If you are a teen who's interested in pursuing a career in a health-care industry, it's an excellent idea to look for jobs at a local hospital in which you can begin to gain practical work experience. Though the overwhelming majority of teens lack the specialized education and knowledge needed to work with patients, you might qualify for more than just cleaning, reception, groundskeeping and clerical jobs.
Identify a service you can perform for a hospital given your current knowledge and skills. If you enjoy dealing with the public, focus on jobs like hospital reception. If you're handy with tools, aim for a maintenance or groundskeeping position.
Get help with your resume from a qualified teen-job counselor or your high school guidance office. Highlight experience, skills and academic achievement in areas that are related to the type of hospital job you've decided to target.
Check out Teens4Hire.org (see Resources below). This site's directors emphasize that there are entry-level hospital jobs available across the country to high school graduates hoping to move into careers in health care. Also, Teens4Hire.org can help teens get hospital jobs suited to their education levels, particularly those that offer on-the-job training.
Use the resources of teen employment counselors or your high school guidance office and have someone approach the hospital on your behalf. Teen resumes can simply get lost or overlooked when delivered in person. Having an authoritative person contact the hospital's human-resources department on your behalf can greatly improve your chances of success.
Dress the part when it comes time for your interview. A good rule of thumb for going on teen job interviews is to dress as you would if you were going to visit your grandparents.
Prepare for a more intensive interview if you're being considered for an entry-level, career-oriented position. You should educate yourself on the hospital's services, patient capacity, technologies and administration.
Follow up by contacting the person who interviewed you a couple of days later. Tell the person you enjoyed meeting her, that you're excited about the opportunity and that you're very interested in working at the hospital.
Keep in mind that there are many hospital volunteer opportunities for teens as well. Candy Stripers are well known, but teens can also offer to greet guests, provide company to lonely patients and read to and play with younger patients. The American Society of Directors of Volunteer Services (ASDVS) website can help you find local opportunities.