Critical to being a successful healthcare professional

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identify the qualities you feel are critical to being a successful healthcare professional

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Summarize the essential qualities of a healthcare professional.
1.1 Describe how personal excellence and professionalism affect career growth.


Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity

Unit Lesson
Chapters 1, 2
Unit I Essay

Reading Assignment

Chapter 1: Study Skills: Laying the Foundation

Chapter 2: Characteristics for Personal and Professional Success

Unit Lesson

This course helps you to learn about and prepare for a career as a healthcare professional. Throughout this
course, we follow José, who currently works as an office clerk in a healthcare clinic. He learns what it requires
to ready himself to pursue and accept the role and position of a healthcare administrator. Examining the role
of a healthcare administrator—a person who likely has served in many other healthcare roles and who now
has many different positions under his or her supervision—gives a greater perspective on the overall qualities
and requirements of healthcare professionals in general.

José has been working in his position for 3 years now. He has seen several healthcare administrators come
and go in that time, and he believes he is perfect for the role now that Jane, the healthcare administrator for
the last 18 months, will be leaving. He is excited about the prospect of moving forward in his career but a bit
apprehensive about how to prepare for applying, how to update his résumé, and how to plan for the interview
processes to come. Throughout this course, we explore all of these aspects of the role of healthcare
administrator, joining José in his journey.

In Chapter 1 of your textbook, we begin this journey by considering how to achieve personal excellence. Do
you think as a professional who works in the healthcare industry does? While the textbook focuses on being a
success in the role of a student, the same rules will apply to being a healthcare business administrator.

• Do you have good study skills? Even in the role of a professional, one never stops learning. Knowing
what and how to study helps you when planning for new policies and procedures or when preparing
the next year’s budget.

• Formulating a plan for improvement in relation to your current study skills helps you when planning to
improve patient outcomes in a healthcare clinic or when creating a new marketing plan.

• Branding is the name of the game in any industry and is important from the personal to the
organizational level. It is also important for departments within larger healthcare organizations. It is
one thing to boast and a very different thing to share accomplishments and talents with those who
need to know, whether that be patients, faculty, colleagues, or an organization’s board of directors
(Colbert & Katrancha, 2016).

So, You Want to be a
Healthcare Professional?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 2

Clearly, laying the right foundation in all we do matters to success at both personal and professional levels.

Chapter 2 in the textbook helps us understand what being a professional means. In health care, many
different interactions occur between those who care for patients. From the physician or nurse practitioner right
on to the receptionist and billing department clerk, every person who interacts in the healthcare organization
must maintain a professional stance to ensure that quality care is provided and that challenges are met with
successful outcomes (Ruddiman, 2016).

When we consider what it means to be a professional healthcare administrator, we have to think about the
characteristics that make up the role, the standards that one must reach, and the benchmarks that tell us we
are professionals. Some of the characteristics that make up the professional healthcare administrator role
include those listed below:

• being an advocate for those who need a voice;
• being assertive, not aggressive;
• being dependable;
• being honest;
• having a positive attitude;
• having respect for all;
• showing responsibility;
• being self-motivated;
• being humble; and
• holding values high (Colbert & Katrancha, 2016).

It is easy enough to believe that we all hold all of these qualities, but how do we show them to the world? On
page 31 in your textbook, there is a box called “Food for Thought.” In reading over the questions in this box, it
is worth considering how we walk the walk and talk the talk. The professional healthcare administrator has to
consider things such as what others have told him or her over the years about how he or she presents
to others.

Do you remember your parents telling you to speak up more clearly? Did your teachers and instructors seem
to cringe when you raised your hand? Has your supervisor ever told you that you have good ideas but seem
to have an attitude that is off-putting to others? Have you been ignored in meetings when you timidly try to
offer suggestions about how to implement a new policy?

These are all indications that what you think about yourself as a professional may not match what others are
seeing and hearing from you. As popular culture puts it, it is all about the ‘tude! The attitude that you project is
how others will respond to you and how professional they will see you.

Consider This!

