Working In Oncology
Working In Oncology

Episode 6 · 1 year ago

Showing Your Presence: Career Planning in Healthcare


Do hiring managers really toss resumes with misspellings? Yes.

How should I dress for an interview in a private practice? Business attire.

Will it be damaging to take the GRE a second time? Not really.

In this episode, we interview Dr. Joy Parchment, a nurse executive, former pediatric oncology nurse, and faculty at University of Central Florida, about the tactical side of career planning and professional development.

Dr. Parchment and I talked about:

-Starting with what you love, your strengths, and your core values

-Advice on schools, accreditation, and testing

-All about resumes and the interview process

-The biggest myth in healthcare: we can’t adapt to technology

Check out these resources we mentioned in the podcast:

-5 social media mistakes you're probably making  

-How to create a professional brand 

-MyMnCareers: My Career Plan  

Stay connected with Working in Oncology on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our podcast website.

What are the strengths that you bring to the table, and then, after you've identified that, then you start saying, okay, these are my strengths, and then how do I now put them into some type of a career path? You're listening to working in oncology, a podcast and video show that spotlights oncology practice staff and industry influencers who work behind the scenes to shape the future of oncology. The more knowledge the ecology community shares with each other, the more we all grow. Let's get into the show. Welcome to working in oncology. I am your cohost for today, Alisia Evans, and I am joy by Dr Joy Parchment. Dr Joy, welcome to the show. I've been really looking forward to our conversation today. Career Planning and professional development is something that many of us don't think about until we have to. We get caught up in the daytoday work that is in front of us and fail the plan for the future. But, as two thousand and twenty has taught us, nothing is certain. I know our listeners will find so much value in what you're going to share today. So, before we jump into the conversation, can you tell her listener just a little bit about you, your background and what you do. Thank you so much, Alicia. I am thrilled to be here and I am honored to share some thoughts with your audience. So I am a nurse executive. I have to say I'm a former pediatric oncology nurse. Oncology is my love and I stepped out of that setting to go into leadership, and so I am a nurse executive and I have worked with numerous individuals and organizations to be able to build nurses and influence them and engage them in the profession. So I'm thrilled to share some thoughts with your audience. That's incredible. So today we are going to discuss professional development and what it looks like for someone in a busy oncology practice. We're going to go over some steps that our viewers, are listeners can take to help prepare them for the future. So, as I said, sometimes we get caught up in daytoday life we're getting an oncology office is sometimes hectic and we put off planning for the future. But you said something really interesting the other day. Each of us is getted with unique abilities and we have the obligation to grow and develop those abilities and I love that quote I said, I think. I think that it should be stitched on a pillow somewhere. So, for someone just starting to put a plan together, where do you think they should start? Well, that's an interesting question and I think I'm going to look at it from two perspectives, and the first perspective is I think it's important for any individual who is wanting to grow, they need to understand...

...themselves just a little bit. And when I say to perspective, there's an internal perspective and then there's an external perspective. Internally, you have to understand who you are, what your goals are, what your values are, what your strengths are and where you actually will sit in comparison to everybody else. So remember the quote that you just use. You talked about the fact that it is important for us to to we have this obligation to learn and to grow, and if we don't do that then we are being negligent with with the gifts that we have. We're being negligent with understanding why we exist and what we are supposed to do in this vast realm of earth. Right. And so when we think about where do you start, you have to start with yourself. What are your goals? Why are you here? What is it that you want to accomplish and where is it that you want to go? So, when we are doing this introspection, what are some resources? So one of the things that I would suggest that they do would be to sit down and take out a piece of paper. Everybody always says you got to find a book, or you got to do this or you got to do that. My piece would be doesn't cost anything. I think everybody has a piece of paper, everybody has a pen, people even have their phone. Let me just say that you but have their phone. Take your phone out, put up a note and say what do I what's what's right with joy? What's right with Alicia? What is what are the strengths that I bring to the table? Am I somebody that's gifted to be able to communicate with somebody? Am I gifted to be able to build a relationship with somebody? Am I somebody who loves to write? So my daughter, when she was growing up, she loved to write and she would read and write and read and write, and that was something that we had to feed. We Fed her books, we fed her things, so that she could write and think about what she was doing. So to me it's the same thing. Right, you take a sheet of paper, figure out what is it that you love to do, what are the strengths that you bring to to the table, and then, after you've identified that, then you start saying, okay, these are my strengths, and then how do I now put them into some type of a career path? So, if it's something that I love to interact with individuals, maybe I to be in the hospitality industry right or if it's something that I love to read and write, then maybe I'm a journalist. Maybe I am working in marketing, creating different, you know,...

