Why Work at a Top Hospital
John Rossheim | Monster Senior Contributing Writer
If you’ve got a serious medical problem, the takeaway from US News & World Report’s rankings of hospitals is obvious: For cancer, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is the most likely to offer you effective treatment; for heart trouble, the Cleveland Clinic is number one. But what if you’re a nurse or allied healthcare worker, or you’re considering a career in healthcare? What’s different about working at a top hospital? And what distinguishes the healthcare professionals who are hired by the best hospitals?
Creating a Talent Pipeline
High-ranking hospitals and their staffs distinguish themselves by the goals they set. “We have a high expectation of individuals we’re hiring, and our hires have a high expectation of us,” says Joseph Cabral, director of career services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
But the best hospitals do more than just hope for the best; they set recruiting and training resources to the task. At Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, “we have a nurse internship program that gives new grads better support,” says Armando Morales, a nursing recruiter.
While some hospitals pride themselves on hiring many top-of-their-class graduates, other institutions say academic performance doesn’t predict professional accomplishment. “You can take any nurse and make them successful by giving them the right tools,” says Sharon Dickinson, a clinical nurse specialist in the surgical intensive care unit at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.
Special Challenges and Rewards
Top hospitals treat lots of acutely ill patients, who flock there for life-saving care. This poses intellectual and emotional challenges for the healthcare staff.
“We get the most unusual cases, the sickest patients, those with multiple conditions,” says Jan Mulcrone, director of human resources at the 12,000-employee University of Michigan Health System.
Dickinson says Michigan’s nurses thrive in the environment of a teaching hospital.