How to get a job in healthcare with low experience
Getting a job in healthcare when you have little to no experience might seem like an impossible task. Perhaps you feel like breaking into the industry is like trying to find a needle in a haystack or that many employers are only interested in candidates who already have a substantial amount of knowledge – especially for more senior roles.
However, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to work your way up in your chosen career with little experience by following a few simple tips.
Things to consider when looking for healthcare jobs
- Stay on top of industry news
Keeping up-to-date with the latest news and trends can work wonders if you are trying to break into the industry. There are some fascinating sources such as online magazines and forums that can tell you who is hiring and when – some of which focus on specialised areas which you may find particularly useful.
- Try your hand at networking
Once you have done your research and figured out what area of the healthcare industry you want to work in, you should then start to connect with as many people in the profession as possible.
By combining online networking with face-to-face networking you are creating a memorable identity for yourself. Do some voluntary work or join a healthcare association and you will gain invaluable experience that will get you noticed by the right people.
- Assess your transferable skills
If you’re hoping to get into the healthcare profession and you have come from another industry, work out which skills – mainly transferable skills – you can bring with you. Things like IT skills, human resources and secretarial experience are all useful qualities that you can prove to employers once you have got your foot through the door.
- Find a mentor
Every job role requires an opportunity to learn. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a mentor who can guide you with their industry insights – especially if you are in an entry level job. By demonstrating your passion and your willingness to learn and to grow in your working life, your mentor should be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to boosting your networking and job search efforts.
Find a job in healthcare that’s right for you
- Healthcare Assistant
Healthcare Assistants or HCAs are generally required to support doctors and nurses. They can usually be found in hospitals and doctors surgeries and play a vital role in caring for patients’ needs. Previous experience is useful but not entirely necessary making it a great job role for beginners.
You can also opt for an apprenticeship scheme or work towards a certificate such as a Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services which would give you the opportunity to branch out into other areas of the healthcare profession in the future.
- Dental Support Worker
Another role certainly worth looking into is a Dental Support Worker. This is a hands on role with no set entry requirements. Employers tend to favour a strong worth ethic and a positive attitude over employment history when it comes to recruiting for this position.
In a job like this you will usually receive a high level of on-the-job training as well as being encouraged to seek further knowledge in your spare time to help build your credentials. While on the job you will typically be found sterilising instruments, mixing fillings and assisting with X-Rays.
- Care worker
It’s useful to know that not every healthcare job consists of working in a hospital or surgery. In fact, there are opportunities in the social care sector that need a range of different skills.
A lot of carer jobs are very similar to Healthcare Assistants but primarily operate within a client’s home depending on what kind of care and treatment they need. It can be quite a competitive job role but voluntary work or personal experience can generally be enough for you to get your foot on the ladder.
- Pharmacy Technician
If you’re hoping for an entry level pharmaceutical role to boost your chances of working in the healthcare industry, becoming a Pharmacy Technician could be the ideal role for you. This is a great way to find a mentor like we mentioned in our previous section, as you will be working under the supervision of a registered Pharmacist.
Aside from collecting prescriptions and selling over-the-counter medicine, a Pharmacy Technician will be able to shadow a Pharmacist and offer basic advice to customers on which products would be most suited to their circumstances. Plus, trainee positions and apprenticeships are available to over 16s and anyone who is no longer in full-time education so you can work towards an NVQ in Pharmaceutical Science.
- Medical Secretary
If a non-clinical job role is more appealing to you than a practical alternative, perhaps becoming a Medical Secretary is the right option for you.
Medical Secretaries are an integral part of the healthcare industry, organising and scheduling appointments and dealing with day-to-day admin to help doctors and nurses carry out their role in the most effective way possible.
Of course previous admin experience would put you at an advantage but experience in specific sectors is not hugely important. The main things you will need to obtain are excellent organisational skills, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to use your initiative.
When it comes to searching for jobs in the healthcare industry, it’s crucial you are positive with your applications and don’t give up. It’s important to take regular breaks so you don’t overdo it, but have an open mind and be realistic with your search.
For more information on healthcare jobs or a range of other industries, visit Time Recruitment and speak to one of our helpful advisors.