Tips for Building Career Professionalism – Health Care Careers

Aug 17, 2017

Many students naturally focus on achieving academic goals at college, but they should also focus on building their career professionalism. There are positive qualities that students should emulate and negative habits that students should avoid. College students who do this will increase their chances of career and personal success in the real world.

Internal Attributes

Health care professionals will need a strong work ethic that helps them to go the extra mile and work hours outside the regular 9 – 5 pm schedule. For example, medical assistants must have the flexibility to stay late, cover extra shift and perform irregular job duties. Those who can empathize and sympathize with others will be able to quickly establish rapport, solve problems and provide the best quality of care.  Health care jobs often involve people who are in pain and injured, so a positive mental attitude will help alleviate suffering and overcome difficult days. Novice and entry-level health care professionals must project self-confidence in order to gain the trust and compliance of patients.

External Skills

Medical assisting, dental assisting and medical office administration jobs will all require excellent communication skills. These health care professionals must continually communicate with patients, colleagues and the public. Similarly, health care professionals must be team players who genuinely respect, encourage and support others. Solid prioritizing and time management skills are critical because a patient’s wellbeing could depend on timeliness and organization. Health care settings often involve upset patients, intense situations and traumatic experiences, so health care professionals must be comfortable dealing with criticism, handling emergencies and managing stress levels.

Stress Management

Health care students must successfully learn how to manage and reduce stress in order to avoid future career burnout and frustration. Coincidently, the college experience is full of stressful situations and risky decisions. This includes semester exams, different roommates, limited finances, social events and challenging coursework. Some college students deal with stress through unsafe social choices and private behaviors, but students who are disciplined with firm schedules and study habits will prevail. College students should learn now how to combat stress, prioritize tasks, disconnect as needed and engage in appropriate self-care activities.

Career Enhancement Opportunities

College internships are the best way to gain valuable work experience that is directly related to real-world careers. Internships that are offered through partnerships with local companies often don’t pay anything, but they may satisfy college credit requirements and provide exclusive networking opportunities. This is better working random part-time jobs that are not related to your future career. If these aren’t feasible or available, consider volunteering in your local community. Helping out at a local clinic or hospital will quickly acclimatize you to the real obstacles and opportunities that health care professionals face every day.

Learn to Recognize and Follow Unwritten Rules

Every organization will have official policies and procedures, but they will also have unofficial standards of conduct and communication. Learning to quickly adapt to an organization’s subculture and unspoken social norms will help you succeed in any job and situation. For example, organizations may adopt a relaxed approach to rule compliance when many employees are mature, responsible and experienced. On the other hand, the specific personality of the supervisor often dictates how staff behave, so learn how to respect and adapt to your individual professors. Remaining observant of the workplace culture will help you become a trusted and credible team leader.

Health and Wellness Tips

College can be a fun and rewarding experience, but some students may learn or continue unhealthy habits. Establish healthy eating, regular exercise and mental well-being habits during college. Avoid dangerous over-the-counter remedies to stay away like caffeinated beverages. Soda, coffee and energy drinks provide temporary benefits, but at a high cost. High sugar and caffeine intake is associated with fatigue, anxiety, headaches and stomach problems. Establishing a consistent eating schedule that is away from books and classrooms will help you unwind. In the real-world, occupational health experts recommend workers to eat lunch outside the cubicle and office to relax and cheer up.

College is the best time to earn important skills that will impact your future life satisfaction, career prospects and job performance.  Most health care employers are looking for candidates with soft skills, positive attitudes and commitments to professional development. Contact us to start or re-start your college experience.