Can I Work in a Hospital Setting Without Experience?
By Whitney Jo Hummel, CPhT-Adv, CSPT, RYT, AAS
Here are a few tips for pharmacy technicians who have no experience being employed in a hospital pharmacy. Someone who has no experience in this setting can show ambition and express their interest and willingness to learn a new pharmacy area.
I have been a part of several interviews within a hospital setting as supervisors were always impressed with the technicians during interviews that had a positive and willing attitude, even if they did not have experience.
Along with having that positive and willing attitude in the interview, be sure to research what a hospital pharmacy technician does. Explain the role to them in the interview and detail why you think you would be a good fit for the position. If the people at the interview realize you have researched the position, they will see you already know what the role entails, and now you need the hands-on experience for the job.
Another tip I can give is to have a polished and professional-looking resume. Several times, supervisors turned down a technician for an interview because their resume was not well put together.
Your resume is your first impression. Even if the technician has a lot of experience in a hospital setting, their applications will get turned down for not having a professional resume. I would strongly encourage you to sell yourself on your resume with whatever job experience, volunteering experience, internships, and certifications you have.
Although you don’t have much experience in the field, a well-thought-out resume will give you a higher chance of landing that interview you are striving for. You could even provide a cover letter with your resume that would allow you to describe your personality and make you stand out from the other candidates.
If you have an active license as a pharmacy technician, you can also speak with the volunteer department in the hospital about volunteering in the pharmacy department. I have seen a few technicians, throughout my hospital experience, take this route, and they ended up getting employed at the hospital because the staff liked their work ethic. These pharmacy technicians were eager to get their feet in the door. Most of the time, the pharmacy will not decline the offer for free help because there is usually a staffing shortage. If a technician is willing to volunteer their time, this shows initiative on their part.
The last pointer I can give is how some employers prefer hiring technicians with no prior hospital experience because these new hires are more open-minded and easier to mold to the system at that particular hospital.
If you can show you are teachable and willing to adapt to their work setting, you could get a fast pass to working in that hospital. If you are considered “fresh” with no experience, that may give you the opportunity you are looking for, especially if you use the pointers I just described. Remember, every place has different expectations of new hires. A positive and ambitious attitude, as well as a great-looking resume, can give you the edge you need.