How To Get a Hospital Job With No Experience (With Steps and Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 31, 2022 | Published May 25, 2021
Updated August 31, 2022
Published May 25, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
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Are you interested in a career in the healthcare industry, but are not sure which job is best for you, or how to start preparing for it? We have you covered!
The healthcare industry is a stable and growing sector for a professional career, even if you have limited experience. Many entry-level hospital positions offer on-the-job training and don't require degrees, experience or certification. If you're interested in a healthcare job that offers stable employment and a fulfilling career with advancement opportunities, knowing which jobs to explore can help you focus your job search. In this article, we examine how to get a hospital job with no experience, tips for applying and specific examples of positions you can inquire about to help you establish yourself in a healthcare career.
What are some hospital jobs you can get with no experience?
There is an abundance of jobs you can pursue in healthcare that require little to no experience to get started. Here are 16 hospital positions to consider in your job search:
Certified nursing assistant (CNA): You provide basic care and comfort for patients, typically in non-acute situations. While this job doesn't require experience to get started, you usually need certification, which can take roughly six months to earn.
Environmental services technician: You help keep the hospital clean and safe by handling janitorial tasks like mopping, dusting, emptying trash bins and disposing of biological waste.
Food service worker: You prepare and deliver food trays to patients, often based on dietary needs, and can work in the cafeteria to provide service for visiting family and friends.
Interpreter: You help interpret communication between a patient and the doctors, nursing and medical staff when there is a language barrier. Speaking more than one language is helpful in this career, and the different languages needed may depend on the location.
Medical biller: You handle billing, payments and insurance dealings for patients and hospitals, often organizing and following up on paperwork and payment.
Medical coder: You work with patient and medical records to determine the correct medical insurance codes to submit for reimbursement and record-keeping.
Medical secretary: You handle appointment bookings, staff training, scheduling, ordering office supplies, administrative tasks and more.
Medical scribe: You fill out patient charts using electronic medical records and software for hospitals and medical staff.
Medical transcriptionist: You listen to dictation and type medical records, often for doctors, surgeons and specialists. You work on a variety of documents and need excellent typing, organization and time management skills.
Patient care technician (PCT): You assist medical staff with basic procedures like taking vital signs, drawing blood, performing electrocardiograms (EKG) and other patient care. While being a PCT is an entry-level role, it often requires certification which can take roughly a year to complete.
Patient service representative: You work directly with patients, helping liaison between patients and hospital staff, advocating for the patient and resolving disputes or complaints.
Pharmacy technician: You fill patient prescriptions and prepare medicine or intravenous fluids (IV) for nursing and physician staff to dispense to patients. You store drugs properly and complete all records accurately. Certification for this role often takes less than a year to earn.
Phlebotomist: You work with blood in this role, collecting samples from patients, properly handling, analyzing and disposing of them and recording results in medical records. Sometimes you need a certification for this role, which takes less than a year to earn.
Psychiatric aide: You care for mentally ill patients, helping them with everyday activities like bathing, dressing, eating and exercise.
Receptionist: You answer phones, handle mail and deliveries, check in visitors and give facility directions as a hospital receptionist, typically working in the lobby.
Security officer: You protect patients, visitors, hospital staff and vendors as a security guard and handle patrolling of the area, monitoring security cameras and dealing with safety or security issues.
Related: How To Get a Job With No Experience
How to get a hospital job with no experience
If you are interested in a hospital career and have limited experience, consider following these steps to gain employment:
1. Graduate high school
While many hospital entry-level positions don't require certifications or college degrees, most require at least a high school diploma or a general education development (GED) equivalent. Consider volunteering in healthcare settings, like a nursing home, community clinic or hospital, to get an insight into the healthcare field and learn about available jobs that may interest you.
2. Attend vocational or technical training
Because the healthcare industry is often competitive, having certification for certain roles can help you stand out from other candidates, and some states require it for certain positions. For example, certified nursing assistants (CNA), patient care technicians (PCT), pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists and other medical positions all typically have vocational or technical training and programs to teach you relevant skills and knowledge and help you prepare for certification tests. Completing special education for these professions can lead to higher salaries or even job placements through the school.
