For the budding medical professional, taking your first steps into a new career can be exciting, and on occasion, daunting. What does it take for someone to excel in the healthcare sector – to be the difference between where medicine is simply a pay check, to where you’re someone that’s helping to drive change and make the most out of the industry?
Let’s take some time to explore some of the skills that are needed, no matter whether you’re a surgeon or a nurse – and how undertaking healthcare courses in Australia can be more than one part of your broader educational journey.
Stay Current With Your Qualifications
It’s important that when pursuing a career in the medical sector, you’re aware of any requirements that may preclude you from being accredited by an agency such as the Australian Health Practitioner Registry Agency (AHPRA). There are a number of significant safeguards in place in the Australian medical sector, designed to ensure that qualified and registered professionals are the only ones that are working in the medical industry.
This is crucial – this reinforces trust in the medical sector and prevents bad actors from coming in and making a mockery of the medical industry. Be sure to look up any qualification requirements – and if you’ve lapsed or are out of date, be sure to undertake refresher courses or additional education to make up the shortfall.
A Compassionate Advocate
While qualifications are without a doubt, essential when in the medical industry, another critical area that is not easily picked up at university is bedside manner – also known as the ability for a medical student to demonstrate soft skills such as empathy and active listening.
Being in any medical facility can often be a difficult and sometimes traumatic experience, so having the ability to communicate actively, work in a team, and resolve conflicts will be what distinguishes you from a medical professional that just attends work for the pay check.
Additionally, being able to work on soft skills such as stress management and problem-solving can also be incredibly powerful enablers, when looking to enhance the quality of your work. Being able to learn from the experience of others, as well as separating the work you do from the way patients may react, will really help you stand out in a field where being able to care for a patient’s wellbeing is just as important as their physical needs.
The Organised Professional
Being organised is a key trait of successful medical professionals. In areas such as nursing, good time management can lead to significant productivity benefits, such as a high level of work quality, and decreased stress. It’s therefore imperative that as a medical professional, you have a high degree of self-awareness and are able to manage your time effectively.
If you’re looking to improve your time management skills, there are a variety of practice activities available online. You can even fit some of these into your home life, and use reinforcement to make it a part of your everyday work ethic. For those that are looking to become the best medical professional they can be, even honing existing time management skills is a great way to improve the quality of your work.
An Excellent Communicator
Regardless of where you work in the medical profession, being able to be an effective communicator is a master skill that few truly achieve. Having an understanding of the inherent biases that you may have as an individual, as well as knowing of a range of ways to communicate with patients is a great way to enhance your professional skillset and excel in the medical profession.
One harrowing statistic from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners found that more than 80% of diagnostic errors were considered preventable. Given that the approximately 140,000 errors resulted in an estimated 2000-4000 deaths, it highlights just how critical communication is.
Putting it All Together
Ultimately, to excel in the medical profession, having the ability to demonstrate competencies in both technical knowledge as well as using soft skills to enhance your work is not only preferred but in many situations, critical. If you think now’s the time to pursue a career in the medical profession, don’t be afraid to jump online and discover courses that might interest you.
Medical professionals form a fundamental part of the services that we use on a day-to-day basis. No matter whether you’re a nurse, a counsellor, a doctor, or a surgeon, being aware of your competencies in the soft skills mentioned in this article may not only help you excel in your career – it may just save a life.