By Tim Cannon
Think about jobs for creative people. Does health IT come to mind? Probably not.
I know what you’re thinking -- health information and technology sound like the two things creative people like least. Science and heavy duty coding, no thank you. But positions in health IT are actually great jobs or creative people.
Health IT still requires education and specialized knowledge, but those with creative skills and qualities will do well in the field. And with coding bootcamps, online courses, certification programs, and flexible programs at community colleges, gaining tech skills that are in high-demand is an easier feat than you think.
Here are just a few reasons why creative types will excel in health IT:
They visualize the end result.
Although health IT sounds like a pretty technical field, there’s a lot of creative work that goes into it. Creativity allows professionals to think of an idea and then visualize what the final result will look like. And visualization is key when working with networking design and abstract concepts that go into creating and maintaining health tech.
For example, systems analysts find issues with network design, and those with visualization skills will thrive in the role. They will be able to foresee problems and plan tech improvements to avoid them.
They think through other points of view.
Communication skills are among employers’ most wanted competencies, according to the NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update survey, and they’re especially important in health IT. Verbal communication skills are needed to explain systems to healthcare providers and other clients, but communication in health IT goes beyond that.
Expressing yourself is only half of what makes great communication skills -- the other half is listening. Although it sounds simple, listening to what other people have to say, and understanding what they mean and where they’re coming from is a special skill -- one creative types are usually equipped with.
For example, writers always have to listen to their audience, what they know, and how they will understand things. In health IT, creative types can listen to what healthcare providers and patients need from technology. They can understand the user’s point of view while designing -- what do healthcare professionals want in an EMR? What will make their job easier?
In addition, those with strong communication skills can understand what patients want from m-health solutions, which are becoming more and more popular. In a 2015 report from Salesforce, 60 percent of millennials surveyed said they support the use of tele-health options, and 71 percent want to interact with providers on mobile apps.
Creative types with strong communication skills can take the needs of both patients and providers into consideration to create the m-health solutions that are needed.
They solve problems in unique ways.
Creative types look at problems in unique ways and challenge traditional views to find innovative solutions -- and that’s exactly the kind of thinking that’s needed in health IT.
While coding requires great attention to detail, coming up with new solutions to complex healthcare problems requires non-stop problem solving. New ideas are needed every day, and that’s what creative professionals are experts in.
Problem-solving skills are especially necessary in the cybersecurity space. Similar to a detective, cybersecurity professionals need to use problem solving and critical thinking skills to see patterns to think like a hacker and keep sensitive patient data secure.
These skills are in high demand considering recent data breaches. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts positions for information security analysts will grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, more than three times the average growth rate of 11 percent predicted for all occupations. Cybersecurity positions require a lot of specialized knowledge, but creative people with innate problem solving skills will thrive in the growing field.
They’re driven by passion.
Creative types throw themselves into their work when they are passionate, and strong passion is needed in demanding health IT jobs. IT professionals work long hours, are often on-call, and deal with a lot of stress -- especially knowing that their work impacts patient care.
But passion keeps employees motivated and engaged. Passion is what drives creatives to find new ideas, to innovate, and see a project through to completion. These are the same initiatives that drive health IT professionals to continually improve care for patients and make processes simpler for healthcare professionals.
From the outside, positions in health IT don’t seem like the best jobs for creative people. But natural creative skills are actually a great match for working in the field. With the right training and experience, creatives can thrive in health IT.
Do you think health IT positions make great jobs for creative people? Share in the comments below!