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Blog / Health March 11, 2024

10 Entry-Level Hospital Jobs You May Want to Consider

March 11, 2024

10 Entry-Level Hospital Jobs You May Want to Consider

Looking to get your foot in the door of a hospital? The good news is you don’t necessarily have to go to medical school or even earn a bachelor’s degree to make that happen.

There are plenty of entry-level jobs at hospitals that require short-term training and on-the-job experience, which means you have an opportunity to get started on a career in healthcare sooner rather than later.

Check out our list of ten entry-level hospital jobs that you may want to consider, which include jobs on both the patient care side and the administrative side.

1. Surgical Technologist

As a surgical technologist, you get a front-row seat for the action in the OR without having to be a surgeon or perioperative nurse. Surgical techs assist with tasks before, during, and after surgery, which typically include:

The Surgical Technology associate degree program at American Career College can be completed in 20 months. Learn more about the day in the life of a surgical tech or get more details about the Surgical Technology program at ACC.

You can also check out our career guide to learn more about how to become a surgical technologist in California.

2. Radiologic Technologist

A radiologic technologist goes by many names, including x-ray tech or radiographer. They may even be a full-scope technologist.

Radiologic tech duties in California usually include operating Computerized Tomography (CT) imaging equipment in order to capture x-ray images that are important for patient diagnosis and health monitoring. You will also give patients instructions, position patients and equipment to help ensure safe scans, provide protective shields as needed, process exposed radiographs, and more.

You can earn your associate degree in radiography in 25 months at American Career College. Learn more about ACC’s full-scope Radiography program.

3. Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant, you’ll be performing important tasks to assist doctors and nurses, and you’ll also play an integral role in setting the stage for a positive patient experience, as you’ll be one of the first people a patient interacts with. Medical assistants perform both administrative and patient care duties, including scheduling appointments, preparing exam rooms, taking patients’ vital signs, drawing blood, keeping office and lab supplies in stock, and more.

ACC’s Medical Assistant diploma program can be completed in 9 months. Find out how to become a medical assistant in California or learn more about our Medical Assistant program.

4. Medical Biller

Are you good with numbers and known for your attention to detail? If so, then you may be interested in a career as a medical biller. This role is critical for keeping the revenue cycle (and as a result, patient care services) flowing within healthcare organizations.

In California, medical billers are responsible for creating invoices based on medical procedure codes, submitting claims to insurance companies for medical services, investigating denied claims, billing patients, and more.

As a medical biller, you will need to be familiar with terminology related to healthcare procedures as well as software and forms that are commonly used for medical billing.

American Career College has a Medical Billing diploma program that can be completed in approximately 7 months. Learn about the top five benefits of a career in medical billing or take a moment to explore more details about the online Medical Billing program at ACC.

5. Licensed Vocational Nurse

As a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), you will be in more of an entry-level nursing position. While you will have more autonomy than a certified nursing assistant (since you will be a licensed nurse), you will work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN).

Common LVN duties in California include taking and recording patients’ vital signs, providing basic patient care or treatments (such as dressing wounds or performing catheterizations), tending to patients when they call for help, administering prescribed medications, and collaborating with other members of the medical care team to evaluate the patient’s needs and help implement a plan of care. LVNs may also supervise nursing assistants or aides.

Learn more about this role and how it compares to others in our Medical Assistant vs. CNA vs. LVN post. You can also learn more about ACC’s Vocational Nursing diploma program, which takes 13 months to complete or 20 months in the Evenings/Weekends program.

6. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

As a certified nursing assistant, you will perform patient care duties under the supervision of a licensed nurse. You will carry out many of the same duties that nurses perform but at a more limited scope.

Some common CNA duties in California include assisting patients with daily living activities (such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, walking, and exercising), repositioning bedridden patients, reminding patients to take medications or nutritional supplements, observing patients’ conditions and reporting any concerning symptoms, answering patients’ calls for assistance, and more.

Whether you work in a nursing home, in-home healthcare, or another type of healthcare setting, you will play an important role in contributing to patients’ day-to-day well-being. You will need to complete a CNA program and get licensed to start working as a certified nursing assistant.

Learn more about this role and how it compares to others in our Medical Assistant vs. CNA vs. LVN post.

7. Phlebotomist

If the sight of blood doesn’t phase you and you like to work with your hands, you might be a good fit as a phlebotomist. Phlebotomists, also known as phlebotomy technicians, are responsible for drawing blood for blood tests, transfusions, donations, or research.

Additional phlebotomist duties in California include entering relevant information into the computer (such as regarding the patient, the specimen, insurance, etc.), ensuring that all instruments and supplies are sterile, matching lab forms to specimen tubes, disposing of blood and other biohazard fluids or tissue, and more.

Becoming a phlebotomist requires completing a training program and a certain number of hours of qualified work experience.

8. Registered Nurse

Often called the backbone of the healthcare industry, registered nurses (RNs) work directly with patients, physicians, and healthcare professionals to provide care and monitor required treatments. Among their many responsibilities, RNs:

Registered nurses work in a variety of settings beyond just hospitals. RNs can also be found in outpatient care centers, physician offices, care facilities, and more.

Before obtaining RN licensure, you must pass the NCLEX-RN. One way to prepare for the exam and gain the essential skills and knowledge needed to become an RN is to enroll in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. ACC’s ADN program can be completed in as little as 20 months.

9. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are a licensed pharmacist’s right hand. They work under the supervision of and support pharmacists by performing a variety of critical tasks to help a pharmacy run smoothly. Some common duties of pharmacy technicians include:

In addition to the technical knowledge and practical skills required to succeed in their role,pharmacy techs are typically well-versed in basic chemistry, pharmacy law, pharmacology, and retail pharmacy procedures.

ACC’s Pharmacy Technician diploma program can be completed in as little as 9 months and includes a 320-hour, in-person externship for real-world experience.

10. Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists (RTs) provide patients with treatments and support to get them breathing properly. As an RT, you’ll be helping individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or even individuals in emergency or critical care who need breathing support.

It is common for RTs to work in hospital ICUs, though they can also work in other healthcare settings such as nursing home facilities, outpatient facilities, or home healthcare.

As a respiratory therapist in California, your RT duties can include performing diagnostic tests, administering breathing treatments, setting up and operating devices such as mechanical ventilators and therapeutic gas administration apparatuses, teaching patients how to use breathing devices, monitoring patients’ responses to therapy, performing emergency care such as artificial respiration, and more.

ACC’s Respiratory Therapy associate degree program can be completed in 20 months.

To learn more about healthcare careers, check out our career guides.

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