If you are an aspiring healthcare professional, you know the high levels of training and education needed to succeed in the field. Whether you are working to become a physician, nurse, physician assistant, or allied health professional, schooling is long and difficult, and gaining relevant experience is crucial.
Shadowing is an excellent way to glean insight into what a day in your future career might look like, but it may not be the best choice for those looking for more of a hands-on experience. Additionally, shadowing medical professionals does not pay the bills -- and if you are already working a part-time job, why not make it relevant to your career choice?
Fortunately, there are several options for students to gain paid experience in the medical field without earning a college degree.
Here are three great part-time hospital jobs for college students:
Also known as a Nursing Assistant or a Patient Care Assistant, CNAs help patients with various healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN). CNAs can work in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, personal homes, and assisted living facilities.
The responsibilities of Certified Nursing Assistants include acting as a liaison between the patient and the nurse, and helping the nurse with anything she may need. CNAs help patients with basic quality-of-life needs, such as answering patient calls, taking temperature and other vital signs, feeding patients, cleaning rooms, dressing wounds, helping with medical procedures, documenting patient's’ health issues, and staying in constant communication with nurses.
While you do not need a degree to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, you will need to take special CNA classes and pass a competency exam to learn your certificate and become qualified to practice as a CNA. The length of CNA certification programs vary depending on state and other variables, but they can take anywhere from four to 12 weeks to complete.
A job as a CNA comes with flexible hours and an estimated job growth of 17 percent, which is much faster than average. In terms of pay, Certified Nursing Assistants earn a median of $15 per hour. To read more about a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and view available job openings, visit our CNA career profile.
Phlebotomists are medical professionals who are responsible for collecting blood for donation and testing. They are trained to collect blood through simple skin punctures or more complicated venipuncture procedures.
The blood is then analyzed in a diagnostic laboratory to diagnose illnesses, evaluate proper nutrition levels, and determine the effective level of medication dosage. Blood testing can also determine a patient's blood sugar and blood type.
In addition to taking blood, phlebotomists are responsible for properly sanitizing all equipment before it is used, accurately labeling all collected blood samples, and proper storage and transport of blood samples and necessary equipment.
To become one, a high school diploma and completion of a certification program is required. To ultimately take the certification exam, future phlebotomists must complete a training program in which the student will study anatomy, blood collection procedures, proper storage, safety precautions, and any other skills necessary to become a successful phlebotomist.
They must also demonstrate 100 successful venipunctures and 25 skin punctures. All in all, the National Phlebotomy Association requires 200 hours of training, which includes clinical experience to be eligible for certification. Finally, students must pass a certification exam with a score of at least 70 percent.
Upon certification, phlebotomists can be employed in clinical laboratories, community health centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, blood donation centers and other health care facilities. Phlebotomists earn an average hourly wage of $15.33. To read more about what phlebotomists do, check out our phlebotomist career profile.
Medical scribes play an important supporting role to physicians in a variety of healthcare settings. From the emergency room to a private orthopedic practice, scribes act as the eyes and ears of physicians by helping document patient visits and taking care of clerical responsibilities such as charting.
Typically, medical scribes follow physicians around to see patients, carrying a computer to chart patient encounters in real-time, taking the record-keeping responsibility off of the doctor.
Becoming a medical scribe is a great way for medical school hopefuls and future physicians to get hands-on experience and a firsthand look into the life of a physician. In fact, this experience is so valuable that many medical schools recommend pre-med college students to pursue a part-time job as a medical scribe.
To become one, no certification exams are necessary, but most scribes attend training at a scribe headquarters facility followed by around a month of supervised training shifts.
The median hourly wage of a medical scribe is $17.26. To gather more information on medical scribes, read about a typical day in the life of a medical scribe, or view our career profile page.
Medical Billers play one of the most important roles in the healthcare industry as they collect payment from patients and then submit reimbursement claims to insurance companies. In addition, Medical Billers are responsible for managing medical billing records for healthcare facilities, hospitals, or clinics. As a Medical Biller, you are going to be responsible for ensuring that every patient is staying up to date on their payments by entering in the information correctly.
