Jumpstart Your Nursing Career with an Entry-Level Hospital Job
Linda Childers / Monster Contributing Writer
Healthcare is one industry where good employees are always in demand. With the aging Baby Boom generation expected to stretch the healthcare system to its limit, hospitals and other healthcare employers have a continuing need for workers to fill a variety of entry-level roles, such as dietary aide, admissions representative, administrative assistant, medical records assistant, housekeeper, patient technician, unit clerk and receptionist.
Landing an entry-level job in healthcare offers a chance for fast-track career advancement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the healthcare industry, which employed 13.5 million in 2004, will add nearly 3.6 million new jobs between 2004 and 2014, an increase of 27 percent. Employees already working in the field typically have first crack at promotions.
Here’s how three hospital employees used their entry-level positions to advance their careers.
Recipe for a Career Path
Rachel Diaz began her healthcare career in 1999 when she joined the kitchen staff of Sutter Solano Medical Center as a dietary aide. Diaz had previously worked in a local pizzeria.
Dietary and kitchen positions in healthcare typically pay $20,000 to start and offer a career path for those who want to pursue a culinary career in a hospital setting.
“The fact that I had restaurant experience helped me land my initial job, and a year later, I was promoted to dietary clerk where I worked in the office helping to prepare menus,” she says.
Several months later, Diaz applied for an opening as a file clerk in the hospital’s billing department. She continued climbing the career ladder until she landed her current job as a computer systems coordinator. With each promotion, she learned new skills, such as the hospital’s computer systems and patient-billing process, which helped qualify her for internal promotions.
“There’s never a dull moment working in healthcare,” Diaz says. “I’m always busy, and I really enjoy working in a hospital environment.”