Plenty of jobs take place in a healthcare environment. Because of the need to help patients and work with vulnerable people, these roles are anything but easy, which is why it takes a special kind of person to thrive there.
Whether you want to become a counselor, nurse, or dentist, here are nineteen essential skills you will need to work in a medical setting.
1: Quick Learning
While you might have learned all that you could during your healthcare degree, you must also pick up lots of new information along the way. To do this, you must be a quick learner. This will mean that if a new kind of technology or piece of equipment is introduced, you will have no problem learning its methods.
Quick learning is also helpful during your studying years. If you are doing a human services degree, you will have a better time understanding psychological disorders and social discrimination if your brain absorbs information quickly.
Working in a medical setting means having bounds of confidence, even if you do not know everything. After all, a patient will not feel comfortable in your hands if you seem shy or unsure of your abilities. Confidence is not about being loud, though – it is about having meaning in all of your actions.
If you decide to pursue a certain medical method, and your knowledge and experience tell you it is the right decision, do not start overthinking it. Remember that you are where you are for a reason, so have confidence in that, and if you ever feel you need a second opinion, do not hesitate to seek it out.
One of the benefits of working in a healthcare setting is getting flexible hours. After all, healthcare is needed at all hours of the day! For this, though, you need to be flexible yourself. That means if you have a rigid schedule for the day, you can shift things around in order to accommodate a change in your obligations. You never know what is going to come up in a medical setting, which means never having set expectations about your day.
When visiting a healthcare clinic or hospital, you expect to be treated by professionals who are polite, professional and know what they are doing. To ensure you meet your patient’s and co-worker’s expectations, then, you must keep a certain level of professionalism at all times. Some ways to do this include:
- Dressing Correctly
- Always Having the Necessary Equipment
- Using the Correct Terminology
- Respecting Everyone Around You
- Avoiding Workplace Drama/Gossip
Being able to understand what your patients are going through is crucial for working in a medical setting. Without it, you would struggle to provide the best healthcare that you can. By being empathetic, you will have an easier time understanding the patient’s emotions, which will, in turn, lead to better care and easier diagnosis.
The chances are you will have learned how to work well as a team during your nursing or human services degree. It is also important to up those skills, though, especially in a medical setting. Most healthcare professions require you to work alongside other medical workers, meaning you must communicate effectively and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities. The key to a smooth-running medical workplace is great teamwork!
7: Tech Skills
Technology is a huge part of healthcare, which means that any person working in a medical setting must have at least some minimal tech skills. For example, you might need to work with Electronic Medical Records or smart beds.
Tech skills are important during your studies, too, especially if you are doing an online course such as a human services degree. By knowing how to work a computer and learn new tech, you will have an easier time getting through your studies and adapting to any medical environment.
8: Attention to Detail
A lot goes on in a medical setting. To work in one you must pay attention to all of the little details. That could mean a patient who needs seeing to, a note on a patient’s records, or an area that needs cleaning. By noticing the little things, you will have an easier time ensuring you do not miss anything important.
9: A Sense of Humor
A sense of humor might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking about medical skills, but it is a must. After all, when you are spending most of your time helping the sick or vulnerable, it is crucial to laugh from time to time. Not only is it good for you, but it also helps lift the spirits of your co-workers and your patients. It means that rather than letting a mistake drag you down and affect your ability to provide care, you can simply laugh it off and carry on with enthusiasm.
Disorganization has no place in a medical setting. Not only do you need to keep track of equipment and patients, but you must also be able to keep track of time, which requires strong organizational skills. That means:
- Sticking to Schedule – While you must be flexible, it is also important to start by following a schedule. That way, you are more likely to complete all of the necessary tasks.
- Keeping a Diary – A diary is a must if you want to keep track of what you need to do. Use one to record meetings, shifts, and random notes you need to refer to later.
- Time Management – If you have previously done an online course like a human services degree, you will understand the importance of time management. By managing your time, you ensure you complete your work, avoid lateness, and still have time to spare at the end of the day.
- Having a Checklist – You must be prepared wherever you are in a medical setting. If you work as a counselor, for example, it is important you always have patient records when necessary and always have a notepad and pen handy.
