Preparing students for today’s healthcare workforce goes beyond basic clinical and classroom instruction. Healthcare training encompasses so much more than thoroughly preparing allied healthcare students for their careers. The best clinical knowledge is essential of course, but they also need hard-to-teach skills like teamwork and communication, not to mention resources on how even to FIND the right job and prepare for interviews.
As an educator, you need an easy, efficient and effective way to provide these skills and resources. Read on for three things you can do to give your students the best possible training for real workforce preparation.
1. Boost Their Clinical Knowledge
Clinical knowledge and experience are critical for certification and success in the healthcare field, but it may not give them every advantage in the workforce.
Medical assistant students will feel more confident, stand out in interviews and be better prepared for employment with a solid foundation of core competencies. NHA’s interactive, experiential resources immerse students in their healthcare training for practical knowledge that stays with them. One of its newest solutions, MA SkillsBuilder™: Clinical gives students the tools to prepare for their new career in a defined learning path of 12 modules covering 39 different skills that employers are looking for.
“You can never be too prepared,” said Lisa Vehovic, former student and NHA Certified Phlebotomy Technician. “The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be and that will show through to the hiring manager. The more knowledge you have about your field, the more excited you will be about voicing what you can bring to the table.”
Help your allied healthcare students master the skills they’ll need and gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. Whether they are heading into an externship, preparing for certification, or ready to find a job, they’ll perform at their best with the confidence of proven skill training.
NHA's interactive healthcare learning solutions use modern, immersive tools that help students learn and retain desired skills that will boost their confidence and give them an edge in the workforce. Both educators and employers can save time with training solutions that help learners succeed in a fast-paced healthcare environment.
2. Emphasize The Importance Of Soft Skills
In today’s healthcare system, soft skills are becoming more and more valued in allied health professions, and for good reason. Skills such as communication, teamwork, active listening, empathy and general professionalism are essential for a positive work environment and patient experience.
In addition to clinical skills, today’s hiring managers want to know:
- Will this new hire contribute to their team with critical thinking, good communication and professionalism?
- Does this individual have the skills to provide empathy, active listening and compassion to provide the best possible patient experience?
A new hire’s proficiency in these skills is seen as equally valuable to many employers as their clinical skills. Take a look at these statistics:
- 93% of employers feel health professionals do not have adequate training on soft skills*
- 67% of HR managers said they would hire a candidate with strong soft skills, even if technical abilities were lacking*
- Only 53% of patients said that the healthcare system generally provides compassionate care*
Teaching soft skills can be a challenge. That’s why NHA has created PersonAbility™, an interactive tool designed to build the soft skills essential for certified clinical medical assistants and all other allied healthcare professionals.
PersonAbility™ is a training solution that helps students and veteran allied healthcare workers improve in key areas like communication, empathy and professionalism. For medical assistants, this certification can help stand out on a job application, drive career growth, strengthen care teams and improve the overall patient experience.
“There is nothing more important than how you treat your patients,” said Vehovic, who has worked in the healthcare field since receiving her first degree in 2005. “Your patients may not always remember your name, but they will always remember that time you went above and beyond to relate and empathize with them. It does not take much — a few kind words, a flattering compliment, a funny joke, an engaging conversation — to make a significant impact.”
Sarah Jordan, Medical Office Administration Program Lead at South Piedmont Community College, understands the importance of soft skills as well.
“I have taught students soft skills over my eight years as a college professor teaching medical office administration,” she said. “These skills are the door-opener to any career path, particularly healthcare. Using NHA’s certifications in my program has given my students that same feeling of accomplishment and confidence in their future marketability.”
3. Help Them Present Their Best Selves
Findings from a recent national survey showed that 68 percent of students felt they are unprepared to find work. Clearly, there is a gap between training and job placement, and students need help bridging that gap.
Finding work requires its own set of skills and knowledge, as well as practical tools. Don’t let your student lose their momentum to begin their career.
Save time with tools and templates
Applying for jobs can be overwhelming for students entering the healthcare field. Give them a head start with professional templates for essential documents like resumes and cover letters.
“Resume writing is very important, but also very time-consuming on your own,” Vehovic said. “I didn’t understand what kind of format I should use and what information is relevant and what is not. There’s nothing worse than finding out your resume is not current to modern standards and missing out on a chance for your future career.”
Provide practical advice
Students have so many questions when it comes to job seeking. How do I know where to apply? Will my resume even be seen? What will I be asked in an interview?
Vehovic recalls the stress of not knowing how to prepare for a job interview.
“A high-stress point is getting through the interview process when you do not know what to prepare for. Having the tools to get you that interview and help you through the process would be a major time saver and may help many from going down that stressful, emotional rollercoaster during the process,” she said.
Providing practical advice and setting students on the right path can reduce anxiety, increase confidence, and prepare them for success.
NHA makes their Career Kit available with every PersonAbility purchase or renewal and it includes job searching tips to help learners focus on finding the right job in the right place. Valuable interviewing advice will help students better understand what to expect and how to present themselves professionally and confidently.
The kit includes professional follow-up templates to send after the interview to help them leave a lasting impression.
Giving your students confidence, skills and practical tools will help ensure they are prepared for the workforce. From clinical skill mastery in the MA Skillsbuilder™: Clinical to essential soft skills in PersonAbility™ and time-saving tools and templates in the NHA Career Kit, NHA has the latest resources to help you give your students an advantage.
*Data compiled from research for NHA's access - an industry publication.