10 Highly-Needed 21st Century Skills for Young Health Professionals (2)

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HubCare’s Vision is to Democratise Healthcare for Africans- Kareem
Pharm. Sesan Kareem

We are in the age of immense opportunities, as well as global competitiveness. Young health professionals have various opportunities to build highly sought-after skills in order to maximise their career options.

In the previous edition, the first five skills that are highly needed by young professionals in the 21st century were highlighted. These include data analysis, business analysis, investment analysis, computer coding, and software product management.
Below are additional five highly-needed skills in our world today, which young health professionals can develop:

6. Data engineering
Data engineering is different from data science, but the former is what enables the latter to exist. Data engineers build the infrastructure and tools that data scientists rely on to conduct their own work.
In the last seven years, the hiring growth rate of this technology job has increased by nearly 35 percent across a wide variety of industries, including the health sector. In some ways, data engineering is more closely related to software engineering than to other data roles. Growth of data engineering roles has historically outpaced growth for data scientist jobs. In fact, data science interviews grew by 10 percent, compared to data engineering interviews which grew by 40 percent in 2020.

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7. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is changing the game in health and pharmaceutical sectors across the world. Hiring growth for AI practitioners grew 32 percent between 2019 and 2020. Because of its increasingly widespread adoption, AI specialists earned LinkedIn’s number one “emerging jobs” spot in 2020 and is number 15 on their 2021 list of “jobs on the rise.”

There is crossover with machine learning, but the key difference is that AI is a broader concept, as it pertains to machines designed to act intelligently like humans; whereas machine learning relies on devices making sense of a specific set of data.

Now that AI has become more mainstream, companies will be looking for people with specific areas of expertise in AI in 2022 and beyond, such as natural language processing (NLP), automated speech recognition (ASR) and automation. Not only that, according to a 2020 UiPath survey, 70 percent of C-level executives want even non-technical employees to have some automation and AI skills.

8. Communication skills
Effective communication skills are needed by all healthcare professionals to succeed in their career. However, not all healthcare professionals are naturally good at communication. Therefore, it is essential to build effective communication skills as a young professional.
Having good communication skills is essential to collaborating on teams with your fellow healthcare professionals and colleagues from other disciplines. It is also central to patient-centered care.
On the other hand, poor communication or lack of good communication skills in healthcare can lead to patients misunderstanding directions and failing to follow treatment protocols. It can also lead to workflow breakdowns on the team, resulting in a medical error. A report by the Joint Commission found that poor communication in healthcare during patient transfers contributed to 80 percent of serious medical errors.

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9. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are people skills. They are the skills that measure a person’s emotional, and not just their academic, intelligence. These skills include the ability to motivate, communicate, solve problems and, probably most valuable of all, empathise.
It may seem obvious, but a clinician who possesses certain interpersonal skills will actually achieve better clinical results. Empathy allows for healthcare professionals to better understand and relate with their patients. Communication skills are critical to learning about patients and delivering the most effective treatments possible. Motivating skills can help clinicians to engage their patients in participating in their healthcare and to take up the most critical part of most treatment plans: the daily maintenance of healthy habits and therapies.

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10. Marketing skills
Marketing is essential for any business to thrive. Since healthcare systems are fundamentally businesses, they rely on promotion and advertising to attract patients. Therefore, developing effective marketing and sales skills will always be important in the health and pharmaceutical sectors.
Marketing plays an important role in helping healthcare professionals to create, communicate, and provide value to their target market. Indeed, there are positive career paths for young healthcare professionals who possess world-class marketing and sales skills.

ACTION PLAN: Identify one of the above skills you can develop that will give you special advantage as a professional. Take action to start the learning process.
AFFIRMATION: I am open to learning highly sought-after skills. I am blessed and highly favoured.

Sesan Kareem is the Founder/CEO of HubCare Health, www.hubcarehealth.com and the Principal Consultant of Sesan Kareem Institute, www.sesankareem.com.ng

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