How do I get a job in healthcare while I'm still going to school?

  1. Hi everybody!! I'm new to the board- and I have a question for all of you. I'm going to school now to be an R.N.- I've been going for about a 2 years now and I start my clinicals in the Fall. I'm so excited to finally be well on my way to doing what I want to do more than anything. My problem is, I work full-time at a job I hate that is totally unrelated to healthcare. I want to do something, ANYTHING, in a hospital/ Dr.'s office ect... Any suggestions on how to get a job in healthcare without any experience? My husband and I have 2 children; unfortunately we can't afford for me to quit work when I begin my clinicals- but I just want to work in healthcare so I can be learning while I'm going to school. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I already have an application at our local hospital but the phone is not ringing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Visit Heather A. profile page

    About Heather A.

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 33; Likes: 4


  3. by   2banurse
    Hi Heather,
    Welcome to allnurses. Since you have to work, and you won't be starting the clinicals until next fall, have you considered looking into being a nurse's aide? It depends on the school, but sometimes you can get through in about 3 months or so. It may be a heavy load for you during the spring with your regular classes, work and the nurses' aide, but once you are in clinicals, you can probably work during the weekend?

    Just a thought!

  4. by   CJStudent
    A lot of hospitals here allow for students to come in and work as Student Nurse Techs while they are in school. You are very much like a nurses aide or 'Tech' as we call them here. You don't have to have any specialized training, just completion of your Fundamentals class. I work as a tech in the ER and I have learned a lot.

    Also, if you have any computer skills whatsoever, there are dr's offices that utilize people who are able to work at home, doing medical transcription work. You just have to be able to type, really.

    I work from home doing claims processing. You could also check with local insurance companies in your area to see if they have anything off-site (at home) or part time for you.

    I would not recommend working full time once you start your clinicals. The course load is very difficult at first.

    Good luck!
  5. by   Dr. Kate
    You might also think about unit clerk or staffing clerk.
  6. by   renerian
    My son took the STNA course while in nursing pre courses and was hired by a local hospital.

  7. by   Heather A.
    What exactly is the STNA course-
    Thanks so much for all or your suggestions. I appreciate it.
    I'm considering looking into being a nurse's aide. I have taken extra classes, so this Spring all I have to take is just one course. I could maybe take that course and do my nurse's aide classes and get done before the Fall. It will be tough- but everything worthwhile is. Thanks Again-

  8. by   Gromit
    Like CJStudent, I work as a nurses tech at my hospital. Its a good idea, as it gives you a bit of a taste (and if the hospital has a progressive program for student NTs -like teaching procedures that would be above those allowed regular CNAs, its a bit rewarding). While that posters' hospital required just Fundamentals, my facility also required GI.
    I would suggest going to several hospitals (more the marrier!) and getting ahold of the nursing recruiter there. Explain you are a student nurse, and ask them what they require, and what you would be eligible to do.
    Good luck!
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    During my first year in my RN program, one of my instructors gave me some of the best advice I've ever received in my life; she told me to try working as a CNA at the local hospital. Soon after I started the job, the staff nurses took me under their wings and involved me in every kind of experience they could find. I'd be walking down the hall, and somebody'd say, "Hey Marla, come listen to this bruit" or "Want to help me put down an NG tube?". All the while staying within the scope of my practice as a CNA, of course, but by the time I graduated I was on at least speaking terms with all of the nursing departments and their procedures. To this day, I believe that was the best preparation I could have had, and I also believe that to be a good nurse, you really should have some CNA experience under your belt. There's nothing like doing basic bedside nursing care, and yes, wiping up poop and other bodily emissions, to get a feel for whether you really want to do this. And let's face it, an RN who's been a CNA is far less apt to make unrealistic demands on the unlicensed staff, because she (or he) KNOWS what it's like out there when there are 4 call lights going off, a patient just fell out of bed, another is throwing up, and two new admits just arrived on the unit!
  10. by   zacarias

    I'm jealous!! I just got a new hospital in the ICU, and most (not all) nurses are fairly condescending to us nurse techs/MAs. They just use us to help bathe/position etc... They don't "take me under their wing." Maybe they don't know that I'm really interested in learning....maybe I should be more assertive.

  11. by   renerian
    The STNA class is a state tested program you can either get for free by going to a nursing home, then your tested. The home will most likely want you to stay and you may have to pay for your course if you don't stay. Some home health agencies do it but they will want you to stay.

  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Zacarias......To be honest, the ICU isn't really as good a place to get experience as some of the other departments, but you do need to be assertive about your learning regardless of where you work in the hospital. Do your co-workers know you're interested? Don't be afraid to ask questions (of course, you don't want to do this in the middle of a code); in the course of an average shift you'll have plenty of opportunities to learn. Even if you're "only" helping to reposition or bathe pts (or if you spend a lot of time, like I did, stocking the treatment carts in pt rooms), you can observe the nurse doing her/his assessments, giving medications etc. No experience is ever wasted, but sometimes you have to create your own. Go for it!
  13. by   Keely-FutureRN
    You should be a CNA! I am going to start classes in January from the Red Cross. They offer day, night, and weekends so it's a little easier to fit in your schedule. The classes range from 4-8 weeks. Even if you get certified and can't find a hospital job, volunteering also isn't a bad idea because you'll be helping patients and working in a hospital setting. You should look into it. Also, there are some jobs like receptionists at the desks and other clerical duites that need to be taken care of.