Time is now for healthcare employers to look into how military personnel skills can transition into their highly in-demand roles. At the end of Q1 2023, the Bureau of Labour Statistics launched their report of 2022 statistics on veteran employment. It was cited that “men and women were veterans, account[ed] for about 7 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population age 18 and over” meaning over 18 million individuals ready for today’s workforce (Source). With military personnel re-entering the workforce daily, there are plenty of opportunities for them to use their skills acquired during their time in the service to help with workforce shortages.
Many military personnel find themselves transitioning into civilian careers after they have served the 15-year requirement. For any non-military worker, this is the equivalent of a major secondary career shift. In most instances, individuals are provided with cross-training to be able to apply their skills across several job openings.
With the growing staff shortage in the healthcare sector coupled with the transferable skills army veterans possess, becoming a healthcare worker is an exciting prospect for military personnel at this time. Here are the key transferable skills that military personnel can use to build a successful healthcare career.
Discipline and Ethics
To have a successful career in healthcare, one needs to have a lot of self-discipline as well as a strong adherence to punctuality. Military personnel are trained to follow protocols, regulations, and guidelines with precision. And the core reason for instilling these behaviors is to ensure safety and predictability amongst a regime during times of conflict. Thus, it is easy to understand why we place this soft skill at the top of our list for transferable career skills for healthcare. Also, a strong understanding and ability to adhere to disciplined activity creates an employee able to follow procedures, safety protocols, and ethical standards when it comes to treating patients.
Closely related to discipline is a strong sense of ethics and integrity. This is critical in healthcare, where upholding patient confidentiality, respecting autonomy, and making critical decisions are essential components of the day-to-day.
Military personnel and veterans often develop strong leadership skills, including the ability to make critical decisions under pressure, motivate teams, and effectively communicate with diverse individuals. Therefore, these skills translate well into healthcare leadership roles. The ability to lead helps to ensure that the team follows instructions to deliver high-quality patient care. Conversely, the absence of leadership skills can create confusion about roles, throw the team into disarray, and compromise desired outcomes.
Excellent patient care cannot happen until there is great teamwork and collaboration within the ranks. Military experience equips individuals with the ability to work closely with diverse teams, fostering cooperation, trust, and efficient coordination of efforts. So, when military personnel choose a healthcare career, these skills transfer nicely into working with others in high stress situations. Also, this skill opens the opportunity for army veterans to build strong personal and professional relationships that are fundamental to achieving teamwork.
In healthcare, different types of problems arise daily that can easily throw people off. One may need to take decisions quickly and think about their impact and consequences. Military personnel are trained to think critically and solve complex problems in dynamic situations. Also, they do not get easily ruffled when their adaptability and resourcefulness are put to the test. Instead, they try to think of solutions to overcome the challenge.
Anyone that has worked in a healthcare for the majority of their working life can say that one needs extra courage to get through the bad days. Healthcare staff may start with one task and soon they can multiply into four and by the end of the day, they can still feel like they have fallen short. Nevertheless, not to mention the mental and emotional fatigue based on a patient’s situation or dealing with their families. Military life requires resilience and the ability to persevere in challenging circumstances. Furthermore, this resilience can be valuable in tackling high-stress situations, long hours, and emotionally demanding circumstances.
Army veterans often possess technical skills that are highly valuable in healthcare. Depending on their role in the military, technical skills that veterans can use in healthcare jobs include medical logistics, which involves managing distribution of supplies. Likewise, health information technology, involving electronic health records (EHRs), patient portals, and other health information systems. Also, medical laboratory science, which can be applied to healthcare roles such as medical laboratory technician or clinical laboratory scientist. Finally radiology, including electromechanical repair, or imaging technology and cybersecurity to use skills in healthcare roles that involve protecting patient data and securing health information systems. Also, there is biomedical engineering wherein a mechanical engineer can apply those skills to develop medical devices and equipment.
Army veterans have a diverse range of technical skills that can be applied to various healthcare roles. So , by leveraging their technical expertise, veterans can make significant contributions to the healthcare industry and build fulfilling careers in this field.
Organization and time management
Organization and time management are fundamental in ensuring a long and successful healthcare career. Likewise, staff who can manage time well suffer from less burnout and do things as per schedule. Being in the military helps create a timetable to ensure task completion within deadlines. Thus, these skills can come in handy in healthcare, where managing schedules, prioritizing tasks, and maintaining accurate records are essential.
Transitioning from military personnel to civilian is a challenge in itself. Finding a career that will compensate you for all the skills you acquired in your former career is a less well-known challenge for those not experiencing it. So, a career in healthcare could be the right fit as core skills are very similar. These skills can help to easily embrace and perform given roles and responsibilities. Moreover, if you get the right training and support from leaders and teammates, you can build a successful healthcare career. If you are looking to make the switch to a healthcare career, then try SkillGigs.com.
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