If a hospital or healthcare facility doesn’t know whether or not a patient has paid an outstanding bill for services rendered, then the patient might get double-charged and cause a ton of problems for all involved. Medical Billers are also responsible for everything else that is related to the billing process. These other responsibilities include checking eligibility requirements and verifying insurance options for treatments, procedures, or time spent at the hospital.
Medical Billers will frequently spend large amounts of their time through accounting and billing software, digital paper processing, and claim processing software. Some time will be spent on the phone as you coordinate with other healthcare facilities, billing offices, and insurance companies to ensure that payments are accurate and there are no discrepancies along the way.
Another core responsibility of Medical Billers is to answer any questions that a patient might have regarding their bill, payment structure, account discrepancies, or collection statements. From there, Medical Billers are responsible for updating various spreadsheets that help facilities and managers stay up to date on collection reports.
Becoming a Medical Biller is a great hospital job for students, as it helps you understand some of the inner-workings of the healthcare industry as it pertains to billing and patient account coordination. Students can become a Medical Biller by obtaining a certification, or in some cases an Associate’s Degree. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a Medical Biller is $34,000 to $41,000 per year.
Becoming a Psychiatric Aide is a great hospital job for students if you’re interested in helping mentally impaired or mentally disabled patients. Psychiatric Aides work hand in hand with mental health caregivers as they help mentally impaired, emotionally impaired, or mentally disabled patients. As a Psychiatric Aide, some of the core responsibilities will be about helping the nurses or medical staff in some of the daily living activities that might include recreational activities, educational activities, transportation from one part of the facility to another, helping with examinations, and assisting with various treatments.
Psychiatric Aides provide any assistance that the psychiatric medical staff might need when dealing with mentally ill patients. Some of the core responsibilities of Psychiatric Aides include recording patient information, updating patient information, recording vital signs and eating habits, keeping track of the patients’ progress, assisting with physical checks or observations, providing emotional support and encouragement, and serving meals to patients.
Depending on the role, you might also be asked to assist with restraining patients, cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms, completing administrative tasks, and aiding patients as they become accustomed to the mental health aspect of their care.
If you have noticed that you’re incredibly patient with others or have an easy time explaining things to individuals that don’t understand, then this is one hospital job you should consider as a student.
As a Psychiatric Aide, you can expect to earn between $22,000 to $40,000 per year, according to Recruiter.com.
Becoming a Psychiatric Aide is a great hospital job for students because the job only requires a high school diploma or GED.
Medical Assistants play one of the most important role in healthcare offices, clinics, and hospitals. Medical Assistants are responsible for a lot of the administrative duties in a hospital environment, and also perform a variety of common clinical tasks that are easy to learn and implement in a daily routine. Medical Assistants are responsible for a host of administrative tasks which include handling various billing and bookkeeping tasks, maintaining accurate medical records, updating medical records, and authorizing prescription refills.
Some of the clinical tasks that a Medical Assistant might be responsible for include measuring vital signs, recording patient vital signs, assisting patients during various procedures, performing basic laboratory tests, and collecting laboratory specimen. In some cases, Medical Assistants will also work hand in hand with patients as they educate them about some of the medications they are being prescribed or inform them about the specialized diets they are being placed on.
Students who pursue a Medical Assistant job can expect to make $15.72 per hour, which roughly translates to an annual salary of $30,142 to $35,297 per year. To become a Medical Assistant, you need to have a high school diploma or obtain a certificate.
Caregivers, or Personal Care Aides, are a great hospital job for students that want to gain experience in working directly with patients and helping them accomplish daily activities. Caregivers in the hospital setting are responsible for assisting elderly or disabled patients with daily activities in hospitals, healthcare facilities, or at homes.
These daily activities might include assisting the patient with their laundry, preparing their meals, making their bed, educating the patient about their diet and nutrition, assisting them with cleanliness, educating family members, and more. Students who are looking to spruce up their experience section with patient interactions and direct care interactions should consider becoming a Caregiver as the role will offer you plenty of opportunities to work hand-in-hand with patients directly and develop relationships with them.