Other roles in hospital settings, like food or environmental services, rarely require special certifications or experience.
3. Write a resume
Prepare your resume and cover letter materials to showcase your talents, qualifications and education more so than your experience. Be sure to include keywords throughout your documents that are used in job descriptions to help you advance in the hiring process and secure an interview. Because you may have limited experience for the roles you apply to, consider having your resume focus on:
Highlighting your soft skills: Your soft skills help you do a job well and typically are useful no matter the career choice. Incorporate them into your resume and cover letter, and include skills like communication, organization, teamwork, time management and attention to detail.
Showcasing your transferable background: Transferable skills are ones you develop through your past jobs or experience that relate to the current job you're applying to. For example, if you want to become a medical secretary and have worked in customer service or receptionist roles, you have transferable skills. Even roles that are not similar often have overlapping duties or skills required.
4. Grow your professional network
Networking and growing your professional contacts is a great way to learn more about the healthcare industry, hospital roles and future job openings. Consider reaching out to those already in positions that interest you and ask to learn more about how they got the role and what they like about it. Share your experience and background with your professional contacts for them to offer guidance, advice or mentorship. A strong professional network is beneficial not just to learn about position openings, but to secure a potential job recommendation when it comes time to apply.
Read more: 7 Networking Tips for Getting a Job
5. Set up job alerts
Many hospital websites allow you to create a user profile in advance, where you can upload your personal information and resume to have on file. You can create or set alerts for jobs you are interested in and when open positions become available, it alerts you about the opening. Completing the application is also faster when you have your details already stored on the online platform. Job alerts are a great way to learn about hiring opportunities throughout your career.
6. Apply for jobs
Explore what kind of work environment or job responsibilities you prefer and research jobs that match your skill set or other transferable qualifications. Look for job openings through online career platforms, job placement offices, industry colleagues and job fairs or recruiting opportunities. Consider letting your friends and family members know you are seeking employment in a hospital since job recommendations can often come through referrals.
Read more: 17 Types of Hospital Jobs To Explore
7. Get on-the-job training
The healthcare industry often includes on-the-job training to help you become fully competent no matter the role, and a hospital job is no different. Depending on the position you get hired for, the on-the-job training may last a few weeks or several months. It helps you learn all the policies, procedures and regulations or rules for your role and get acquainted with the facility and staff.
8. Continue learning
There are many opportunities for self-education in the healthcare industry and hospital setting. Consider attending workshops, conferences, seminars and online or in-person training sessions to hone your skills or develop new ones. You can often increase your salary by growing your professional skill set, even if you stay in the same role. It may also give you opportunities to advance your career in other areas and positions. Continued education opportunities also allow you to keep growing your professional network.
Tips for applying for hospital jobs
Here are other tips to keep in mind when applying for hospital jobs with no experience:
Take entry-level positions. An entry-level hospital job offers you an opportunity to advance your career in the future by offering relevant work experience that can qualify you for other positions. Also, consider part-time hospital work if it is available. It's often easier to develop and grow your career if you already have employment in a hospital setting.
Consider relocation. Depending on your location, there may be more hospital job opportunities in other geographic areas. Consider widening your job search to other areas to increase the likelihood of securing a job if relocation is a possibility for you.
Ask for feedback. Not every application, interview or job prospect leads to an offer, and it is helpful to ask for feedback to learn areas of improvement. Consider calling or emailing the recruiter or hiring manager to learn how you can best position yourself for a similar role in the future. Not only will it give you valuable insight, but your diligence can also strengthen your reputation for the next time you apply.
Go back to school. If the hospital job you really want requires a degree, consider going back to school to gain the necessary education and qualifications. Many programs offer part-time study or online platforms, making it accessible and flexible to those who hold full-time jobs and other life commitments.
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