The process of advancing your career can take many forms. Certifications, programming languages, and critical thinking skills can all help your performance on routine tasks, but being the best means possessing that X-factor. While it’s never a bad idea to broaden your academic horizons, those intangible and imitable traits that set you apart may be what lands you your next position as a job seeker and benefits your operations as an employer. In this post, we’re outlining seven less obvious skills behind the best healthcare IT professionals.
IT is a team effort. The competencies and proficiencies of one member become an asset to the others, but only if that team can work together. Even a highly specialized employee can become a detriment if their inability to work with others becomes a hindrance.
Regardless of the skills you hire, human beings always come attached to them, and that’s why compatibility is so important to IT success. Working together, sometimes on call, sometimes unforgiving hours is vital to making the workload easier for everyone. That’s why hiring the right candidate is of much greater importance than hiring the best candidate.
IT departments fill a unique role in business operations. While operating as an arm of the organization, your fellow employees become, in essence, your customers, making requests, maintaining expectations, and resenting when the job isn’t done correctly.
This scenario requires that proficient professionals maintain a high level of customer service, even if the clientele is strictly internal. Managing the aforementioned expectations with aplomb and running your department with the “customer’s” needs in mind translates into less internal conflict and smoother operational performance.
Department budgets, hardware resources, and software licenses are all limited resources. Particularly in the healthcare industry, the availability of financial resources can vary widely, depending on the hospital’s commitment to developing infrastructure. For IT professionals, this can mean getting creative when things get challenging. Whether you’re allocating resources in times of scarcity or abundance, knowing how to handle changing circumstances cleverly will breed success.
In this case, we’re not referring to code. IT departments operate best with an understanding of the best practice and standard operating protocols. Even between the department and its clients, creating documentation to inform the less tech-savvy can save time and personnel resources.
For this reason, writing acumen, particularly technical, can be an asset for your team. Effective communication is a skill set well outside the realm of computer science, so having these skills on board is an excellent way to take your efforts to the next level.
As an IT professional will tell you, sometimes computers and customers can be a bit of a bear. Add to that list health professional, whose previous experience with IT may be limited at best, and the task of managing your infrastructure can be a tiring one at best.
This is why a level head and calm demeanor can be so helpful. Staff may require additional instruction well below your skill level, but delivering it with a smile and a measured tone will get the message across more effectively and get you back to the tasks you prefer. Additionally, a patient approach can limit stress, and with computers and software breaking down daily, even the slightest relief can make a big difference.
Operating systems change, hospital needs evolve, and your teammates may move on, but your job remains the same: adapt. The once rulers of the Internet knew XHTML, and then HTML5 came along. Dial-up modems and high-latency networks gave way to the cloud and always-on Internet connections. Regardless of the specifics, every IT professional has had to learn to change with the times, and doing so not only advances your skills, it makes you a more valuable member of your organization in the process.
As the harbingers of new and complicated changes to a business, your IT team holds a special place in your organization. While others have the luxury of operating within the environment you’ve created, your job is to introduce, educate, and maintain that environment through big changes and small ones. Hesitant hospitals and wary staff can lament these changes, and that’s why it’s vital that your department blaze the trail.
This fact stems from the specialized knowledge you hold. Others may know how to operate a PC, but managing an operations-critical database is a new level of know-how. Comfort your staff by being a confident authority, and the changes you usher in will be lauded, instead of lamented.
When searching (or filling out) a resume with success in mind, it’s important to remember the intangibles. Your education is critical to your performance on tasks, but your ability to adapt, communicate, and work with others will ultimately determine if your skills are worth their salt. Hospitals adopting robust IT programs need a strong hand at the wheel, and with these skills, that hand could be yours.