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Our previous blog post explored the significance of stress management, open mindset, time management, empathy, and communication skills for a healthcare career. While the skills mentioned above are the foundation for having any career in healthcare, we wanted to throw light upon the skills needed to shine as clinicians. This article discusses the five critical skills essential for a career as a doctor/nurse.
Being a good team player is critical to saving lives. Delivering health care to patients requires the entire and effective gamut of medical professionals to sync with each other. According to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, high levels of collaboration within the team translate to better patient outcomes. This is because an effective team always communicates with each other and collates their observations, expertise, and decisions to optimize care delivery.
Work ethics comprise professionalism, attitude, punctuality, commitment, and behavior. It can be defined as the moral impact of work that builds and strengthens a person's character. However, holding ethical values and principles that run contrary to the practices of fellow professionals and healthcare institutions may lead to healthcare professionals feeling confused and experiencing a conflict with their internal value system. As a result of the consequent friction within their work environments, clinicians may experience burnout. It is, therefore, important for medical professionals to develop strong work ethics and reach out to colleagues and seniors objectively when conflicts arise.
Being flexible is at the core of working with a team of healthcare workers because several healthcare jobs don't adhere to a strict 9 to 5 schedule. Clinicians often need to perform the shift for a peer or stay late to provide care for an ill patient. They also need to constantly adapt to changing environments, technology, social diversities, laws, and regulations. Doctors and nurses must keep an open mind and be flexible enough to juggle between challenging and conflicting workloads and priorities. Failure to exhibit high levels of adaptability may affect the quality of work delivered by clinicians and obstruct their growth trajectory.
It might seem too obvious to say that healthcare professionals must be confident in themselves. But is it? The risks involved in practicing as a healthcare worker are quite unlike the risks in other client-facing jobs. One wrong diagnosis or administration of medicine can turn out to be fatal for patients and lead to license cancellations or malpractice litigations. Adverse treatment outcomes, medical complications, and the resultant litigations can often be a painful journey for clinicians, negatively impacting their confidence levels for a long time to come. Yet, clinicians need the self-confidence to perform on the job. They need to believe that they are the right person to treat the patient at any given moment to be effective. Hence, clinicians must build unwavering confidence to the point of resilience to sail through the tides of their profession.
Medical professionals need to hone their ability to pay attention more than their peers in other professions for several reasons. The very nature of health care work demands attention at multiple levels ranging from individual patient care and work environment to the complexity of care delivered. Besides technical competence, the medical line of work requires a high level of emotional control that can steer professionals past pain and death and allow them to pay attention to the patient's need of the hour. As such, the medical professionals' environment is redundant with disturbances such as loud corridor chats, violent creaking noises from doors and equipment, and people passing through the unit. It is imperative that healthcare workers enhance their ability to focus amidst external disturbances to ensure proper patient care delivery.
The quality of patient care delivery is a function of high performance determined by focus, technical expertise, teamwork, and a strong character. Clinicians must constantly be on the watch and work on themselves to succeed in their careers and to pull patients and themselves out of the rough patches of life.