11 Healthcare Skills For A Resume (And How To Improve Them)

Updated 26 July 2023

Employers prefer candidates who possess the requisite skills for healthcare jobs that can enhance on-the-job performance. While a physician's technical knowledge is essential, communicating effectively, empathising with patients and managing stress is also critical. When writing a resume for a healthcare position, it is helpful to highlight important healthcare skills that can convince the employer that you are a suitable candidate.

In this article, we discuss some important healthcare skills for a resume, list some important healthcare skills you can include on your resume and provide ways to improve them along with ways to highlight them throughout your job application process.

What are healthcare skills for a resume?

Healthcare skills for a resume are the abilities you possess and can include in your application for healthcare positions. While some healthcare positions require particular skills, primarily if you have a speciality, many healthcare positions require similar skills. When preparing a healthcare skills resume, it is imperative to review the job you are applying for and the skills employers are looking for in a candidate and include them accordingly in your resume to increase your chances of getting shortlisted or hired.

Related: What Is An MBBS Doctor? (With Skills And Career Scope)

11 healthcare skills you can include on your resume

Here are some healthcare skills that you can include on your resume:

1. Communication skills

If you work as a nurse or a receptionist in a hospital or clinic, you are most likely to interact with patients and colleagues. Communication skills, including active listening, patience and a positive attitude, help you facilitate communication with patients and colleagues. Your job may involve explaining test reports to a patient, providing care and medication to them or answering questions about scheduling an appointment, which also requires effective communication skills.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

2. Positive attitude

A positive attitude becomes extremely important when interacting with patients and colleagues. Having a positive attitude also helps you be compassionate with patients and provides them with better care. By highlighting this as one of your skills on your resume for a healthcare position, you can show prospective employers that you want to be an efficient and pleasant employee to work with and positively influence patients and other employees and subsequently the organisation.

3. Time management

Usually, most healthcare facilities, including hospitals to small clinics, experience busy schedules, so it is important for healthcare professionals to have effective time management skills. This may enable you to attend to or treat patients more efficiently or facilitate insurance paperwork processing. Good time management also allows healthcare professionals to organise and prioritise administrative duties, patient care and personal responsibilities.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Flexibility

Healthcare workers' daily schedules can vary according to the condition of the patient and the healthcare facility requirements where they work. Sometimes, you may require reporting on brief notice in a healthcare job. Being flexible also helps you reduce stress because of dynamic shifts. Flexibility demonstrates to an employer that you can make necessary adjustments to do your job and are ready to adapt to changing requirements.

5. Empathy

Empathy is a critical skill for healthcare workers, as you are most likely to come into contact with patients of all types and with various medical problems. If you can empathise with the patients' circumstances and show concern, you can typically be a more effective healthcare provider. Empathy can also be helpful when interacting with colleagues, as you may find yourself more willing to assist them if you understand their circumstances.

Related: Social Skills: Definition, Examples And Why They Are Important

6. Stress management

As a healthcare professional, you may face stressful situations and stress can be more frequent if your duty is in an emergency ward or in other fast-paced environments. Working in an environment that is stressful reduces productivity. And that makes it critical for healthcare professionals to manage difficult situations. Demonstrating to potential employers that you are good at managing your stress so that it does not affect your work can be helpful in healthcare.

7. Attention to detail

Healthcare professionals are accountable for patient care and require extreme caution and attention to detail to prevent medical errors. Whether scheduling patients or treating a patient's condition, having meticulous attention to detail can help ensure that you get it right the first time. As working in healthcare involves great attention and consciousness, emphasising this skill on your resume can demonstrate to potential employers that you give attention to every small and significant detail and are less likely to make any medical errors.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

8. Teamwork

Healthcare professionals collaborate with other healthcare staff daily. It is critical for them to work together as a team with their colleagues to provide patients with more comprehensive and prompt treatment. A patient's conditions are unpredictable and sometimes challenging in terms of the treatment required. This makes it critical that you can seek assistance or feedback from your colleague whenever required. Also, actively motivating your colleagues can help foster a more positive work environment.

9. Following protocols

Hospitals and clinics enforce many strict protocols to keep the workplace and patients safe. It is important for healthcare professionals to know how to work with infectious diseases, how to fill out the paperwork correctly and how to bill customers properly. Though an employer may demonstrate a facility's protocols to newly recruited healthcare professionals, prior experience in other healthcare settings can help you gain an advantage when looking for a new job in this field.

10. Cleanliness

Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness in a healthcare environment is very critical. Patients usually have weakened immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to infection. It is necessary for healthcare professionals to understand how to clean equipment properly and practice doing so regularly. Patient safety also depends on the cleanliness, hygiene and sterile equipment.

11. Patience

Keeping patience with patients and colleagues most often aligns with empathy for them. Understanding their requirements, situations and expectations may help you be more compassionate with them. Highlighting to a prospective employer how much you value patience demonstrates that you can be patient with colleagues, patients and the employer.

Related: Nurse Resume Skills To Boost Your CV: Tips And Suggestions

How to improve healthcare skills

Here are some ways you can consider improving your healthcare skills:

1. Take courses

Continuous learning is critical in any profession. It is important for you to stay up to date with current technologies, techniques and treatments as a healthcare professional. Consider earning relevant in-demand certifications. You can improve your skills by regular learning and being open to new knowledge and information. You can also consider reading books regularly and taking online courses on essential hard and soft skills for healthcare professionals to learn and improve healthcare skills.

2. Accept feedback

To enhance your positive attitude, you can create a list of actions you can take if someone gives you constructive criticism. These actions can help you comprehend their feedback and identify the areas you can develop or enhance. It may include reminding yourself that they want to help you, considering their feedback, avoiding offending them and positively listening to feedback. Doing so can also help you improve your communication and become more approachable.

3. Practice your skills

You can improve your soft skills, such as adaptability, patience and empathy with practice. Begin with minor adjustments and see if you can increase your positive response when asked to adapt to a last-minute change or anything that involves your flexibility. Developing your empathy skills is like enhancing your positive attitude. When interacting with someone, you can consider their perspective and situation to determine if you can empathise with their suffering. If you practice these habits regularly, they can eventually become involuntary.

Related: How To Become An Allergist (With Step-By-Step Guide)

Ways to highlight healthcare skills in your job application process

You can highlight your healthcare skills through your job application process, including your resume, cover letter and interview. Here are some ways to emphasise your skills:

On your resume

You can use previous job experience to demonstrate skills such as handling medical equipment, understanding of medicine, adaptability, communication abilities and time management on your resume. You can evaluate your previous jobs and determine which duties best demonstrate these abilities, such as how you improved your workplace's scheduling structure to help employees manage their time more effectively. Ensuring that your resume is free of grammar and spelling errors can also highlight your attention to detail.

Related: How To Write A Doctor Resume (With Tips And Example)

In your cover letter

In your cover letter, you can emphasise skills such as positivity, empathy and receptiveness and any others you believe are relevant to the position for which you are applying. Your writing style can demonstrate to a prospective employer that you are a positive and empathetic individual who understands and follows instructions carefully. While writing your cover letter, also consider explaining how your skills can help to improve the healthcare operation efficiency at the organisation.

In an interview

Consider preparing responses prior to your interview that highlight skills you believe are highly relevant to the position. Reviewing the job description, the company website and any correspondence with employees can help you determine the qualities the employers are searching for in a potential hire. You can also show patience, empathy and communication skills while responding to the questions during the interview. Ensure you are proficient with both the hard and soft skills you mentioned in your resume, as the interviewer may ask questions about the skills in your resume.

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