tigress

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I know there are tons of threads about this, but another (and more individualized) couldn't hurt.

Here's the deal: I quit grad school because I hated it, and now I need a job. I'm studying for the MCAT, so I would preferably like to start working right after that. I'm applying this summer/fall for entering class of 2006. I don't have much clinical experience, and while I will be shadowing a doc, I was thinking a job in a clinical setting would of course help me the most. I'm open to anything, though. The one other very important part of this is that I'm hoping to have a baby before med school, so whatever I do will have to be do-able while pregnant.

One friend suggested a pharm tech, which isn't clinical but is at least medically related. She did that, and was trained on the job, so she didn't need any certification going in. I have also considered some sort of medical secretary position, like in a hospital ward. From what I can tell, the hospital tech positions that actually involve patient contact all require some sort of certification.

Any advice on what to look for and especially how to go about looking would be appreciated. Should I just contact a bunch of doctors I know in the area and ask them if they know of any jobs? Should I look now for employment in 5 weeks, or wait a few weeks to look? I'm totally clueless; my only past job experience is working in a summer camp and working as a legal secretary in my mother's office.

thanks so much in advance for any advice!
 
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tigress

tigress

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I forgot to mention that I'm also considering looking for work as a phlebotomist, which I saw some people mention. But again, I don't know where to begin. I don't have any certification or anything. I have lots of lab experience, so another thing is if hospital labs hire techs without certification. Working in a hospital lab that does blood tests and tissue samples, for example, would be cool. I'm definiitely not looking for something in a research lab.
 

ZAZA67401

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I have the exact same question too. I don't think there is a good answer though cause you right you have to have certifications. The only thing I have been able to find thus far (and they are hard jobs to find) are clinical research positions on clinical trial work (usually find these jobs, especially uncertified or not being a nurse, at some university or academic institution). Granted it is not necessarily direct patient contact, but you do work with physicians and nurses and are very much around and apart of patient care. You anyone has any other ideas please let us know....???
 

MedicineBird

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A phlebotomy course only takes a few weeks (4?) and it's easy but fun work so that may be an option for you. I used to work in the ICU as a telemetry tech (interpreting ECG rhythms, monitoring vitals, calling codes etc. ). I had to take a 2 month course to certify and obviusly be CPR certified but it was very interesting but non demanding work. You may look into it.
 
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tigress

tigress

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MedicineBird said:
A phlebotomy course only takes a few weeks (4?) and it's easy but fun work so that may be an option for you. I used to work in the ICU as a telemetry tech (interpreting ECG rhythms, monitoring vitals, calling codes etc. ). I had to take a 2 month course to certify and obviusly be CPR certified but it was very interesting but non demanding work. You may look into it.
Hey thanks for the info. I'll look into a phlebotomy course around here. Is it done through a school or a hospital or what?

thanks again!
 

MedicineBird

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tigress said:
Hey thanks for the info. I'll look into a phlebotomy course around here. Is it done through a school or a hospital or what?

thanks again!

both. They have courses at comunity colleges all the time.
 
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MedicineBird said:
both. They have courses at comunity colleges all the time.
thanks :)
 
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Okay, sorry to draw this out any further. I called up the hospital system that's closest to me, and they basically told me to apply for nursing assistant/patient care tech jobs. From what I've read about nursing assistants, I'm not so sure I want to do that. The job they have listed as a patient care technician has for department "PH - 2 Surgical". I'm not really sure what that would entail. I could go ahead and apply for it, or keep looking. They said they don't have any on-the-job training for phlebotomy. All of the community colleges I've looked at so far have phlebotomy tech programs that take quite a while to complete. There are plenty of other hospital systems in the Philadelphia area, so maybe I should just keep trying them?

I suppose none of this is urgent or anything. Ideally I'd like to start working as soon after the MCAT as possible. I have to pay the rent somehow :p
 

TwoLegacies

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My strategy when looking for a job is to apply even if I don't think I'm qualified. That obviously excludes things that specifically state that a certification such as phlebotomy is required...

But other than that, I've had OK luck with casting a wide net. The nice thing about applying for jobs is it's free and it only takes a few mins to fill out an application-- so you might as well!

Another very important tip is following up. Don't just turn in your resume and application. Call back, or better yet, show up and ask about your application/open positions.

I looked into phlebotomy as well at one point, and it seemed like a year long program. It's probably different depending on where you live.

I'd start sending out applications now, when you have the time. It usually takes me about two months to find a job (but that's in San Diego, the job market might be better in Philly). It won't hurt to fill out a few apps and see if anyone bites, then when you are done with the MCAT you'll have the time to be more aggressive about it.

Anyway, good luck and PM me if you have any more questions. I've spent lots of time with job hunting :)
 

Stitch626

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tigress said:
Okay, sorry to draw this out any further. I called up the hospital system that's closest to me, and they basically told me to apply for nursing assistant/patient care tech jobs. From what I've read about nursing assistants, I'm not so sure I want to do that. The job they have listed as a patient care technician has for department "PH - 2 Surgical". I'm not really sure what that would entail. I could go ahead and apply for it, or keep looking. They said they don't have any on-the-job training for phlebotomy. All of the community colleges I've looked at so far have phlebotomy tech programs that take quite a while to complete. There are plenty of other hospital systems in the Philadelphia area, so maybe I should just keep trying them?

I suppose none of this is urgent or anything. Ideally I'd like to start working as soon after the MCAT as possible. I have to pay the rent somehow :p
PCT (patient care tech), CA (clinical asst), and nursing asst are synonyms. Basically you will work under a nurse in a specific dept. It really depends on the hospital as well as the dept whether or not it will be difficult to be hired w/o exp - but I know in Austin (Tx), there are hospitals that will hire individuals w/o exp and also offer on-the-job training for more "complicated" depts.

As for the phlebotomy, I completed a program in less than 2 months. This included a 120 hr clinical portion I did over the summer. Look at community colleges or vocational (spec. health care) schools. The only other option is to be hired w/o exp and trained OTJ, but I find this prospect frightening. It's no wonder I hear so many stories of 10+ sticks at a hospital. Phlebotomy is fun for a short-term job and when you do your clinicals in med school you'll have a leg up on most people. My pay: $11.75/hr with no prior working exp.
 

MedicineBird

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tigress said:
Okay, sorry to draw this out any further. I called up the hospital system that's closest to me, and they basically told me to apply for nursing assistant/patient care tech jobs. From what I've read about nursing assistants, I'm not so sure I want to do that. The job they have listed as a patient care technician has for department "PH - 2 Surgical". I'm not really sure what that would entail. I could go ahead and apply for it, or keep looking. They said they don't have any on-the-job training for phlebotomy. All of the community colleges I've looked at so far have phlebotomy tech programs that take quite a while to complete. There are plenty of other hospital systems in the Philadelphia area, so maybe I should just keep trying them?

I suppose none of this is urgent or anything. Ideally I'd like to start working as soon after the MCAT as possible. I have to pay the rent somehow :p

NA's wind up doing the scut work the nurses don't want to bother with. i.e. poopy diapers, draining cathetars, answering call lights at the very end of the hall -- and the pay just is not good enough to make it worth being the whipping child.
 

patzan

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You won't want a lab job if you're pregnant. Many of the chemicals you would use might be harmful to your baby.