11: A Strong Work Ethic
There is no denying the incredible importance of healthcare. As someone who works in a medical setting, you must be willing to put in all your effort during every shift, no matter what. After all, patients will be relying on you! To ensure you can do this, you must have a strong work ethic. Whether you have studied a human services degree to become a patient advocate or completed dentist school to work as an orthodontist, you started your healthcare journey with passion, and it must continue.
No patient wants to be treated by a healthcare professional who looks like they have never smiled in their entire life. While it is impossible to feel great all the time, you must radiate positivity throughout your shifts. By doing this, you will make the patients feel more at ease, which will in turn make your job easier.
13: Self-Care Skills
No medical field is easy. While it might be your passion to help people or to work in a hospital, you must understand that there will come a time where you will feel overwhelmed, and you must know what to do in this situation. Self-care skills come in handy here. To look after yourself better, you must:
- Get Enough Sleep – Sleep is crucial for everyone, but especially those who work in healthcare. While your shifts might be all over the place, you must get enough sleep wherever you can so that you can concentrate while you are at work.
- Eat Well – Your body needs enough vitamins and nutrients in order to function, so make sure you eat a great diet. Don’t worry – that does not mean hours in the kitchen after a twelve-hour shift thanks to easy to cook home recipes.
- Maintain a Social Life – Just because you work in a medical setting does not mean your entire life has to revolve around healthcare. To maintain a positive mindset, make sure you keep up with all your friends and go out when you can.
- Move More Often – Depending on your healthcare role, you might already be on your feet all day. Either way, it is important to get a sweat on when you can to benefit from good exercise. A run, hike, or swim at the weekend is always a good idea!
- Keep a Positive Home Life – You should not return from work only to be confronted by a negative home environment. To ensure your home life lifts your mood, focus on uplifting décor, bright spaces, and comfortable furniture. If you live with family, you should also prioritize spending plenty of time with them.
To work well with patients and co-workers, you will need to get better at communication. That means speaking clearly, relaying information correctly, and listening to everything the other person has to say. For some this is a natural skill, but for others it is something that they must work on.
Fortunately, degrees such as a human services degree will prepare you for better communication in a healthcare setting. Just remember to speak up when you have the knowledge and to listen when you do not.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light will not come in.” ? Isaac Asimov
Everybody needs medical care regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion, or background. As someone working around patients, you must be open-minded.
If you want to become more open-minded before working in a medical setting, you should consider your degree options and what sort of course material they have on offer. By doing a human services degree, you will quickly learn what it means to become open-minded, as you will learn more about diversity and discrimination in the medical world as well as communities in general.
16: Interpersonal Skills
Anyone in a healthcare setting should have interpersonal skills. How else would you help put someone at ease, get the right answers to your questions, and ensure they leave with a positive impression? By having excellent interpersonal skills, you will be able to communicate with both your patients and co-workers effectively and professionally.
While you should have confidence in your abilities, it is also important to be humble in a medical setting. After all, there is so much to learn and by having humility, you ensure you are always open to trying things a different way and learning new information. Plus, nobody likes someone who already thinks they know everything!
A course like a human services degree will help you learn a little more humility, as you will come to learn about diversity, prejudice, various communities, and human psychology. It is the kind of degree that will help you thrive in medical environments such as social services and non-profit organizations.
18: Emotion Control
While it is normal to feel happy, sad, scared, and confused from time to time during your shifts, it is important to be able to keep the big emotions inside, especially when around patients. As someone working in a medical environment, it is your responsibility to provide a place of care, which means keeping your calm no matter what. This is hard, especially if you are around very sick patients every day, but it is a skill you must possess to succeed.
What is the point in working in a medical setting if you are not passionate about healthcare? By being passionate about your particular role, you ensure you go to work each day prepared to give it your all, benefiting both your career and the patients you come across. If you are doing a human services degree, for example, it is crucial you are passionate about human psychology and bettering communities as a whole.
Working in a medical setting is not easy. Whether you are doing a human services degree to pursue a career in counseling or you are an already qualified nurse, you should work on these skills to get better at your role.