What do Orderlies Do?
Orderlies are the backbone of any medical facility. Under the guidance of nurses and doctors, orderlies handle all the day-to-day care and cleaning of hospital rooms, equipment and patients. Some aspects of the job are less glamorous than others, but they are vital in the role of helping people manage and overcome illness and injury. Being an orderly is a great job for anyone who wants to help others.Any hospital needs orderlies, and the demand is always rising. There are projected to be 1,940 orderly job openings annually in the United States, and a 17% growth in openings through 2022.
Orderlies Skills and Abilities
Orderlies need to be in fair to good physical shape because sometimes you will be using and moving heavy equipment or helping to shift a patient from a gurney to a bed. Spending so much time around the sick and injured means good emotional stamina is beneficial, too. Being able to look at a situation and make a snap decision is also key when dealing with any patient emergency. The ability to communicate with coworkers, supervisors and patients is very important, so a firm grasp of the English language is a must. There is some computer use; be sure you can operate a standard desktop and understand basic technical instructions.
As an orderly, you would be expected to fill in everywhere you are needed. Many of the jobs fall into the service and cleaning industry, such as:helping patients to stand, walk, exercise or use the facilitiescollecting soiled linensserving and collecting food trayscleaning wheelchairs and hospital bedssterilizing medical toolsanswering patient call signalsseparating waste in accordance with environmental policiesdelivering messages and documentsThere are also more medically-focused aspects to an orderly’s job, such as collecting vitals and restraining patients for safe transport. You would also be stocking medical, utility and cleaning supplies. In some hospitals, there would also be contact with dead bodies and the morgue.
Orderlies Tools and Technology
Orderlies use a lot of specialized medical equipment in their line of work. When working with patients, you may come across defibrillators, hydraulic lifts, blood pressure cuffs and therapeutic heating packs. More mundane tools, such as cleaners, germicides and hand carts, are also common. The technology you would use will vary between institutions as many have specialized in-house software, but you’ll want to be familiar with desktop computers and as many medical record programs as you can.
Education and Training for Orderlies
An orderly is expected to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent certification. This is an entry level position, so some time spent in on-the-job training is expected, so your chances are good even if you don’t have any experience. If you’ve worked in other fields and wonder if your experience crosses over any, check your work history against this list.Ambulance DriverAthletic TrainerHome Health AideMedical AssistantPhysical Therapist
Orderlies are not known for their large salaries since it is an entry level job, but there are plenty of growth opportunities. The median nationwide salary is $24,700 and the top 10% of orderlies earn $37,700. The three states with the highest median salary are California, Hawaii and New York.
Orderlies Jobs by Geography
Orderlies are needed everywhere, they are a vital part of any hospital or other health care facility. Kentucky has by far the highest number of positions in the country, 25,350 out of the available 54,600 in the United States. Other top employers are Texas, California and New York.