The Career Clusters in a hospital

If you want to know what it might be like to work in a hospital, find out in this Workplace Spotlight.

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Even though most of us hope we don’t have to visit them very often, hospitals offer an essential service to the wider community. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in a hospital?

In a hospital, teams of people work together to treat and care for patients. They provide a place for people to seek treatment, undergo surgery, and rest and recover until they are ready to return home. Unlike a doctor’s office, most ailments people present to hospital with are generally severe or life-threatening. Hospitals are open 24/7, 365 days a year, as accidents and illnesses can occur at any time.

While every hospital is different, they tend to have a few things in common:

  1. There’s a sense of urgency – most cases need to be dealt with in a timely matter, as it can often be a case of life and death.
  2. Safety is vital – from strict infection and disease controls to dealing with patients who can behave erratically, you’ll be expected to keep a clean and safe work environment.
  3. You’ll be dealing with people from all walks of life – so you’ll need good people skills and the ability to help people feel as safe and comfortable as possible while they visit.

Key Outcome – treating the sick and injured

Public hospitals don’t operate to make a profit, and while some private hospitals may make money, the main focus is to provide care for people in need. Hospitals treat all kinds of illnesses and injuries, from complex cases requiring delicate surgery to setting broken bones.

Key Tasks

  • Attend to and provide care for patients
  • Keep rooms and equipment clean and sanitary
  • Communicate treatment options and procedures to patients
  • Rehabilitate patients and provide them with aftercare guidance

You can find hospitals in the healthcare industry

The healthcare industry includes hospitals, aged care facilities, GP clinics, physiotherapy studios, pathology clinics, and more. This industry provides essential services, so the main focuses are being accessible to everybody and providing top-notch care.

Work Environment

You can expect shifts and on-site work in a range of locations

Shift work | Work on-site | Jobs in all locations, including metro, regional, and rural | Very strong job growth

Because hospitals are operating 24/7, they always need staff on-hand to care for patients and in case of emergencies. This means there are lots of workers who need to be there outside of the regular 9 to 5, as well as on holidays.

Almost all the work in a hospital is done hands-on, so it might be difficult to find roles where you can work from home. However, some roles, like admin and IT, might be able to be done remotely.

Because hospitals offer a vital service, they’re found in cities all around the country, even in regional and rural areas. This means there are a huge variety of places you can find work. Hospitals in regional and rural areas also often struggle to find enough staff, so there are always lots of opportunities for work.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a hospital

Hospitals might be mostly known for providing healthcare, but they are huge operations that require people from all Clusters to operate successfully. You’ll find lots of Guardians, but there are roles from every Cluster to be found in a hospital.


The Makers in hospitals are the people who operate and maintain the equipment. This includes things like complex machines (x-rays, MRIs, CAT scanners, sonograms, etc.), and IT and database systems. Makers are also responsible for keeping the hospital clean and sanitary, and preparing food for patients.

  • Medical Equipment Technicians
  • IT/Systems Analysts
  • Cleaners
  • Hospital Caterers

The Linkers in hospitals are usually found at the front desk, answering phone calls, directing patients to services, and helping visitors find where they need to go. There are also PR and media departments that communicate what’s happening at the hospital and their policies to the public. Social workers help connect family and friends with other support services to help them in tough times.

  • PR Officers
  • Media Departments
  • Social Workers
  • Medical Administration

Coordinators in hospitals are the people responsible for managing teams, organising shifts and pay, and ordering supplies. Hospitals also need to keep thorough records of patients, processes, and day-to-day operations, which is usually the responsibility of a Coordinator.

  • Ward Managers
  • Heads of Departments
  • Human Resources Officers
  • Payroll Officers

You’ll often find Informers working as educators in hospitals, training up new staff or educating interns and university students. Medical researchers work in hospitals studying diseases and finding new treatment methods and cures, and publishing their findings in scientific journals. Hospitals also often have large financial teams to ensure they are operating in a cost-effective manner and advise on insurance, and legal advisors to help with ethical issues and potential lawsuits.

  • Medical Researchers
  • Ethics Advisors
  • Financial Specialists

Although they might not work in hospitals directly, there are lots of Innovators who are creating technologies and devices that are commonly used in hospitals. These include people who design prosthetics, implants, and mobility devices, develop software to help doctors diagnose illnesses and create care plans, engineer medical equipment to be faster and more accurate, and develop and test new pharmaceuticals.

  • Medical Equipment Designers
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Pharmaceutical Development

Guardians are the people who care for and treat the patients who come into the hospital – think nurses and doctors. You’ll be monitoring vital signs, administering treatments and medication, and attending to emergencies. There are the people who perform complex surgery, and those who help patients with rehabilitation so they can go home again.

Many hospitals also have strict safety and compliance standards, and usually employ safety officers to ensure everything is running up to standard.

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Surgeons
  • Physical Therapists
  • Dieticians

How do we expect working in a hospital to change in the future?

There are lots of advances happening in medical technology, with machines that can perform surgery, 3D printed prosthetics, gene-editing technologies, and AI that can detect abnormalities in scans more accurately than the human eye. Advances in healthcare mean people are getting sick less often, but also living longer, so there will be more focus in the future on caring for an aging population.

Despite this, healthcare is still such a human-centric industry. While some tasks will become automated, there will always be a demand for personal care. People will be needed to provide emotional support and advice during tough times, as well as to create and maintain equipment and technology.