General State Hospital inÂ Brotas, Salvador – Bahia, Brazil – Photo Courtesy: Carol Garcia/SECOM
Thinking about a medical career? If so, this is a good time to enter into the field. The medical field is changing, duties are expanding, and many medical careers are in demand, i.e. nurses and doctors, physical therapists, respiratory techs, medical assistants, etc.
However, a medical career, though it may be somewhat recession proof, is not for everyone. First off, you must have the passion and the desire to help others and, secondly, you must like math, the sciences, and be able to handle stress. Those entering or already in the field seem to possess many of the same qualities and traits. Do you think you have what it takes?
7 Characteristics Needed for a Medical Career
1. Excellent Listener
Itâ€™s often difficult for patients to explain in detail or be precise when it comes to their medical issues, and being able to listen intently enables a better understanding of what is trying to be conveyed. Also, in the hospital, there is often no time to waste and being a good listener prevents valuable time being spent repeating oneself.
Not only does one need to listen well but also to communicate well, both verbally and in written form. Documentation must be noted accurately in patient charts in regard to chief complaints, procedures, medication, and the like. Medical correspondence must be precise and professionally written and you must be able to express yourself intelligently to co-workers, colleagues, patients and others.
Hospitals run 24/7 and need staff at all times. So, the medical staff must be willing to work at all hours, on any shift and be flexible when on call as their work schedule may not stay the same. Medical personnel must be adaptable. Even in the medical office, a medical assistant must be able to fluctuate between administrative duties and back office medical tasks.
This character trait just may be number one. Â All of these positions – medical doctors, nurses, nurse’s aids, lab technicians, surgeons, and medical assistants – just to name a few of the many staff members that deal with the sick, all require the ability of compassion. They must be able to empathize with patients; to empathize with them in their time of physical and/or emotional struggles and treating them with kindness, understanding, caring and yet be able to be strong.
All patients must be treated equally. A lot of personal information and confidential medical information is retained in charts and is at the fingertips of many. Legally, this private information must remain confidential and though not required by law, morally this information should not be judged by others.
6. Critical Thinking
It is important to be able to think critically. In the fast-paced environment of medicine, those working in the medical office as paramedics and as clinical hospital personnel must deal with situations that pose quick action and problem solving. These people must be able to handle and perform under stressful situations.
The medical environment is fast-paced, so you need to be well organized. Many medical careers, including medical assistants, deal with a number of different responsibilities and duties throughout their day and being able to multi-task is required. Being able to prioritize and having organization in the work place allows for efficient and effective productivity.
Medicine is exciting. Many career opportunities are available for those that have the passion and character traits needed to succeed in the field. Most people think of doctors and nurses and think blood and yuck, but not all careers put you in the middle of an operating room or on the medical floor of the hospital. A career, for example, as a medical assistant offers a wide variety of duties both in the back as well as the front office. A number of medical assistant schools offer associate degree programs and Certificates of Achievement to start you towards a fulfilling career.
Cathy Crilley West writes on a number of subjects but has a special passion for health and wellness.