Catholic hospital

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    There is a Catholic hospital that I would really like to work at in the future. I am not Catholic, nor have I ever attended a Catholic school in my past. I did a semester of my clinical rotation at this hospital and really enjoyed the facility. It also have a psychiatric floor, which is why I really would like to get my foot in the door. However, I wonder if it is a useless pursuit to continue to apply to this hospital?

    I have applied for RN positions (I don't graduate until May 2012 - so I am not surprised by being denied these positions), patient care technician positions, and a dietary aide position. I know times are tough, but I now wonder if it's because I am not Catholic or haven't attended a Catholic school in the past. The professors I know that work there both are Catholic and went to Catholic schools. I know a couple students who work there and have went to Catholic schools in the past (whether HS or college.) Could this be a reason for not be considered for positions? Should I mention something about my appreciation for the hospital's Catholic tradition in the cover letter?


    I know that for most Catholic schools you must be Catholic to work there. Although I didn't think it's true for hospitals, are they more likely to hire someone with a Catholic background and education?
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Legally, they can't discriminate against you because you're not Catholic, as that falls under religious discrimination. Does that mean it doesn't happen? I don't know...I'm sure it could.

    But then again, on how many job applications are you required to indicate your religion? I've yet to see one for healthcare that does. And no sane interviewer would ever ask you that question because they wouldn't want a discrimination lawsuit on their hands. You are under no obligation to ever disclose your religion, so it should be a non-issue.

    It may be that they just don't have openings now (even though they have it posted), or they have too many applicants, or they have to go with internal ones first. If you really want to work there, keep trying.

    Best of luck!
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Apr 17, '12
    Peri's Progeny likes this.
  5. 1
    Yeah, I don't see how they would even know if you are Catholic or not? It isn't as if there is some massive underground roster of those who are baptized.

    Just keep trying. Undoubtedly it is just like anywhere else right now...overrun with applications for very few openings.
    KelRN215 likes this.
  6. 0
    I used to work for a hospital which was bought out by a Catholic hospital. While I am Catholic, it was not a requirement to work there. Most of my co-workers were not Catholic and even the chaplain who worked for the hospital before the buy out was not Catholic and was able to keep her job. I know a lot of folks feared they would be let go because they were not the "right" religion, but that never happened.

    I doubt your religion or any lack of religion has a bearing on whether or not you are selected for an interview. They are probably looking for experience in a certain area or may not be considering you until you have your RN.
  7. 0
    I was once an openly Catholic employee in a large Jewish organization. My not being Jewish was never an issue except during Passover: I was requested not to bring in my own lunch that week since the building was made Kosher for the holiday. I could respect that, so I ate lunches out for the week and it didn't bother me in the least.

    But otherwise, I was never treated any differently than any other employee.
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    Thanks for the replies. I just found it weird that everyone I knew that worked there had attended a Catholic school in the past. I am sure it is just coincidence and there are others who are not Catholic working there as well - as this is only a small sample. Though, I wondered if mentioning something about their Catholic tradition was something I should touch on in the cover letter or if this should be avoided.

    I will continue to apply to jobs and see what I can do to increase my chances of getting in. I have been applying to other places as well. It's tough here in general!
  9. 0
    Quote from Scarlettz
    Thanks for the replies. I just found it weird that everyone I knew that worked there had attended a Catholic school in the past. I am sure it is just coincidence and there are others who are not Catholic working there as well - as this is only a small sample. Though, I wondered if mentioning something about their Catholic tradition was something I should touch on in the cover letter or if this should be avoided.
    IMO, if you for the most believe in, support or at least respect that Catholic tradition--and you need not be a card-carrying Catholic to do so--then you could mention something about how you share their philosophy without going into specifics. It would definitely play up to them.

    If you don't support their tradition, you could omit all mention of it. Or you could fib your head off and state you support it, but whether you are comfortable with doing that is up to you. I won't pass judgment on that, as it's a tough market out there and you need to do what you have to in order to stay afloat. As long as you're comfortable with whatever you decide.

    Though keep in mind that it's a Catholic institution, so some of the views they have may not sync with more liberal views...e.g., they have very definite philosophies on abortion, birth control, IVF and the like, and they're not about to waver on them. IMO you need not agree with these views to be a successful employee there, but keep in mind that these specific philosophies are not only there in the facility, they could very well be present in the patient population. So you need to at least respect their right to them.

    Best of luck!
  10. 0
    I worked for a Catholic hospital for many years. I am not Catholic. My religion and/or spirituality was never discussed in interviews or during my employment. In fact, though my employer was a Catholic hospital, they also treated patients of all faiths and backgrounds. So, I think the Catholic element guides their care/services and principles, but I doubt it will be a big concern for your potential employment as long as you are qualified, responsible and respectful of their mission. Good luck in your job search!
  11. 1
    A lot of hospitals in my direct surrounding are catholic and they'll hire anyone. The only things that remind you you're in a catholic hospital is the name since it usually starts with saint this or that and some views on care can be a bit different (mostly end of life issues). In my opinion as a non-catholic nurse working in these hospitals you must not have serious issues with their views on healthcare.

    Last week we were called with our prehospital team to a cardiac arrest. Turned out the home nurse started BLS but the elderly woman became reactive again. We brought her to one of the catholic hospitals in the area (small rural center where she was known).
    We go back to their shock room two minutes later to ask something only to find out they are coding the patients in asystoly and are bringing in the big guns: LUCAS, intubation, etc. We are very confused as the patient is 92 years old, with a list of medications from here to Mars and back and all kinds of co morbidities that go with it.
    So our MD tries to ask if this is really in the best interest of the patient. And since there are two MDs present if they can't decide to stop resuscitative efforts. Keeping the age and co morbidities of the patient in the back of their mind. We were literally told to get out of their ER and get on our way ^^. It just lacked security escorting us out.

    But to be honest I've had the same issues with catholic MDs in my own hospital. They won't sign a DNR order because they believe in the sanctity of life. But don't mind if another MD signs the DNR instead. So we just make sure all DNR's are signed if this MD is on call so he doesn't get caught in a moral dilemma and we are not caught in useless codes.
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    Erm. I am Catholic and there is definitely no moral dilemma with DNR. That would be that person's individual views, not an overall Catholic one. There is no prohibition against DNR, at any age.
    Patti_RN likes this.


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