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Medical Field: How to Get Your Foot in the Door at a Hospital

Updated on February 26, 2011

Can't Afford College? Let someone else do it!

So, you want to work in the health care field, eh? A lot of people these days can't afford college. If you're like myself, you don't have to. You're not going to become a doctor, following this article, but you CAN get a job in the medical field as well as a college degree. It's quite simple, really. It just takes some time.

Nursing, in particular, is in demand. Doing a simple job search will confirm this. Hospitals need nurses. Period. If you're looking into nursing, this can definitely help, as well as nearly any 2-year degree program.

Most hospitals, especially ones located near a community college, will offer to pay so much money a year to help put you through college, if you're an employee. It may be a somewhat small amount, $1,500 to $2,000 a year. But that will pay for your pre-requisite classes, and if you take 2 classes a semester, you will still be able to work full time and knock out 4-6 classes a year.

Most hospitals do their hiring online these days. Google search your closest hospital. Most of their web pages will have a link somewhere that says "careers" or "job opportunities." Find that link! If your hospital doesn't have one, look for the second closest hospital to you.

Look for a simple job that only requires a high school diploma. I found a job as a Radiology Technologists Assistant, which paid crappy, but it was a job. You can be a nurse's aid, or work with transportation. You can work in the cleaning crew or maintenance if you are tool savvy. You can even work in the cafeteria! Some places will train EKG techs and orthopedic techs on the job, and those jobs actually pay decent! Get a job inside the hospital. That's all you have to do. And be sure to do your homework. It would be quite pointless to work at a hospital that doesn't offer the benefits of tuition assistance. Call the hospital and ask if you are unsure.

When you get your job interview, or even if you are filling out the application, they will ask if you have any experience. Everyone does! Everyone has dealt with a sick person, or has dealt with a death. If you have kids, that's experience! Don't be afraid to use personal, non-paid experiences as... experience! Also, a lot of hospitals will ask if you've ever taken a medical terminology class. If you haven't, I don't think it's a deal breaker. If you're comfortable with it, LIE. You will learn terms and all that jazz as you work in your field.

After you finish your pre-requisite classes, which are your math, sciences, English, etc., you will have to take clinical classes. These are fairly more demanding because most of your classes will be for multiple hours a day at a hospital setting. For example, you may have class from 7 in the morning, until 4 in the afternoon, doing pretty much what your job is going to be in the future. Not getting paid, though. By then, you should drop to part time. Fill out a FAFSA (financial aid form, you can fill it out online or pick up a paper copy at the local library), and you should get some sort of student aid. No one can survive full time work and go to school full time. If you're single and live by yourself (or a woman and has kids with no husband) you SHOULD get some sort of financial aid. This will cover most, if not all, of the rest of your clinical classes, on top of the $1,500 a year you are getting from your job.

It'll take awhile. It may take 4 years to get your 2 year degree, but you don't have to pay a cent. If you have any expenses, just remember, once you graduate, you will be making much more money, and those expenses aren't that expensive anymore. If there is a will, there is a way. "College is too expensive" is no longer an excuse. Push yourself and get into a job that is rewarding both financially, and mentally.


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    • susanlang profile image


      8 years ago

      Good information, should help people.


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