Soft Skills in Medical Profession

There is a strong need for medical professionals to get sensitized with simple elements in their profession. Doctors should know how to handle patients with better listening skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills. They are excellent at their technical skills (i.e. medical profession skills). But at the same time they should learn how to handle patients. Hence, there is strong emphasis on soft skills.

Gradually all corporates are realizing the importance of soft skills in all professions. Initially it was believed that these skills were required only in IT, ITes and BPO sectors. Now the things have changed to such an extent that the importance for soft skills is spreading to all spheres.

It is necessary to bridge the gap between the doctors and the patients. And the solution lies in laying stress on soft skills. The doctors should empathize with the patients to understand the disease clearly. In this context, it is essential to develop interpersonal skills. Patients come from various strata and effective listening will help to understand the problem better. At the same time the doctors should be able to deal with the relatives of the patients with lot of patience. Here comes the role of attitude building towards profession and also instilling confidence among the patients as well as the relatives of the patients.

In the past success was attributed to the possession of domain knowledge alone. But true success, now a day, is the combination of both technical skills and soft skills. When we talk of nurses, their role should not be confined to just giving receipt or token to the incoming patients in the hospital alone, their role needs to be redefined much beyond the traditional one. Generally the nursing profession is considered not as a lucrative one because of the meager salaries they get. Therefore, those who qualify from nursing courses will go for jobs with an intention of working for a limited span. That is just to have a foothold in some job and gradually they change their jobs for better pastures. Usually they have to work for extended hours as emergency cases come quite often. It is because of these reasons the attrition level is quite high in the nursing profession.

Initially nurses report to their work late and these are the initial burnout symptoms and gradually it leads to absenteeism which is a total burnout syndrome. In a nutshell, nurses treat their profession as a thankless job.

On the other hand, the doctors complain that the nurses confine themselves to a very limited role just helping the doctors or most of the times gossiping with others or watching television channels after giving token to the incoming patients to the hospital. Or at times, they talk over the phone with others about their personal matters. Nurses can be trained in telephone etiquette, better house keeping and other areas of activity so that their role would become challenging and also it helps in widening their mental horizons. Proportionately their salaries can be enhanced so that attrition can be checked. It is equally essential to bring back service- orientation towards patients and their profession. This is possible only by way of soft skills where building right attitude comes into the picture.

Soft skills help the doctors, nurses and other professionals involved in medical domain makes them smarter, sharper and more effective. It helps in better interpersonal skills, communication, confidence and attitude building, team building and motivation. When the medical professionals are empowered and equipped with these skills there will be better service to the patients that results into disease-free society.

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