Important Skills, Attributes & Personality Traits that Are Both Necessary Or Desirable For A Career In Healthcare

A career in the healthcare profession is one of the most respected, all-encompassing careers that is as highly rewarding as it is challenging and demanding. There is a wide plethora of different sections and specialisms within the healthcare industry that a qualified professional or someone just starting out can choose to pursue.

With that in mind, continue reading to discover the most important skills, attributes, and personality traits that are both necessary or desirable for a career in the healthcare industry.

Compassion & Empathy

Regardless of the specific section of the healthcare profession you are entering into, a high level of compassion and empathy is of utmost and paramount importance.

Empathy, if one tried to define it succinctly, is the ability of an individual to appreciate, share and understand the emotions and feelings of others. Healthcare and medical professionals need to successfully assess, diagnose and treat individuals without overtly bonding with them or knowing them at all.

Healthcare professionals who have, utilized and displayed high levels of empathy ahead of becoming a working healthcare professional, which include:

  • Improvement of cultural knowledge and competence
  • Boost in productivity and efficiency
  • Elevation in customer satisfaction
  • Higher levels of job enjoyment
  • Encouragement and strengthening of leadership skills
  • The aptitude and a competitive edge

A Passion For Learning

Just as part of any role within the healthcare industry involves educating patients and their loved ones as to the correct cause of treatment, for example, a healthcare professional’s educational journey is truly never complete.

A genuine passion for learning is another necessary prerequisite for a career in healthcare of longevity and copious rewards.

Excellent Communication Skills

As in any other profession, which heavily involves working directly with members of the public, excellent communication and strong interpersonal skills are incredibly important. There are a multitude of tried and tested ways to improve one’s communication and interpersonal skills, including working on your active listening, putting forward your thoughts and opinions in a concise yet informal way, and regularly practicing the art of self-awareness.

There are a host of benefits to working on one’s communication skills, both to the professional and personal aspects of a person’s life.

More effective and well-thought-out communication and conversation foster and nurture a feeling of trust and bonding between two people, and as a leader, people will naturally place their faith in you and your role and support and believe you are making the best decisions for the good of the team.

Proper and effective communication also resolves and, in some cases, even prevents problems arising, provides direction and a strong sense of clarity, and overall creates stronger and constantly improving interpersonal relationships. 

The Ability To Compartmentalize

In some cases, especially with people who have experienced a severe psychological or physical trauma, compartmentalization can actually be a negative and altogether automatic reaction and can cause problems with their emotional health and wellbeing.

Conversely, however, actively applying and strengthening your ability to compartmentalize when working in the medical profession and healthcare industry can be not only a useful emotional tool but also an entirely necessary mental process.

Dependent entirely on the specific field of healthcare you choose to pursue, it is more than likely that, certainly in the first few years of professional work, you will be exposed to a wide variety of people and situations that could be distressing or genuinely traumatic.

To provide the best possible level of medical care, a healthcare professional needs to be able to separate their personal and professional reactions and emotions when diagnosing and treating patients, which is why the ability to compartmentalize is of optimum importance.

Organizational Skills

A person who displays a strong sense of organization and who possesses a wholly methodical approach to their working life will be in a prime position to successfully manage the plethora of roles, duties, and responsibilities that come along with a career in the healthcare industry.

When unpacking exactly what organizational skills on the whole actually are, there are several key aspects of organization that are most applicable and useful to a medical professional.

Target and goal setting is a strong part of organization and shows ambition and a forward-thinking attitude. An individual who is self-motivated and who sets personal and professional goals that inspire them to work hard towards a single target and who meet said target is an attractive sell for an employer.

A natural desire to pay attention to the smallest details is, quite obviously, a vital aspect of the professional world of medicine and healthcare, and working towards strengthening this particular skill will stand you in incredibly good stead for the future.

Other aspects of strong and even impressive organizational skills include decision-making, strategic planning, working under pressure, analytical thinking, self-motivation, delegation, and an ability to manage time effectively.

If you are someone who strives to improve their organizational skills, you should attempt to keep to a stricter schedule, make lists to ensure no step is missed out of a particular task, and focus on communication with your colleagues.

The Route Towards A Professional Career In Healthcare

There are a wide range of different routes into a career in the medical profession and even more specialisms within the healthcare industry, depending on what you want to do. It doesn’t have to mean you need to become a doctor, if you want to be a nurse, or even work in administration.

To become a professional and fully qualified working nurse, it is necessary to successfully acquire an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in nursing or else complete one of the specially designed accelerated nursing programs from a renowned and respected online university. To become a medical doctor in the United States, after completing a bachelor’s degree, you are required to enroll in medical school before completing a medical residency and obtaining your licensure.

Other careers, aside from doctors and nurses, in the healthcare industry include, but are categorically in no way limited to:

  • Dentist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Surgeon
  • Pharmacist
  • Anesthesiologist
  • MRI Technologist