Skills for Health Care Workers

Beyond a Desire to Help is a Need for Talents and Abilities

Anyone considering a career in health care should first consider the type and level of skills needed to succeed and enjoy the job.

Jobs in health care are growing rapidly and are expected to continue to do so over the next decade and beyond. This is due to two major factors. The population is aging and as such will require more health care. The population is also growing which means that the demand for health care professionals will also grow.

Health care is not for everyone. Just having a strong desire to help people is not always enough. Students have to get good grades. So they use essay writer websites to get help and professional mentoring. Moreover, for obvious reasons, some people will shy away from the field such as a strong aversion to blood, smells, and death; all three of which are a constant in most health care professions.

A Desire to Help and Then Some

Beyond a desire to care and help is a need to be professional and an ability to disassociate from the emotional. This can seem cold and cruel, and taken to an extreme it is. Bedside manner is in large part about being able to empathize and understand. It is also about being able to make decisions based on knowledge and information while not being persuaded or overly influenced by personal and emotional ties. This is not an easy task.

Health care workers are professionals and must professionally conduct themselves even in their personal lives and live up to a code of ethics. There is a scope of practice dictated by the education, skill level, licensure, and job description. The boundaries of that scope cannot be crossed.

Education Can Be Lengthy

At a minimum, careers in health care will require a high school diploma, and some may require more than ten years of college or graduate school level education and specific training. Reading at a tenth-grade level or more is necessary for almost all health care jobs. Math and science courses are required prerequisites to become professionals such as practitioners, nurses, therapists, and technicians.

Communication skills, technical skills, problem-solving skills, and leadership skills are essential as well. The ability to read, write and speak in the language native to the country of practice is usually mandated. For example, in the U.S. licensed health care workers are required to read, write and speak English. Proficiency in the language can impact the level of respect and trust from patients as well as co-workers.

Math and life sciences are a must. At a minimum, students must be able to pass college algebra. Life sciences such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and chemistry will also be required. Secondary school students should take some of these courses to prepare for college-level courses.

Social sciences dealing with psychology, cultural differences, and behaviors will also be required in health care programs. Familiarity with these will also be a plus for high school students preparing for this career path.

Essential Language Skills

Students must be proficient in the language of their resident country with both oral and written skills. Communication and documentation skills are essential factors for health care professionals. Reading at a minimal 10th-grade level is required to complete the math, science, and other courses.

Speaking a second language is highly recommended. It should be prevalent in the area. Spanish, Tagalog, Japanese, and any of the Chinese dialects are often the most desired bilingual languages. Bilingual health care workers are in demand.

Entrance is not Guaranteed

There is a critical shortage of many health care professionals such as nurses, physical therapists, and physicians. At the same time, there is limited space for these programs in colleges and universities due to a shortage of qualified educators and/or facilities for clinical practice. This translates to fierce competition for the available spaces.


Grades will hold a huge level of importance in being accepted into a program. The overall GPA is not necessarily the main point; grades in math and science will prevail as these are more important to studying healthcare-related fields than art, music, physical education, and many elective courses.


Community service and extracurricular activities will be another important factor. Health care programs are looking for altruistic individuals. Altruism means being unselfishly concerned and devoted to the welfare of others, and having a selfless attitude. Volunteer or paid work in a healthcare setting may be required for admission to specific healthcare schools.

Attendance Counts

Attendance is another important point. Many schools are now looking at attendance records. Most health care careers require a dedication to the profession. Sick people don’t get well on weekends, holidays, and the practitioner’s birthday or anniversary. The education process to become a health care professional is an intense one. Regular attendance is mandated.

Entrance Requirements

Students should explore the admission requirements to several programs and work with guidance counselors to tailor their high school program to give them the best opportunity for admission. Make sure the health care program is accredited.

Rapport and Trust Are Essential to Success

A positive attitude and a pleasant demeanor are also imperative to building rapport and establishing a level of mutual trust with patients, caregivers, and other professionals. An inquisitive mind and a willingness to never stop learning new things, techniques, and skills are also necessary. Medicine is not an exact science and is constantly evolving and improving.

Team Work

Health care is a team effort and each needs to be willing to share information and work together to help the patient achieve the best possible wellness and outcomes. At the same time, many aspects of health care are comprised of small segments of care for a spell of illness and therefore many members of the team may not always see the outcome or receive any recognition for their part. Health care professionals must be dedicated to always putting forth their best efforts.

Making a Difference When it Isn’t a Positive Result

A positive outcome does not always consist of a cure or complete wellness. It may be as simple as a comfortable, dignified death. Health care professionals need to be able to cope with this and realize that although they could not save the patient, they made a difference in the quality of life and death.

Health care is not for everyone. But for those who possess these skills and qualities, health care is one of the most rewarding careers.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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