Students can become a caregiver through on-the-job training or be required to complete a certification course. Caregivers can expect to earn $10.28 per hour, which roughly translates to an annual salary of $18,610 to $24,320 per year.
Transporters are an important role in the hospital, as they help assist patients get from one location in the hospital to the next. Without Transporters assisting patients from one part of the hospital to the next, they could get lost easily due to the sheer size of hospitals. Transporters help patients through the use of stretchers, wheelchairs, or hospital beds and escort them from one department to the next, or assist with their discharge procedures.
Common responsibilities for a Transporter include taking them from a patient room to the operating department, or to take them from one department to a potential procedure like an X-Ray.
Transporters work with patients and educate them about where they are going and help calm their nerves on the way there through communication. If you enjoy social interaction and enjoy meeting and interacting with new individuals, then you should consider a Transporter hospital job as a student.
Students can become a Transporter in a hospital with no additional education requirements or certification. The only complex task is figuring out where all of the other departments are, and figuring out the lay of the land in the hospital. According to Salary.com, Transporters typically earn an hourly wage of $12 to $15/hr.
Dietary Aides are responsible for preparing meals for patients, and ensuring that the patient is sticking to their recommended diet and nutrition guidelines. Dietary Aides are a great hospital job for students because they can work in a variety of departments inside a hospital. While some other hospital jobs are relegated to one particular department or region inside a hospital, Dietary Aides are needed in every single department in the hospital.
This means you can gain valuable experience from one department to the next as a Dietary Aide, and you can highlight that experience as you’re getting ready to graduate from school. The core responsibilities of a Dietary Aide is to assist in preparing the food for residents and patients and ensure that it goes along with the Physician’s or Caregiver’s recommendations. Dietary Aides might also be called upon to deliver the food to patients, serve snacks, take inventory of supplies, and adhering to proper nutrition and hospital protocols.
Some of these proper nutrition and hospital protocols largely revolve around sanitary conditions and safe nutrition standards. Becoming a Dietary Aide is a great hospital job for students with day classes that need a job working nights. The good thing is that a hospital typically runs on the same schedule each day, so you can hold the job for a long period of time and gain valuable experience working the same schedule in a hospital or clinical environment.
Students can become a Dietary Aide through prior experience working in a healthcare setting, in a food role, or by obtaining a certification revolving around sanitary condition training and nutrition basics.
According to ZipRecruiter, Dietary Aides typically earn between $15,500 to $26,500 per year.
Medical Secretaries are responsible for controlling some of the chaos that a hospital environment can create. Essentially, Medical Secretaries help manage and maintain some of the administrative tasks each day and assist with running the hospital. Medical Secretaries are vital to ensuring that caregivers and physicians can focus on the things that matter the most — caring for their patients and putting them on the path to a positive well-being.
Medical Secretaries are largely responsible for assisting the administrative staff with scheduling patient appointments, training new staff members, operating new technologies in the office, ordering supplies, and arranging procedures. In addition, Medical Secretaries are responsible for communicating with patients and informing them about their upcoming visits, billing statements, clerical errors, and more.
Medical Secretaries aren’t just responsible for managing the patient side of hospital management, but they are also responsible for the connection between the physicians and the patients. In essence, Medical Secretaries ensure that physicians are following their schedule, interacting with patients on a timely basis, and know when their upcoming conferences or meetings are scheduled.
Medical Secretaries are also responsible for operating office equipment and troubleshooting any issues that might arise between the patient and physician connection. Students can become a Medical Secretary with some prior experience in administrative roles and on-the-job training. According to Salary.com, Medical Secretaries typically earn between $35,000 to $45,000 per year.
Emergency Medical Technicians provide support in critical care and emergency care scenarios that might arise from emergency accidents or medical emergencies. Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics help perform a variety of emergency procedures such as assessments, applying bandages, applying splints, performing CPR, taking vital signs, administering emergency treatments, administering emergency procedures, or administering emergency medication.
Emergency Medical Technicians are responsible for keeping the patient alive while they are transported from the scene of an accident or medical scare to the hospital or healthcare facility. Emergency Medical Technicians are also responsible for resuscitating patients if need be.