...different brochures or or different things, or interacting with all of these groups. And so you really have to figure out where your strengths are. And so for I would say, to answer your question, I would say take out a piece of paper, start looking at who you are. What are your strengths, what is it that you bring to the table? What area of Industry Do you love? Because I'm sure they're there other industries, and I'm not trying to get away from the healthcare industry. Some people love the healthcare industry. Some people will not ever work in the healthcare injury I have a family member who will never work in healthcare because they're afraid of blood right, and so they would never be somebody that you want to be in the healthcare industry. Now they may be able to work on the outside, not doing patient care. To there are several fields, several paths that can be open to you. Once you've done and an assessment, pen and paper, just write down what you like, what you don't like and what you love to do. Right and and I would add one more thing, and and that is what are your core values? What are things that are important to you? So, if you're somebody WHO LOVES TO BE HONEST WITH PEOPLE, that means you're probably very high on the integrity scale. If you're somebody who is super responsible and dependable, then that also, then, is a core value that that means that that you are that dependable person, you can be counted on, and so you might want to look at an industry where people can definitely count on you and give you tasks that would help you to be more responsible, to be consistent, to be, you know, that that person that everybody realies on. And so look at what are those core values that are that are important for you to do. So we're talking a lot about kind of internal assessment. What about external factors that we should be considering when we're making a plan? I think another important factor, external wise, would then be to say, okay, what industry am I looking at that I think that I want to go and grow in? I'm going to go back to my own example. When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. That was something that I knew and nobody could take that away from me, and my parents sort of gave me that opportunity to go into that direction. I knew I didn't want to go into other fields. It just didn't feel right for me. I wanted to make an am packed with patients, make an impact with nurses, and so when I was looking at where I needed to go to school, one of the things that I learned very early from my mother was you need to go to a college and you need to go to a school that's accredited, and I didn't...

...even know what the heck accredited meant, so I had to go look that up. So one of the things that I'm going to suggest is that if you're going to go to school or program. It could be associate degree program in a college, it could be a technical school, it could be wherever. I think the first thing you need to look at would be definitely is that program is that school accredited, and the reason why that is important? We know that in our healthcare industry we have standards that we have to follow. In the education realm it's no different. Everybody has standards to follow and if a program is not meeting those standards, then there they won't get that that milestone or that accrediting, that accrediting mark to say that they're good enough. And the other thing is if you go to a school that's not accredited, some organizations require that you graduate from an accredited school, that you graduate from an approved school. So if you don't do that, that could be limiting your opportunity as you move forward to go into the employment world. So for those of us who see additional education in our future, we really need to examine the accreditation and approval of that school and make sure that maybe the employee, our goal employers, are even except degrees or diplomas from that program exactly. So, on the subject of school, the thing that kind of barrier intimidation factor that really gets to people are the entrance tests. People know that there's a Dunians test and they get intimidated. They don't want to try. What are some tips? You have any tips for preparing, for getting over that hurdle? And that's an a fabulous question and in the there are lots of different books. It really would depend on which program that person is going to be going into. So if it's the GRE to graduate record examination, I would suggest that they take a review course. Take that review course. Plan out your study time. What I find from individuals is that they underestimate the time that it's take, that it will take them to review that information. And so if the time is I'm sometimes you have many times you have the opportunity to decide when you're going to take the exam. Some people may say, Oh, I can as this exam, I've done this before. HMM. The content is vast, the content is extensive, the content is vastly different from what you did when you went to school, and so it's important to dedicate specific time. What days, be very organized. What...

