Going through the education system and getting a qualification to become a doctor or nurse is certainly one way to find a job in a hospital, but did you know that there are other routes and career options available too? Whether you’re trying to increase your chances of becoming a doctor, or whether you simply want to be involved in hospital healthcare regardless of the position, here are a few avenues that you may be able to take.
Apprenticeships are opening up new industry experiences to people that in the past might have required more formal training, allowing on the job learning. Whilst you can’t become a doctor through an apprenticeship, you can use an apprenticeship to work in areas such as maternity support and emergency care. This means that you could help a midwife with a birth or assist an ambulance team.
Apprenticeships still require some qualifications such as decent GCSEs, or some cases high-scoring A-levels. There can be some tough competition getting into these apprenticeship positions including multiple applications and interviews, so be sure to show your enthusiasm and how any past experience/skills could be applied to the apprenticeship.
There are some non-clinical roles that require no experience at all such as being a porter. This role involves escorting patients with mobility issues around the hospital, moving machinery for operations and collecting medicine and tools for doctors and patients. You get to work closely with nurses and doctors and learn on the job.
Other non-clinical roles may require grades or specific non-university training courses. There are several medical billing and coding schools that can allow you to carry out advanced hospital admin, such as insurance billing and keeping digital records organised. An engineering course meanwhile may be able to land you a job in prosthetics – creating artificial limbs for patients with amputations and disabilities. Even some jobs in maternity care and emergency care can be accessed through a substitute course other than a degree.
There are all manner of volunteering opportunities in a hospital too. Roles could include helping with the cleaning and maintenance of wards, mealtime support, helping at the enquiry desk or taking a shopping trolley around the wards for patients.
There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities from employer-supported volunteering to time banking. You can also get involved in fundraising or running support groups. Various charities work with hospital patients and may need you to be in the hospital. On top of this there are various bio-banking opportunities such as offering blood, skin tissue, saliva or urine for research.
You can look for voluntary work directly through the NHS, or you can go through a volunteer service or charity. Do-it is a useful service offering a national database of volunteer opportunities in the UK. The site has over 1 million voluntary opportunities covering all trades, and you can search via your area of interest and postal code. Try it out and see if there are any voluntary hospital positions local to you.
Volunteering offers experience that can be used for other jobs and career advancement as well.