Getting a job in the healthcare system seems inaccessible when you didn't go to medical or nursing school — but that's not really the case. Whether you've waited tables at a restaurant, stocked the shelves of a liquor store or just finished high school, you're prepared to take on a role in healthcare as providers recruit talent to help fight the coronavirus.
Read on to learn who's hiring, how they're hiring and the specific job titles available.
Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require Clinical Experience
Nurses aren't the only healthcare workers in demand right now. From food service to administrative work, providers are bringing non-clinical workers on board to meet the needs of new patients. Here are a few key jobs that might be available in your community:
Customer Service & Administration
Customer service associates who were recently may be able to find a comparable job in healthcare — an easy transition if you were laid off from retail or the restaurant industry. In other industries customer service is usually outsourced, but there are many US-based opportunities in the healthcare space.
Customer service reps schedule appointments, verify insurance, address customer questions, and update and maintain patient databases. While experience working in healthcare is preferred, it isn’t necessary. This could be a gateway job for a career in hospital administration.
The administrative roles you come across will have a more challenging job description and tighter requirements. And, customer service reps for a medical device manufacturer, for example, will be assigned more administrative work that requires some experience or background knowledge on the products.
Here’s a sample of available job titles:
- Customer service representative
- Customer concierge (at CVS Health)
- Patient registration specialist
- Medical biller
- Medical transcriptionist
By far, this is the clearest route into healthcare if you’ve worked at a dining or drinking establishment. You'll find culinary and food service jobs in nursing homes, hospitals, long-term care facilities and anywhere else that provides inpatient care.
There’s a range of food service jobs available. Dishwashers, for example, fill the same role in healthcare as in the restaurant business. In some states, a ServSafe Food Handler certification is required, but overall, anyone with a high school diploma (or its equivalent) and some specialized training in dining services will be qualified.
Cooks and waiters/waitresses who worked at restaurants can effortlessly transition into similar roles with a healthcare provider. You may also see unfamiliar job titles, such as food service aides. Typically, when you read the job description you’ll find they are nearly identical to other kinds of kitchen work. With any of these jobs, you should be prepared for intensive training in cleaning and sanitation.
Here’s a sample of available job titles:
- Food service worker/dietary aide
Some long-term care and assisted living facilities are looking for van or bus drivers to transport their residents to and from appointments. Almost anyone would qualify for the job, as all that’s required is a valid driver's license and a high school diploma (or its equivalent).
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, healthcare providers are making the hiring of janitors, housekeepers and other custodians a high priority. They often use third-party companies to professionally clean and sanitize their spaces, so look for listings from Healthcare Services Group and the like.
Most custodial positions don’t require work experience, though it's preferred. You will receive on-the-job training for how to deal with trash, medical waste and sharp objects. Anyone who has worked in waste removal and sanitation will have no trouble transitioning to these jobs.
Here’s a sample of available job titles:
- Sanitation tech
- Environmental services
- Laundry aide
Healthcare Jobs That Require Degrees or Certifications
As coronavirus cases mount, hospitals, some doctors' offices and medical centers are urgently hiring. Most of the new jobs involve emergency and critical care.
Hiring has become so urgent that retired doctors and nurses are being asked to come out of retirement, and medical students are graduating early to begin work.
Among healthcare professionals, registered nurses (RNs) are on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. Trusted Health has pulled together a real-time list of open positions and "high impact opportunities" for RNs who want to help with the pandemic. Each listing includes weekly pay, start date and a link to an application. Unfortunately, many new listings are concentrated in certain areas of the country, and now is not a great time to move. If you'd like to keep your job search local, use a job board that allows you to search specific job titles in your town or city.
Now, RNs are particularly needed in the following units:
- Intensive Care
- Progressive Care
Many providers are hiring right now, bypassing the interview process and only accepting applications from nurses who can start within two weeks. The jobs are extremely demanding with floating 12-hour shifts, guaranteed overtime and no time off.
Employers are loosening up requirements the best they can. While some positions require a year or two of on-the-job experience, others will hire nurses who just graduated and only possess a temporary license. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNA) are also in demand. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of RN licensure rules.
Additionally, because the coronavirus affects the lungs so severely, certified respiratory therapists (CRT) are also in high demand at medical establishments across the country. To become a respiratory therapist, you must have an associate's or bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy, a certification and a license to practice in your state.
While the interview process might be more relaxed at the moment, all of these positions will require an updated resume. Additionally, a well-written cover letter can help you stand out from the competition.
3 Tips for Building Your Healthcare Resume
Many of the positions above will require an updated resume. It doesn’t have to be fancy — but it has to be clear, concise and customized to the job to which you’re applying. Here are three pieces of advice to help get you started:
- Focus on relevant work history. When you list your work history, you don’t need to give every job equal weight. Maybe you worked at a hospital a couple of jobs back. This is a highly relevant experience in your future employer's eyes. Beef up that section with extra bullet points, and consider how you can tie them to the job description at hand.
- Highlight transferable skills. If you're trying to move from your current industry into healthcare, you'll have to highlight your transferable skills. These are skills you picked up in your previous work that will be helpful in the new role. For example, someone who waited tables at a restaurant built up their active listening and communication skills, which will come in handy in any customer service position, including in healthcare. Weave these skills into your professional summary, work history and skills sections.
- Emphasize clinical training and coursework. For those obtaining a healthcare degree, now is a good time to get a job, with some programs graduating students early so they can join the fight against coronavirus. Since you won’t have much, if any, on-the-job experience, you will need to emphasize your clinical training and coursework. Here's an example of what an education section should look like for an entry-level certified nursing assistant position.
Finally, you don't have to do this alone. If you'd like help, one great resource is our Resume Builder. It’s free and includes plenty of healthcare resume templates that will ensure your resume is worthy of consideration. Ultimately, do whatever you can to paint your work experience, skills and education in the best possible light, so you can quickly land a desirable job in healthcare.