathize with patients, their families, and the difficult situations they are facing. Empathy is not just about caring for patients; it is more about putting yourself in the shoes of the patients, so you can understand the pain, adversity, and suffering those patients and their families are going through. This can be tough at times for healthcare workers so you need to find a balance where you care and feel empathy for patients, but these difficult situations do not affect your mental health.
1.3 Communication skills
The core of a workplace is communication, and healthcare workplaces are not the exception. Healthcare workers need to know how to speak with patients and their families while also being proficient at communicating with other healthcare workers.
According to the IHC (Institute for Healthcare Communication), evidence indicates that there is a strong correlation between a healthcare professional’s communication skills and a patient’s capacity to follow through with medical treatments and recommendations, adopt preventive health behaviors, and self-manage a chronic medical condition.
Unfortunately, communication skills are declining in this technological day and age. Shooting a quick text to your family or friends usually does not include proper grammar, which in turn, can damage your written communication skills. Additionally, the lack of face-to-face conversation is increasing the levels of social anxiety and making it difficult for people to connect with others. 95.9% of health employers find communication skills a priority in the workplace, but they believe that only 66.5% of candidates demonstrate efficiency in those abilities.
1.3.1 How can you improve your oral communication skills?
Over-communication is one area that is relatively simple to improve. The simpler the message, the more likely the message is to be understood. When working in a healthcare facility, keep your message clear, short, and concise.
Another way of improving your oral communication is by engaging the audience. By not only speaking but also by creating a conversation, you can communicate your ideas to others as well as hear their thoughts on the matter.
Last but not least, be a good listener. To improve your communication skills effectively, you first and foremost must be a great listener. Always listen with the intention to understand others, not to respond or keep talking about yourself. By genuinely paying attention to what others have to say, you will be able to provide more thoughtful answers and have a meaningful conversation.
1.3.2 How can you improve your written skills?
In many health careers, written communication skills are almost as important as oral communication skills. Remember that you will work with medical records. You can begin to improve your written communication skills by practicing how to organize and write down your thoughts efficiently. Always, proofread everything you write to see if it sounds jumbled. If your work involves electronic health records, you can use tools like Microsoft readability tool or Grammarly that will make your life easier by detecting any typo you write.
Healthcare workers need to be flexible with their working schedules to ensure the patients are taken care of. That might include overnight shifts, working on the weekends, or even on holidays. Most health careers do not stick to typical the 9-to-5 workday; therefore, it will be difficult for you to find a healthcare job if you are the type of person who likes to have a rigid work schedule.
Beyond just dealing with your working schedules, you also have to be adaptable to handle different, changing, or new environments. Healthcare professionals deal with something different every day. As a result, if you do not know how to adapt to changes you may struggle in a healthcare facility.
68.6% of health employers are looking for graduates with leadership skills, however, most employers think only 32% of employees demonstrate leadership qualities. By combining skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, empathy, work ethic, and communication skills, you can become a great leader in the workplace.
First, you need to find your leadership style. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and your standards of excellence, so you can develop your leadership style around those attributes. Once you have crafted your leadership style, you have to create a culture of self-reinforcing behavior and practices in your medical facility.
When people see that you are passionate and enthusiastic about your work, they too get excited about their duties. By creating this upbeat culture, efficiency, workflow, and productivity will increase as a consequence. Alternatively, a lack of passion and enthusiasm will have a negative impact on the workplace culture.
1.5.1 How can you develop your leadership skills?
Evaluating your set of skills, establishing your strengths, and more importantly, your weaknesses that need to be improved upon is the first step to becoming a leader. By practicing and improving your set of skills, you will suddenly become more desirable to health employers and will be looked upon as a leader.
2. Other important skills to have when working in the healthcare industry
2.1 Stress management
In healthcare, lives are continuously at stake. The most successful healthcare professionals not only know how to handle high-intensity situations but also perform well in them. However, according to studies, healthcare workers have a higher risk of burnout than other white-collar jobs.
As a result, healthcare workers that do not have a stress-management plan will get burned out at some point. Burnout can be described as the experience of diminished interest in work and long-term exhaustion.
2.2 Collaboration and teamwork
While college group projects at times may feel burdensome, these assignments will prepare you for the healthcare environment. Teamwork is one of the main requirements for all healthcare jobs across the spectrum. From healthcare administration jobs to pharmacists, nurses to healthcare assistants, collaboration and teamwork are a vital part of keeping a healthcare facility running smoothly.
Many healthcare environments are like team sports, with many people working toward the same goal, patient care. Everyone has a different set of skills and attributes that they bring to the table. By interacting with your co-workers, you will provide a better healthcare service. Therefore, it is vital that you learn how to collaborate with your colleagues for the best interest of the patient
97.5% of health employers think collaboration and teamwork are important traits in the workplace. However, they believe that only 77% of graduates possess these skills. Health employers strive for graduates with those skills because they can promote unity and positiveness in the workplace, improve productivity, promote work synergy, and provide new learning opportunities.
2.3 Positive attitude
All employees can benefit from a positive mental attitude in the workplace. However, in a healthcare facility, this soft skill is particularly useful. Because of the stress of working in large teams, the demands of the job, and the frequent meetings with patients and their families, it is important that healthcare workers keep a sunny outlook. The harsh realities of a healthcare environment can easily wear someone down, so being positive will always be of value.
2.4 Work ethic
Work ethic is basically a set of values based on hard work and honesty. There are many components of work ethic, including punctuality, professionalism, and overall attitude and behavior. Some businesses define work ethic as the belief in the importance of hard work and its ability to strengthen character.
Because healthcare jobs go beyond the standard 9-to-5 schedule, it is vital that health employees develop a strong work ethic. Healthcare is intrinsically a demanding field. The working hours are long. The subject matter can be harsh. Without the drive to succeed in your career, you may quit.
As a result, there is one thing every health employer has in common. They want their healthcare employees to have a strong work ethic and be professional. Whatever the specialty you find yourself in the medical industry, you will always need to have a great work ethic.
In fact, most medical employers rate professionalism as essential but stated that just 42.5% of medical employees exhibit these traits. No matter what health career you choose, your employer will expect you to have a strong work ethic.
3. How can we help you find a healthcare job in the UAE?
If you are looking to work as a healthcare professional in the UAE, here at Connect Health we can help you find the job of your dreams. Feel free to sign up and apply for medical jobs on our webpage. Make sure to read the requirements of the job carefully before applying for any healthcare vacancy.
Conversely, if you are looking for a medical professional in the UAE, we can help you find the best talent for your institution. We have an extensive database of potential candidates where you can find the perfect fit for your business. In addition, you can post a new vacancy on our webpage, too.
Would you like to contact Connect Health to obtain more information about job openings for healthcare professionals in the UAE? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call at +971 43 316 688 to talk to one of our agents that will gladly answer all of your questions.