...days are you going to study? When are you going to study? How long are you going to study? For Are you going to do something a review course that's on the computer? Get a purchase a computer program are you going to do get a book and go through the questions that way, so people have the opportunity to decide which review course they're going to go to. My recommendation would be that you use the same type of format that you're going to find in that entrance exam. So, for example, most of those exams now are computer based and some people still like that paper and Pencil, but you will be taking an exam on the computer. If you're taking an exam on the computer, then it's important for you to get familiar with the buttons that you're going to be pushing. It is pretty much going to be a timed test and so simulate as close to as you possibly can that testing experience, because that testing experience, once you walk in, you'll be much more comfortable with that. So there's that. The second tip that I would give is that to think about it from the perspective of okay, you can always repeat it. Some people think that you have to meet this deadline, and yes, you do in a way have to meet a deadline, but think about this. If you take it a second time. That's fine, right, you take it a second time, you're still moving forward toward your goal. Think about what you would have learned, what did you learn from having to take it the second time? And that's where I think there's a different mindset, mind set that people need to come into a test with. Okay, it's okay if I fail, if I take it a second time, okay, it's not going to be the end of the world. And and then the third thing I would add is to distress. Distress before you get into that testing environment. Get a good night sleep before the exam and come up, eat a breakfast. Some people don't like to eat breakfast because they just don't and eat a breakfast so that your sugar is high, that you're able to think and that you're able to process. So those would be my three tips. Yeah, so prepare your mind the studying and also prepare your body the day of by eating a healthy breakfast, correct and comming, calming yourself correct. So you've taken the exam, we've gotten our diploma or degree. It's time to look for a job, right. So probably the first step will need to take is to write a resume, a beautiful resume. Do you have any tips about resumes? What you'd like to see, what you should not see, do's don'ts? Any information you can give us?...

Absolutely, I think I get. The biggest tip that I would give anybody is make sure there're no grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes. Resume that does not look professional will get tossed. I've done it. I know for a fact because I've done it. I've looked at several resumes and I've seen that one is not formatted correctly. I've seen a couple of misspelled words or or there there are some things that are missing. I don't even bother to give that resume person a second glance. The only way that I would give that person a second glance is if there were recommended. They came highly recommended to me. If they did not, then I would not look at their resume. And so that, I think, is the the first thing. Make sure that you have down the correct information and the information is formatted, information on on your resume is formatted correctly. If that is not formatted correctly, you're going to lose out. Think about on the other side, right think about the person that's hiring your resume. You want to stand out, but I may be getting fifty or a hundred resumes for one position and if I'm going through fifty, two a hundred resumes, HMM, if yours doesn't meet that muster, then you won't get to second base. That makes sense. I mean it does speak to someone's attention to detail if they're if you're someone who doesn't check on the little things and you want someone to or you want the hiring manager to trust you to care for patients, it kind of raises some red flags. Right. Maybe you don't pay attention to out the details that you should absolutely and and that exactly is how I consider it. So if somebody doesn't really take the time to spell something correctly, spell it right, if the they look at and it doesn't really fit with what I am looking for, then I know for a fact that I'm not going to give them that second opportunity, which is that interview sense. And speaking of interviews, this is another intimidating step when looking for a new job. People are not sure how to carry themselves. What should I wear? What should I say? That's probably one of the most googled questions. What do I how do I answer my interview questions. Can you give us some tips on what to do and how to just interview tips from your experience? Interview tips are so vital for any interview and I would say the first thing when I see somebody is they need to be dressed correctly. I've had people...

...come into an interview with jeans. I'm not a fan of jeans. I'm a fan of jeans outside, but for business setting a business opportunity, I'm not a fan of jeans. It doesn't speak to the ability of that person to put themselves and make themselves look professional. It's all about how that individual looks. It's all about whether, again going back to your point attention to detail, if that individual really does not take good it tells me that they may not take good care of themselves. So they don't take good care of themselves, how can I expect them to take good care of my patients or my customers? And so it's important for them to come in with ladies obviously have some makeup on, have on a clean, pressed, pressed, here's the word pressed, outfit, because I've seen people come in for interviews in wrinkle clothes, absolutely wrinkle clothes. They they did not present themselves when they walked in. They did not. I did not believe that they had the confidence in themselves to be able to share the message that the organization had. Because think about this right the best asset for any organization is their workforce. That's the most important asset, and so if that asset really doesn't meet the values or the look of that organization, then this is you know, why would I hire somebody? Take a look around at the big, huge companies. I'm going to go to the tourist industry. Everybody Around Center Florida is familiar with Disney. Everybody has gone to Disney. When you look at Disney, take a look at next time you go. Take a look at their team members. They are all polished. They're all not that some of them have to look the same right. Their uniforms are clean, their uniforms look crisp. Their uniforms say to me that they know what they're doing, and so I have confidence in that person when I see them in a Disney park. And so when you're looking to interview, I would say the first tip make sure that you look the part, or even look the part that's higher than what you're actually going to be interviewing for God that makes perfect things. And just for my own information. So if someone interviewing in a hospital setting versus a private practice, would do you think their interview style or interview attire...

