Making a hospital work efficiently requires a knowledgeable and often quick-thinking staff. A hospital porter is often a member of this staff, and he or she is responsible for accomplishing various tasks as necessary. Some common tasks may involve transferring equipment from part of the hospital to another, transporting patients, filing paperwork, or even cleaning various parts of the hospital. In order to become a hospital porter, you should first develop an interest in medicine and medical settings. Once you attain this position, you will work in a stressful environment, so be prepared for the emotional stress of the job.
You will not need any specific level of education in order to become a hospital porter, but it helps to have basic math skills and competent communications skills. You will interact with patients as well as medical professionals, so it helps to have a calm and pleasant demeanor. Some hospitals may have an age requirement for candidates applying to become a hospital porter, though this age limit can vary. It is best to read job openings carefully to ensure you meet this and other requirements. While not always necessary, a knowledge of basic medical terminology will improve your chances of getting hired.
Once you are hired to become a hospital porter, you should expect to undergo a period of job training. During this period of time, you will learn the basic skills necessary to be successful in this position, and you will likely work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced porter or a supervisor. This training period is not usually extensive, and it should not take more than a few weeks or months. Once you are properly trained, you will be able to work independently as a hospital porter, and you may or may not be assigned to a specific area of the hospital or to specific tasks within the hospital.
A hospital porter is considered an entry-level position, but once you become a hospital porter, you may have the opportunity to work your way up to a supervisory position that pays more and gives you more responsibility. You may need to undergo further training in order to advance, and if you want to transition into other positions at the hospital, it is likely that you will need to attend school to earn a post-secondary certificate or degree. Becoming a porter is a good way to determine whether the hospital setting is right for you as a career.