The healthcare industry is set for explosive growth as global populations grow older and wealthier, but many aspiring newcomers to the field are uncertain of the skills they should be developing to ensure a long-term future for themselves. Healthcare employers may be trying to scoop up new professionals in droves, but that doesn't mean they want sloppy, unskilled laborers - to make it big, you need an alluring set of soft skills.
Here are 5 soft skills that healthcare employers desire in their employees, and how you can go about developing them to guarantee a well-paying job in your future career.
1. Patient communication
Perhaps the most important soft skill that any budding healthcare employee can develop is the ability to communicate effectively with patients. Medical school and your early-industry experience will help you understand the jargon of the industry, and you'll also accrue experience talking with doctors and other highly-skilled medical professionals who are used to complex conversations on medical subjects. Talking with patients is a whole different matter, however, and you'll quickly discover that it's one of the most difficult yet rewarding aspects of the healthcare profession.
The importance of emotional intelligence when it comes to communicating with patients can't be understated. Healthcare employers want to hire workers who can determine how patients feel, even when they're being noncooperative, as this is an essential part of discovering what's wrong and helping to fix it.
2. Humility is imperative
For those aspiring young professionals who hope to attain fancy degrees and gain an aura of importance, it's worthwhile to consider how important humility is to long-term success. The medical field is jam-packed with competitive workers who, thanks to the rigor of medical school and the complex nature of their industry, develop a superiority complex that can be grating for others to deal with. Older doctors with seniority in their hospital are infamous for sometimes lacking humility with addressing younger colleagues, especially if they're from underprivileged backgrounds.
It's imperative to understand that humility is always needed in healthcare - you're here to help people, not to brag, and being full of yourself is something that healthcare employers will quickly pick up on. Interviewers want to hear you boast about your ability to improve their team with your skills, but they also need to hear about how you won't upend the apple cart and get other workers to resent you.
3. Good time management skills
It's not an exaggeration to say that your time management skills could ultimately end up saving a life if you become a healthcare professional. After all, some patients are at death's door when they're being wheeled into an emergency room, and medical professionals always need to be prepared for a sudden crunch where multiple patient's lives may be on the line. For newcomers to the healthcare industry trying to bolster their employability, it's important to establish good time management skills for yourself so that you remain productive and in charge even in the event of a crisis.
Still, healthcare can be disastrous difficult and immensely wearing on the professionals expected to deliver it to patients. It's thus worthwhile to review a guide to better time management for healthcare professionals if you're struggling to get your calendar in order.
4. You must collaborate with others
Male healthcare employers dressed in their men's scrubs aren't looking for the next Doogie Howser who can solve the world's problems on their own - they want competent employees who can collaborate well with others. Collaboration is the key to success in the modern world, with workers being able to achieve infinitely more when working together than when they're all alone. Before you try to ace your next interview by talking about how much work you can single-handedly shoulder, then, you should consider stressing your ability to get along well with others and work as a member of a team.
Healthcare units must be cohesive, as industry professionals need to know one another well to work together in order to save lives. Don't be afraid to open up to your coworkers, and never miss an opportunity to collaborate with someone else in a fashion that will bolster both of your careers.
5. Understand you need to be flexible
Finally, you can improve your chances of being hired by being immensely flexible. Ask any healthcare professional who works in HR what the number one problem their department faces is, and they'll likely tell you it's employee retention. Healthcare HR is inundated with ways that organizations can recover from employee turnover because so many in the industry don't possess the flexibility needed to endure in it for long.
Healthcare employers want workers who can stick around for the long-term, and that means being flexible and staying on your toes. Keep an open mind and never forget that you need to adapt to survive, and you'll be an alluring option to healthcare employers in no time.