Gotta question that I want to run by you all to get some input.
I’ve found that my financial aid just isn’t going to cover what it takes me to live (which isn’t a whole lot by the way.) I have very little debt, but just have come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to get a part-time job to supplement my financial aid to pay rent & car payment. My thing is that I really would like to do something at the hospital that I have been shadowing with my friend who is a vascular surgeon, but the typical “foot-in-the-door” type of jobs are completely non-medical related. For example: cook, baker, launderer, transporter. It seems as if all the jobs at the hospital that would interest me & aid me in my path towards med school require some sort of certification. For example, I had thought about maybe trying to get a position as a pharmacy tech, which would benefit me by being able to familiarize myself with the prescription drugs & their interactions. But it seems that hospitals want 1 to 2 years of retail experience and certification is a plus to get on there.
Now, my background is in engineering and I have been in structural engineering & architectural design for the last 10 years. But I really prefer to do something in the medical field. I could “default” to engineering and make a decent income doing it part time, but when I go for a job interview, the engineering firms are going to be extremely hesitant to hire someone who isn’t planning on staying in the field but maybe another year and a half or so until I finish up my pre-med undergrad requirements. Usually they want long-term prospects who are ideally engineering students, which I was at one time.
I really would prefer to get a job related to medicine in some capacity and not just go after some night stocking job to help supplement my income. I want whatever job I do now to help me towards my ultimate long-term goal of medicine. Trust me when I say that I’m living very frugally, don’t spend on much at all that I don’t absolutely need.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what would be a good entry-level job that makes more than minimum wage to go after? Is there such a creature or am I wasting my time?
I appreciate all your input.
I wouldn’t discount the transporter position. You will have patient contact and you’ll also have the opportunity to go throughout the hospital. A definite positive is that you aren’t stuck in one location.
I would second the transport option. I did Central Transport as a volunteer for a while and it was a blast. Lots of contact with patients. Sometimes I would accompany a wheelchair to the curb and we would chat for like 5-10 minutes while they’re waiting for their ride. (big hospital, parking garage was a long walk). Friendly folks, good benefits. Sure it’s not intellectually demanding like engineering. But once you’re in the system, maybe you could find out more easily about other more clinical positions–nurse’s aid for example.
But I do agree with you–as a software engineer I found it hard to find any positions even remotely interesting. A few dreary “systems support” jobs, the occasion research position that gets snapped up before it’s even posted. Ultimately I decided to just get a software contract elsewhere that paid good money, and volunteer at the hospital. I hear it’s harder to find contracts in hardware engineering though. Best of luck,
The transporter position is also often the only way to get into a PCA (patient care assistant) position at some hospitals. Once you show up for work on time for awhile and prove yourself to be a decent employee, you may find you have the opportunity to take in-house training for PCA. PCA training is usually fairly minimal (at least compared to the training for a lot of the other medical type positions).
thanks for the input. The transporter job is actually a job that I would truly enjoy because of the patient contact. However, minimum wage is not going to pay the bills. Most of the transporter jobs are $8/hr jobs or just a tad bit more. Also, when I applied once at another place for a similar entry level job, they told me I was overqualified because I had a degree already and that most of the entry-level jobs were reserved for non-degreed applicants.
I will keep my eyes & ears peeled as to what opportunities lie out there. I also check daily the hospital listings that appear.
I don’t know how well this would suit you interests - and I know it doesn’t often pay well - but you may want to check into mental health facilities in the area, as well. At the CMHC at which I work, there are several entry-level positions that involve some form of patient contact.
It may pay to look into patient-based centers that aren’t your standard hospital - community mental health centers, hospices, etc.
Hi! I saw your post and thought that I would chime in. I have been working as a CNA at a local hospital while going to school. Although it only pays a few dollars an hour more than what you mention, the experience has been tremendous.
It helped me to confirm my committment to medicine, provided me confidence in my bedside manner and people skills, and fulfilled a medical school requirement for at least 500 hours of medically or laboratory-related work. It also gave me confidence in my medical school interview.
Initially I got paid minimum wage to sit through a certification class with one of the local nursing homes that was desperate for staff. When I started at the nursing home, the conditions were so dismal that I quit, but I kept applying for jobs at the local hospital in the capacity of a CNA. After about 5 months I got on at the hospital, and it has been one of the best experiences that I could hope for.
I will tell you that if you really want to be a physician, starting in the “doctor mailroom” as a CNA or EMT will not only make you a better human being, but a much better physician down the road. You will learn about the struggles of the nursing staff, the class politics between doctors and nurses, how to develop a bedside manner and a respect for patients in their most vulnerable state, and you will be exposed to almost every illness and disorder that you will study in your Pre-Med program. You will brave excrement and disease, fear and death, and you will find your humanity somewhere in there and whether or not you are really cut out to be someone who is dedicating their life to helping the sick. There are a lot of doctors (and nurses) out there who really lack a bedside manner and a sense of compassion towards their patients. It is integral to the practice of effective medicine to overcome that stumbling block.
I wish you the best of luck!
- OldMeezer Said:
I wish you the best of luck!
This gets a two thumbs up from me. The camaraderie you learn towards other people in EMS (such as firefighters and other EMTs & medics) alone is something you will probably not see anywhere else. I've never been in a field before where you can start BSing with a total stranger and the two of you will act like you've known each other forever. The experience is equally priceless. I would say do EMT if you do one of the two (CNA and EMT).