...should be different? Should they be wearing scrubs or do should they go with a business suit? Typically in in a hospital environment, what we have seen is that our interviews will come in with business attire. We didn't we would not expect them to come in with scrubs on unless the manager specifically said I want you to bring in, come in and scrubs today because I want to have you meet with the team or I want you to to do a shadow with one of the team members or something like that. So in a practice, I don't see that as being any different. How is that any different? Because we are still going to be expected to to show our best face, to show our best foot got to the best foot forward and you have to be able to show your presence because if you don't show your presence then you're not going to get to the second stage, which is that interview process understandable. Understandable, you want the person that you're interviewing to be able to project the same professionalism in the interview that they would, you know, to a patient. That makes sense correct. And so we've talked about the interview, but we know it take and we've talked about the resume, but we all know it takes sometimes a little bit more than just your paper resume to get in front of the right people. So let's talk a little bit about networking. We're all busy, we're working, we have covid that kind of interrupts the normal flow of meeting people. So how do you recommend someone working in an oncology practice to start networking and get those connections that they'll need to move on to their next role? Well, I will give two examples. One example would be in and oncology practice, particularly in any oncology specialty, there are numerous professional organizations. So I know in nursing there's an oncology Nursing Society, Ecology Nursing Association that any nurse can enjoy. In that situation, once you are a member and association member, you have the ability to network with a lot. When I say a lot, I mean hundreds of like minded individuals, people who love oncology, people who who you know. There's pediatric side. You can flip into that if you wanted to. There is the breast cancer oncology group that you could flip into if that's what you were very passionate about. And so I would say for nurses, and even I'm not that familiar with the pharmacy world, but I would think that in the pharmacy world there's still that ability to join a professional organization. So there's that.

Now some maybe look for an Anna Association or something to that effect. Correct. The other thing that you could do, which doesn't cost any money, would be to get your profile up on Linkedin. Linkedin, if anybody is not familiar with Linkedin, my recommendation would be get your profile up. You can get a free profile. You don't need that, doesn't cost you any money at all. What it will do is that it you will have to put some time into beef that up. And when I say Linkedin, the reason I say that is that is a place where you can network. You can, in the find other individuals. Let me give you an example of that. I have a profile on Linkedin and about three months ago nurse access to me and wanting to know how she can get her resume into the hands of a group of people and to get a job, obviously, and so I messaged her back and I said, please send me your resume. I looked at it and determined that she did have the qualifications to work in one of our areas where we were looking for people, and I took that resume that she sent me and sent it on to the correct people. That was in a way to connect with somebody. I did not know her, I was not connected to her on Linkedin. She found my profile, don't know how. She never told me, and she asked for assistance right and I forwarded that on to the people that I knew who would be looking for that type of a role. That person to fit that. Now, I'm not saying that every single person is going to have that type of an access or that type of a connection, but I think that's another great way to be able to identify people that are in your field that you can learn from. So I was struggling one time. Another example, I was struggling with a question and I found an individual who I met at a conference and I loved her presentation, but I ended up but a couple months later I ended up with a very similar question. I didn't get her contact information when we were at the conference and I happen to see that she was on Linkedin. Yes, what I did? I messaged her, asked her a question. She sent me back that answer that I needed, which helped me solve a problem. So the connections that you're able to make on linkedin are vast and you can pretty much you know, the world is an oyster. People use that term. The world is open to you to be able to access people...

