Healthcare Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Improve

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career as a healthcare provider requires you to have a wide range of technical skills to provide the best healthcare services and soft skills to provide the best possible patient care. These professionals might employ unique skills depending on the patient and situation. If you plan to become a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, it might be beneficial to know the skills required to provide the best healthcare service to patients.

In this article, we explain what healthcare skills are, list some examples, provide steps to improve these skills and explore how to highlight them during your job search.

What Are Healthcare Skills?

Healthcare skills are technical and soft skills essential for people working in the healthcare sector. These skills help you showcase why you are an ideal choice for a job role and what differentiates you from other candidates. Your healthcare abilities help you engage with patients, influence how to communicate with them and provide optimum healthcare services. While some healthcare professions might require specific skills, many healthcare jobs require similar skills.

Examples Of Healthcare Skills

While a registered nurse and doctor might require specific skills based on their specialisation, most healthcare providers require the following skills for a successful career:


Being flexible is an essential skill of a healthcare professional because their schedule might vary depending upon the patient and facility in which they work. Although routine tasks might be the same, no two days of a healthcare provider are the same. In addition, employers expect these professionals to think about the event of an emergency and unforeseen events. The ability to adapt to new patients with ease, poise and confidence is beneficial for this role.

Communication skills

Whether you work as a nurse or healthcare consultant, you are likely to interact with patients and your colleagues. Communication skills help you communicate with others. Healthcare providers require proficiency in verbal, non-verbal and written communication. Having excellent communication skills reduces the chances of miscommunication and confusion. These skills are essential during highly emotional situations where these professionals might give clear explanations to diffuse the tension and make the patient and family members feel relaxed.

Positive attitude

Having a positive attitude is essential when interacting with patients and colleagues. Being positive in a healthcare facility helps you work with strenuous and challenging situations. This shows employers you can handle complex situations. The harsh realities of a medical facility can be challenging to manage, so employers prefer healthcare professionals who can stay positive and reduce workplace stress.

Critical thinking skills

Thinking critically, weighing the pros and cons and making informed decisions about a patient's life are essential for becoming a successful healthcare provider. Critical thinking skills involve the ability to handle complex workplace situations by developing creative solutions. These skills also become helpful when unexpected events occur.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions And Examples

Attention to detail

To provide optimum patient care, it is essential to focus on many details. Whether booking a patient's appointment or treating a medical condition, having attention to detail helps you serve the customer. Including this skill on your resume shows employers you are less likely to make mistakes and overlook important details.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

Receptive attitude

Having a receptive attitude is another essential skill of a healthcare provider. A receptive attitude means you can handle criticism and make desired changes. Telling employers about your receptive attitude and showing your willingness to learn new things can help you excel in your career. Also, because of advances in technology and medicine, it is essential for healthcare providers to learn to provide the best services continuously.

Ethics and confidentiality

Ethics and the ability to maintain confidentiality are essential for fulfilling a healthcare provider's duties. Ethics are principles that help you guide individual decision-making and workplace behaviour. Employers expect these professionals to have strict confidentiality standards to ensure they do not leak personal medical information without the patient's consent. Being ethical in the workplace can help these professionals save life and complete their work duties.

Related: What Is A Code Of Ethics And What Are Its Principles?

Stress management

Medical facilities and clinics are prone to stressful times. If you work in the emergency room, employers expect you to handle and manage stress. Showing potential employers that you can manage stress levels without affecting your health can help you get hired for the desired job role. Some of the most successful healthcare professionals know how to handle pressure and even thrive on it.

Related: How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure? (With Tips To Answer)

How To Improve Your Healthcare Abilities

Whether you are just getting started or have been working as a healthcare provider, there are many ways using which you can improve your healthcare abilities. Some ways to improve your skill set are:

1. Work with a mentor

Learn from an experienced professional working in a similar role. This approach gives you a chance to learn from their experience and ensure you make no mistakes. It also allows you to ask questions and get an insight into the profession. Working with mentors can help improve your existing skill set and develop new skills required for a successful career.

2. Continue your education

Continuing your education is an excellent way to improve your technical skills. If you completed a bachelor's degree, enroll in a post-graduate course to advance your skills. You can even attend professional workshops that teach exceptional patient care and handling methods. Completing additional certifications and training are excellent approaches to gaining more knowledge.

3. Seek help

Asking for help can be an essential part of improving your healthcare abilities. If you cannot complete a specific task, you can seek help from your colleagues. These professionals might give you some useful tips to excel in the workplace. Having an experienced source of guidance can help you feel connected in your new role and advance your career.

4. Stay up-to-date with the latest technology

As technology is continually evolving, keeping up-to-date with the latest healthcare technologies can help you grow in your career. Your healthcare facility might upgrade particular equipment and knowing how to use it efficiently can ensure you complete all your job duties. Employers prefer candidates who know about the latest trends and technology in their field.

Healthcare Abilities In The Workplace

Here are some ways using which you might use these skills in your workplace:

  • Use your positive attitude when communicating with patients, colleagues and other people.

  • Show your flexibility by completing tasks you are comfortable doing.

  • Display your empathy by actively listening to a patient's concern.

  • Use your attention to detail to find the right diagnosis for a patient.

  • Show your receptive attitude by accepting criticism and incorporating feedback.

  • Display your communication skills by communicating with patients, discussing health treatment plans with doctors and educating other healthcare providers.

How To Highlight Your Healthcare Abilities

Use these steps to highlight your skills and make a positive impression on the potential employer:

1. Highlight your skills on the resume

Highlight skills such as flexibility, receptive attitude and communication skills to show employers that you have the right qualification for the job. Incorporate some of the most vital skills that match the job description into the skill or work experience section. Apart from helping employers evaluate your credentials, your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) is compliant. Focus on showing your attention to detail by ensuring the resume is free from spelling and grammatical errors.

2. Include these skills in your cover letter

Writing about yourself helps employers evaluate your skills and decide your candidature. Use your cover letter to show your abilities and explain how each helped you in previous job roles. On your cover letter, spotlight skills like a positive attitude to show employers that you are an ideal candidate. You can even show your written communication skills by creating a well-written cover letter that exemplifies your skills without over-promoting your abilities.

3. Talk about them in your job interview

Before appearing for the interview, prepare a few stories or recollect real-life examples that focus on skills relevant to the job. As you are likely to encounter questions that focus on your technical and soft skills, prepare for some commonly asked interview questions. This can help you give articulated and to the point answers while communicating your suitability for the position.

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