Is it hard to find jobs as a unit secretary at hospitals?

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    I have been a waitress for the past few years and Im so tired of it. I would like to work in a health care setting and will hopefully be taking CNA classes next year. Im just a pre-nursing student I'm not a nursing student yet. Is anyone else on here a unit secretary or work in a health care setting?
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    I work as a unit secretary at MGH and have worked there for over 1.5 years. I'm not sure about how hard it is per-say to get a job as a unit secretary, but I do know that in general alot of places (hospitals, Dunkin Donuts, just about everywhere) are going to be selective because of the economy.

    That said, my time at MGH working as a secretary has been AMAZING experience and help in learning the ropes and terminology of a hospital. It's been so helpful in my nursing classes because I already have some knowledge of medical terms/abbreviations/supplies.

    I would keep looking every day at hospital career listings (don't limit yourself just to hospitals, LTC, family practice or community centers utilize secrtaries too and can offer great healthcare-setting experience). Keep trying! It's tough to get a job anywhere now-a-days. GOOD LUCK!
    mariposabella likes this.
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    i worked as a unit secretary briefly..and did not care for it, if you like being a desk jockey go for it, if u want to be involved in pt care, get a job as a cna, tech or the like.
    UnbreakableOne likes this.
  7. 0
    It's kind of hard since most hospitals hire internally first, and a lot of CNAs learn they'd rather be a unit clerk so they get first crack. Also, most postings I've seen require at least a year of experience.

    That said, I'm a unit clerk and have been on this job for 4 years. I went from applying online to setting up the interview in less than 48 hours. But I was also a monitor tech/ward clerk with 5 years experience prior to applying for this one, so my case may not be typical.

    I originally got in the door with this gig through a hospital in my hometown. They offer classes in medical terminology and EKG interpretation, both 12 weeks, and after finishing them, the instructor would sometimes make a recommendation to the managers and you could apply. Maybe call your local hospitals' HR or education departments and ask if they have anything like that.

    For what it's worth, I like my job. I'm in the environment I like (ICU), I work full time, but only 3 days per week so it doesn't interfere with school that much (no personal life with class Mon-Fri and work Fri-Sun, but that's the sacrifice). The exposure is great: you learn a lot about the ordering process, labs, procedures, meds, computer systems etc. It's not as hands-on with the patients as being a CNA, but you get to learn more of the technical ins and outs. If you get a job at the hospital you want to work as an RN, you'll already know all the phone numbers, doctors, tube stations, computer shortcuts, supervisors, and more. I say go for it!
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    It depends of course on your location as far as finding work, but from my experience, I would say do CNA over a HUC/Unit Secretary. I took a 5 month course for Unit Secretary and paid close to $2000 only to never find a job in that field. When I did my clinicals I was bored because you literally just sit all day and watch all the action that goes on. (my clinicals were in the ICU) Thats when I came to the decision that it just wasn't for me. So now I am taking the CNA route which made more sense from the beginning. So I guess it depends on what your interests are.
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    Quote from UnbreakableOne
    It depends of course on your location as far as finding work, but from my experience, I would say do CNA over a HUC/Unit Secretary. I took a 5 month course for Unit Secretary and paid close to $2000 only to never find a job in that field. When I did my clinicals I was bored because you literally just sit all day and watch all the action that goes on. (my clinicals were in the ICU) Thats when I came to the decision that it just wasn't for me. So now I am taking the CNA route which made more sense from the beginning. So I guess it depends on what your interests are.
    i was an ICU U/S too... i like to be in the mix, not just filing papers
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    Quote from UnbreakableOne
    sit all day and watch all the action that goes on.

    It definately can be tough to have a patient call and ask to have another pillow put behind their back, or to wipe their nose and not be able to just get up and do it (due to legality issues), or when a nurse asks for a boost and there is no one to be found at the nurses station and you know you are very qualified to help and have clinical experience but theres nothing you can do except page someone else to help. If offered 2 jobs, a secretary and a CNA position, I would obviously say go with the CNA position, as it'll get you more experience and patient face-time; but if you can't find a CNA job and the prospects aren't looking good, don't discount trying your hand at hospital unit secrtary--any exposure to the medical field/terms is better than nothing! Good luck!
    mariposabella likes this.
  11. 0
    Thanks everyone.


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