To become a hospital attendant, it is necessary to have a high school diploma. Some facilities may also require a criminal background check, clean driver's license, and successful drug test from candidates for attendant positions. Training for the position may be provided on the job by supervisors, nursing staff, and other personnel. Also known as orderlies or assistants, hospital attendants need to be prepared to provide a variety of patient services under the direction of medical care providers.
People with an interest in careers in this field may want to consider taking biology classes in high school to prepare. It can also help to seek an internship or volunteer position in a hospital, nursing home, or similar facility. This can be helpful on an application to become a hospital attendant, where prior experience and letters of recommendation can make a candidate appear stronger. As soon as students graduate from high school, they can apply for open hospital attendant positions.
In some regions, some supervised training is required to become a hospital attendant. This may take place on the job or in a training course or workshop. High school students might want to consider taking courses at a technical school or community college to get familiar with some nursing and health care basics. These classes can be taken after hours while in school to allow people to apply for jobs immediately after graduation. It's also possible to attend a short training program to get a hospital attendant certification that may provide more job opportunities.
Once someone has become a hospital attendant, personnel in the facility can provide direction and training. Attendants help with patient transfers, basic personal care, and other tasks. They do not administer medications or perform procedures because they lack the training. Some people may use such jobs to support themselves while in nursing school or in training for a job as a medical technician or technologist. The experience in a clinical setting can be helpful.
Opportunities for advancement once someone has become a hospital attendant are usually limited. It may be possible to move to different areas of a hospital or to take a job at an affiliate hospital, for people who want to change their working environment. Supervisors are also needed, and such positions may be open to attendants with several years of experience. Once people rise to supervisory positions, there may be few options on this career path beyond that point.