Healthcare Skills for a Resume (Examples & Tips)

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 18, 2024

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Healthcare professionals are pivotal in shaping the wellness landscape by tending to patients’ physical and mental well-being. They act as caregivers, advisors, and coordinators by cultivating environments that prioritize patient care, evidence-based practices, and continuous improvement. The healthcare industry offers diverse roles and responsibilities, including physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians, and administrators.

According to projections by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in healthcare are expected to grow faster than average, with about 1.8 million openings expected each year through 2032. Securing one of these positions requires crafting an outstanding resume and cover letter and possessing the requisite skills and qualifications for the specific role.

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What are healthcare skills?

Healthcare skills encompass many abilities and competencies necessary for effectively delivering high-quality medical care and patient support. Various skills are essential for healthcare professionals in diverse roles, such as physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and administrators.

Examples of healthcare skills

Hard skills

Hard skills are practical, job-specific abilities that can be learned and measured. Healthcare workers use a variety of hard skills to function well in their roles.

Examples of hard healthcare skills include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Patient assessment
  • Medication administration
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Intravenous therapy
  • Wound care
  • Surgical assistance
  • Electronic medical records
  • Life support techniques
  • Patient education

Soft skills

Healthcare workers rely on soft skills to build trusting relationships with patients, understand their needs, and address their concerns. 

Here are 10 soft skills for healthcare workers:

  • Therapeutic communication
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-motivation
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical skills
  • Professionalism
  • Flexibility
  • Cultural sensitivity

Technical skills

Technical skills are vital to the healthcare industry because they help healthcare workers assess conditions accurately, make informed clinical decisions and provide appropriate interventions. 

Technical healthcare skills include:

  • Electronic health records (EHR) management
  • Medical coding and billing
  • Phlebotomy
  • Patient monitoring 
  • Vital signs assessment
  • Medication administration and dosage calculation
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Sterile technique and infection control
  • Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • Medical equipment operation and maintenance

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are vital for healthcare workers because they are the foundation of effective patient care. 

Key interpersonal healthcare skills include:

  • Active listening
  • Patient advocacy
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Collaboration
  • Boundary setting
  • Empathy
  • Trustworthiness
  • Leadership
  • Respect

Transferable skills

Transferable skills can be applied across different industries and jobs. They are valuable in the healthcare industry because they make you versatile and adaptable. 

Here are ten important transferable healthcare skills: 

  • Prioritization
  • Ethics
  • Adaptability
  • Organization
  • Digital literacy
  • Resilience
  • Decision making
  • Critical thinking
  • Stress management
  • Emotional intelligence

How to improve your healthcare skills

Continuously honing your healthcare skills is essential to ensuring the well-being and recovery of patients who rely on you. 

Here are some tips for developing your skills:

  • Get skill-specific training. There are many training and certification programs available for all healthcare specialties. 
  • Stay current with industry trends. Potential employees want to know you are up to date on healthcare regulations, policies and guidelines.
  • Find mentors: Connect with healthcare professionals in your specialty to learn from their expertise. 
  • Be a perpetual student: Read healthcare industry journals, attend conferences and take courses to learn the latest tools and technologies in the industry. 
  • Network: Team up with healthcare professionals in different specialties to exchange perspectives and insights into patient care. 
  • Get hands-on experience: Internships, clinical rotations, community service and volunteer work are great ways to learn and enhance healthcare skills.
  • Take care of yourself. Self-care will prevent burnout and enhance your ability to care for others. 

How to highlight healthcare skills on your resume

Be thoughtful and deliberate when adding healthcare skills to your resume. Create a dedicated section to display your skills and include various job-relevant skills throughout your resume to make a stronger impact.

Here’s how to display your healthcare skills in your resume in six steps:=

  1. First, choose the best resume format for your experience level and goals.  
  2. Next, choose a professional resume template to ensure your resume is formatted correctly and polished. 
  3. Review the job description and match your healthcare skills and accomplishments to the job requirements.
  4. Write a professional summary or resume objective highlighting two or three key healthcare skills. 
  5. Use your work history section to emphasize your previous work accomplishments. For example, “Implemented new patient care protocols, resulting in a 30% decrease in hospital-acquired infections within six months, as validated by quarterly infection control audits.”
  6. Create a skills section and add five to ten required healthcare skills. 

Common tools and technologies used in healthcare

Modern medical tools and technologies are pivotal for improving patient care, streamlining collaboration between healthcare teams, improving clinical workflow efficiency, and ensuring accuracy in healthcare. 

Here are some useful tools and technologies you might consider adding to your healthcare skillset. 

  • Electronic health records (EHR) systems: Software platforms for storing, managing, and accessing patient health information electronically.
  • Medical imaging devices such as X-ray machines, MRI scanners, CT scanners, and ultrasound machines for visualizing internal body structures to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Telemedicine platforms enable remote healthcare delivery and virtual consultations between patients and healthcare providers using video conferencing and other communication tools.
  • Wearable health monitors such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and wearable biosensors monitor vital signs, physical activity, and other health metrics for personal health tracking and remote patient monitoring.
  • Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) are software tools that assist healthcare providers in making evidence-based clinical decisions by providing patient-specific information, guidelines, and recommendations.
  • Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) systems are digital platforms for generating and transmitting electronic prescriptions to pharmacies, improving accuracy, efficiency and safety in medication management.
  • Health information exchange (HIE) networks are infrastructure for securely sharing and exchanging patient health information among healthcare organizations and systems to facilitate coordinated care and interoperability.
  • Robotic surgery systems, such as advanced robotic-assisted surgical systems, enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures with enhanced precision, dexterity and control.
  • Patient portals are online platforms that allow patients to access their medical records, schedule appointments, communicate with healthcare providers, and manage their health information securely.
  • Health monitoring software monitors and analyzes population health trends, disease outbreaks, and healthcare quality metrics to inform public health initiatives and policy decisions.

Best healthcare certifications

A certification in your specialty can help improve your healthcare skills and demonstrate your expertise. 

Here are five certifications to advance your healthcare skills:

  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Certification
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification
  • Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure

Key takeaways

Before you leave this guide to healthcare skills for a resume, remember these key points:

  • The healthcare industry relies on workers with a diverse range of skills, from leadership and empathy to patient assessment and advanced cardiac life support.
  • Certifications in healthcare can help you make the best possible impression on employers and can help you land your dream job.
  • Add healthcare skills throughout your resume to make the best impact. 
  • When adding healthcare skills to your work history section, include measurable accomplishments that demonstrate what you can do with them. 
  • Display your healthcare skills throughout your resume for the biggest impact. 
  • Customize your healthcare resume to the specific job you are applying to. 

 

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