José has decided to apply for the healthcare administrator position in his clinic. He decides
that he will talk with Jane about how she sees his talents, skills, and abilities related to the
position of healthcare administrator.

In preparing to talk with Jane, José must think about what he needs to do to prepare himself.

• How can he best present himself to Jane to ensure that she sees he is serious about
his desire to apply for and succeed in the new role?

• What are some possible websites that José could visit to learn more about the
profession of healthcare administrator?

• Are there any professional organizations he could join to acquire new knowledge and

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 3

How we physically present ourselves is just as important as what we say. Our emotional competence or
intelligence is equally important. How open are we to new ideas? Do we value knowledge? Do we show this
to our colleagues by how we sit, hold our head, or cross our arms? Managing and leading others who are
emotional human beings, as well as managing and leading ourselves, is important to being a successful
healthcare administrator. If we do not lead with an awareness of the soft side of administration, we will not be
followed or be successful in our professional roles (Clapp & Town, 2015; Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2015).
We should assess if we are mindful of our emotional needs and how we project them to others. We should
consider if we expect more of others than we do of ourselves.

As we embark on this journey toward becoming a professional healthcare administrator or advance in our
careers as José is attempting to do, these concepts are important to keep in mind. They are valuable
throughout this course and well into the future of our healthcare administration career.


Clapp, S., & Town, L. (2015). Thriving at work through emotional intelligence. American Medical Writers

Association Journal, 30(2), 94–96.

Colbert, B. J., & Katrancha, E. D. (2016). Career success in health care: Professionalism in action (3rd ed.).

Cengage Learning.

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2015). Quantum leadership: Building better partnerships for sustainable

health (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ruddiman, A. (2016). President’s comment: Thoughts on professionalism. British Columbia Medical Journal,

58(5), 247.

Consider This!

Jane told José that he was a hard worker who always produced for the healthcare clinic;
however, she told him that there seemed to be a disconnect between what he produced and
how he produced it.

Jane asked José to think about the last staff meeting they had, and she specifically asked
what he thought about how his colleagues responded when he started speaking. José told her
that he saw nothing wrong and that people often seemed to think he was a bit pushy, but he
just wanted to make his point forcefully. Jane gave José a series of questions to consider
about the meeting, which they would talk about when he comes back later in the week.

• Did anyone try to talk when José was talking?
• Who looked at José when he was talking, and who looked away?
• What comments did others make about José’s ideas?
• What did others say that made José angry?
• Did José tell anyone that his or her idea would not work?

As José considered these questions, he began to wonder if perhaps he was not projecting the
most professional behaviors in meetings. He decided he needed to create a plan for how he
would project a more positive attitude and professional demeanor in the future.

What types of skills might José practice in the future to improve his professional behaviors?

BHA 3202, Standards for Health Care Staff 4

Suggested Reading

In order to access the following resources, click the links below.

The following reading located in the CSU Online Library will help you gain deeper insight into how having
emotional intelligence can make the workplace a more productive and pleasant environment.

Clapp, S., & Town, L. (2015). Thriving at work through emotional intelligence. American Medical Writers

Association Journal, 30(2), 94–96.

The following reading located in the CSU Online Library provides a perspective on how a professional’s
behaviors guide the profession and set standards for conduct.

Ruddiman, A. (2016). President’s comment: Thoughts on professionalism. British Columbia Medical Journal,

58(5), 247.

Learning Activities (Nongraded)

Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.

Your textbook provides several tools, such as activities and personal assessments, within each chapter so
that you may immediately apply what you are learning. You are highly encouraged to complete these
activities and retain this textbook as a tool and reference as you plan and progress in your career.

Throughout this course, several learning activities are provided to help further your knowledge of healthcare
administration so you can develop your own professional tool kit for career growth.

For this unit, take the time to complete the tasks below.

• Find three websites about the profession of healthcare administration. Many contain links and
resources that you can refer to as you progress in your career.

• Search for, identify, and consider joining a professional organization that is geared toward the
healthcare administrator.

Do not forget that memberships in professional organizations, subscriptions to professional
magazines/journals, and any fees associated with job searching are tax-deductible.

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