Students that are looking to gain experience in a hospital job that is high-stress should consider becoming an Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic. EMTs and Paramedics have to be able to handle high-stress environments and provide great experience for those students who are looking to pursue a healthcare career or hospital job where high-stress is part of the job like an emergency room nurse.
Students can become Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics by obtaining a certification or attending a couple of classes. Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians typically earn $18.67 per hour, which roughly translates to $34,785 to $44,389 per year.
Orderlies provide a lot of critical functions in a hospital. For instance, an Orderly is tasked with answering various call signals that a patient might request aid for. It is up to the Orderly to visit the patient and evaluate what they need. In essence, Orderlies are tasked with evaluating what a patient needs and assisting them with their daily routine if they need some help. Some of these daily activities include helping patients with their personal hygiene, exercises, eating, and the sanitization of their rooms and beds.
An Orderly might be asked to transport a patient from one department to the next and assist the patient with getting ready for their procedure or transportation. Similar to a Transporter, an Orderly might transport a patient with a wheelchair, on their hospital bed, or on a stretcher.
Orderlies are also in charge of a handful of patient monitoring responsibilities like keeping track of the food they eat, the amount of water they drink, and other important vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and more.
Part of keeping track of these patient records is to help assist the caregivers and physicians about how their patient is doing when the physician is doing their normal clinical rotations.
Orderlies are also tasked with responding to emergency situations by providing first aid until help can arrive. Orderlies are tasked with making sure that their patient doesn’t do anything that can make their condition or illness worse, and also restrain them if they get out of hand.
According to PayScale, Orderlies earn an average of $11.13 per hour, which roughly translates to $17,000 to $35,000 per year.
Students can get a hospital job as an Orderly without any additional education or certification. Frequently, Orderlies will receive on-the-job training, which makes it a perfect hospital job for students.
Occupational Therapist Aides work directly with patients and under the close supervision of an Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapist Aides perform duties that have been delegated by the Occupational Therapist. Some of the common responsibilities that an Occupational Therapist Aide might be responsible for on a daily basis include preparing treatment areas, preparing patients, answering telephones, scheduling appointments, taking inventory of supplies, restocking depleted supplies, taking supply inventory, completing various paperwork that might include insurance forms, and more.
Occupational Therapist Aides can only do so much in regards to working with patients because they are not licensed Occupational Therapy Assistants.
Occupational Therapist Aides help provide a safe and clean environment for patients and the Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapist Aides are responsible for helping patients understand the proper use of equipment.
A good way to separate the two is that Occupational Therapist Aides mainly provide a support role, whereas Assistants typically work with Occupational Therapists and patients under their care.
Occupational Therapist Aides typically need to receive some training to ensure they abide by the proper rules and regulations, and can safely interact with patients.
Occupational Therapist Aides typically earn $12.76 per hour, which roughly translates to $20,750 to $33,030 per year.
Monitor Technicians frequently work in the ICU, Intensive Care Unit, and help monitor patients who are going to need close monitoring. Monitor Technicians are responsible for checking on their patients and ensuring that the patient isn’t experiencing any irregular heart rates, or blood pressure readings. If the patient is experiencing some of those alarming numbers, the Monitor Technician is responsible for alerting the Registered Nurse or Physician on duty.
For those students who are interested in pursuing a hospital job that has something to do with cardiac care or cardiology, getting a job as a Monitor Technician is a great way to gain valuable experience before you graduate. In addition, working as a Monitor Technician before you graduate allows you to gain some valuable experience working in critical care or intensive care scenarios.
The requirements for becoming a Monitor Technician vary for each hospital. Some hospitals ask that you obtain an EKG Certification, while others only ask that you have a high school diploma or GED. Monitor Technicians typically earn $31,000 to $39,000 according to Salary.com.
Many future healthcare professionals shadow and volunteer during their college career. However, there are several paid options for students to gain valuable experience while in school. These positions can better prepare students for a future in the medical field and are attractive additions to a resume.
(Article / Content Updated 2018)