Choosing to Work in a Hospital

A hospital is a large medical facility that offers round-the-clock healthcare for the sick and injured. It has doctors and nurses who diagnose illness and prescribe treatment, as well as specialized machinery and equipment for testing, surgery, labor and delivery, and other services. It can also be a research center that advances medical knowledge through the study of disease and injury. Some hospitals specialize in particular treatments, such as cancer or arthritis, while others focus on specific populations, such as children or the elderly.

A person who needs to go to a hospital may be suffering from an accident, severe illness or injury, chronic condition, or other medical emergency. In such a case, he or she will likely need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. To ensure the best possible outcome, it is important to follow hospital staff instructions for care and to stay as informed as possible about a patient’s condition.

Historically, hospitals were often founded by religious orders or by lay people who felt a responsibility to care for the sick. The Christian tradition of placing the care of suffering people above all other duties grew out of these efforts.

Today, most hospitals are staffed by professional physicians and nurses. However, several religious orders still focus their efforts on hospital work. Some of these include the Sisters of Mercy, Alexians and Bon Secours. In addition to providing hospital services, many of these organizations also run retirement and nursing homes.

While the modern hospital is primarily a place to treat patients with acute and chronic medical conditions, some hospitals have evolved to also provide ambulatory care and day surgery. This has led to the development of “bedless” hospitals that are primarily concerned with outpatient services and only offer short-stay surgical or medical stays for patients who will be discharged back to their regular health care providers after being treated in the hospital.

For patients who must spend an extended amount of time in a hospital, it is a good idea to bring books or magazines for entertainment, as well as any medications that have been prescribed. It is also helpful to bring any advance directives or legal forms that specify what medical decisions should be made on a person’s behalf in the event he or she cannot make them himself. It is also a good idea to wear an identity bracelet so that hospital personnel can easily identify the patient if the need arises.

Choosing to work in a hospital is an excellent career choice for individuals who want to help other people through difficult times. The hospital environment is fast-paced and requires teamwork, communication skills and a strong sense of compassion. Those interested in becoming a part of this rewarding field should start by researching the educational requirements for clinical and non-clinical positions. They should then gain relevant healthcare experience through volunteering or internships while working toward their academic and licensing qualifications.

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