...not only here in the United States but internationally. And so now you're not just here locally. You're expanded it from the state, you've expanded it from the nation, you've expanded it now internationally. Can you imagine the reach? Look at the reach that you could have if you were able to just have that profile on Linkedin. So two things. Definitely join a professional organization, find one, join one and then in the second thing would be to get a profile on Linkedin and expand that profile and then start connecting with individuals to be able to expand into your network. So I see so often oncology office workers are not used to putting themselves out there, they're not used to promoting themselves. You know, they're those to the grindstone working every day, but it sounds like a linkedin profile is a great way to promote yourself, to make connections, not just, you know, in preparation for the next job, but in case I have a they have a question, there's the whole world of Linkedin available to them to get that that question answered and maybe improve patient care, maybe improve their everyday life. You are absolutely correct, Alicia. I I have found that to be personally. I've done it, I've gave you, given you two examples of how it can be used and it is a rewarding thing to be able to post some of the achievements that you would have done. So linkedin is also another way to promote yourself, to be able to say I got my degree, or I finish this certification or I was able to do whatever. You know, that's another way of recognizing and promoting the things that you have done, because I believe that everybody, and going back to the original quote, everybody has some unique skills and abilities. I don't know if one day I'm going to need somebody in that oncology practice. I don't know if I would be able to need an idea that that person has done I don't know if, if they that this individual has innovated, done some creative practice or initiative that I would need, and the only way I'm going to know that is if they posted on Linkedin so that I can find that information out. And so when you think about self promotion, we are sharing what we have done with the world, we're sharing the good things that we have done with the world, and so we to me,...

I think we have that professional obligation to share. It's that reciprocal thing. You give and you're going to get. And so how do you help? Somebody at people, people who are in healthcare, are underlying reason for doing that is that we want to help. And so one way that you're helping not necessarily helping a patient, but one way that you're helping is that you're helping to expand the knowledge, you're helping to expand the standard, you're helping to do to get, you know, to improve what you have said that you wanted to do. Yeah, that's what mean. That's one of the reasons why we started the PODCAST. Right we want to be a place where you can collect different ideas from different oncology practices and maybe help move the practice forward exactly and I love that. I really love that this has been such a great conversation. And so I have a question that I like to kind of close us out with, and that's not really related to what we've talked about before, but what is a commonly held belief in your field that you just want to get rid of it? It's just so false, it just it's an urban myth and it's not true at all and you which people would stop doing it. I have a lot of urban myths though the speak, but I think the my main one is, particularly in healthcare, we don't see that technology can benefit us. So when you're kind of back to the Linkedin, right, that's a bit of technology that people are kind of hesitant to adopt. Right. So when you think about smart homes, right, everybody understands that people have a google in their home and it says tell me, what about this? You pick up your phone and you say hey, Sirie and it tells you x, Y Z. How do we use that technology in a way that will take take better care of our patients? How do we use robotics that it's totally integrated in healthcare? How do we use artificial intelligence to be ought to be totally integrated in healthcare. So the pandemic in in healthcare environment, the pandemic has pushed us to do virtual tell a health visit, has pushed us to do whatever you want to call it, virtual visits, tell health visits, tell visits, whatever the word is, and that means for us now we are doing things that we never thought we would do. Even my primary physician is doing televisits. She is somebody who is so engaging. She loves her FIT patient contact. You know, in the postcovid world she would touch your hand, you know, really caring...

...individual. She can't do that right now with some covid, you know, precautions that we currently have. So she is now doing televisits and she has to adapt. So, in addition to the myth, the big myth is the healthcare and environment, we can come into a better utilization of technology and we need to. We need to transform care using technology because we cannot be behind. If you look at some of the other industries, some of the hotel tourist industries, you walk in and you push a button and everything you know, if you have everything at your disposal. So why can't we do the same thing in a hospital setting. Why can't a patient who is in a hospital room push your button and get whatever blanket that they want delivered to them? Why can't we? Why can't we do some of those other things? And so I think the myth is that healthcare is not able to transform and I have to disagree with that myth here. Must Transform if we're going to continue to give our patients the exemplary care that they need. That is a wonderful insight, Dr Joy. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I can really see how technology kind of works into the networking and using a new platform like or a different platform like Linkedin, especially considering the covid precautions, we can share more information, pushed more technology out and it really is a resource also for getting the latest in technology. So as soon as there's a new development, it's posted on Linkedin and you can be at the forefront and know this information before it's spread out to the masses. And I want to thank you so much for joining us today. This has been working in oncology and we really appreciate you being a guest. Thank you so much, Alicia. I have enjoyed our conversation. I am totally impressed by your ability to be so creative and to to push the conversation even more. Thank you. I've been honored to participate in this amazing podcast. Thanks again. Are You satisfied with your patients curtsy to therapy, or are you just settling? You can improve patient outcomes with bioplus specialty pharmacies power of two, the first ever two hour, two day to gather promise. It's faster and easier for you and your patients to learn more. Visit bioplus R xcom. You've been listening to working in oncology. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening... Apple Podcast, we've love for you to leave quick rating of the show. Just have the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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