14 Pros and Cons of Working in a Hospital

Hospitals consist of so many different professions, each with its own unique benefits.

Working in a hospital provides you with the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every single day.

Whether you’re working as a nurse, ER physician, or in the administrative department, you serve an important role.

So, if you’re wondering whether working in a hospital environment is right for you, this guide will provide you with the disadvantages and advantages to help you make the right choice.

Pros of Working in a Hospital

First, let’s dive into some of the pros of working in a hospital setting:

1. Expansion of Job Opportunities

One of the first advantages of being able to work in a hospital environment is the expansion of job opportunities available to you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that healthcare careers could see a 15% job increase over the next 10 years.

When compared to other careers, jobs in the healthcare field present a much faster job growth rate.

So what does this mean for you?

It basically means that you can take advantage of more than 2.4 million job opportunities by 2029.

2. Stability

What person doesn’t like having stability in their career?

Working in a hospital means that you will have a stable career for many years to come.

Hospital jobs are always in high demand and are a vital part of the industry due to the nature of the work.

And because of these things, both hospitals and medical staff can take advantage of having a more stable profession.

3. Plenty of Opportunities to Learn

Working in a hospital means that you will have a plethora of opportunities to learn new things.

You will be observing different situations and responding as quickly as possible.

For example, if you are a medical student working in a hospital, you will be able to assess your colleagues as they take care of medical emergencies and other situations.

Staff members who are newly hired will be able to apply that knowledge to their own careers.

Hospitals are full of mysteries, which means you will see a new case every single day.

This can be seen as a learning curve for all involved.

4. Variety of Job Roles Available

Hospitals are full of different professions.

It’s possible for medical personnel to pursue a different job within the same environment.

Hospitals present a lot of flexibility and allow even clinical staff members to transfer or apply to a different career that may better suit their needs.

Although every professional working in a hospital has their own set of requirements and responsibilities, seeking other openings can allow you to gain new experience.

5. Access to Different Programs

Working in a hospital means that you’ll have access to in-house wellness programs, which can be a huge advantage for many.

The only way for hospitals to function efficiently is by ensuring they are providing excellent service to both patients and staff.

Because of this, there are many hospitals that offer wellness programs to their employees.

These programs encourage employees to live a much healthier lifestyle.

These programs include different activities, including competitions for weight loss and health screenings.

6. Aggressive Pay

Depending on your experience, work location, and other factors, working in a hospital may provide you with competitive pay.

In fact, those working in a hospital have a more favorable salary compared to those working in private practice.

Of course, there are still going to be ongoing discussions about pay, no matter your location.

But you will have various things to take into consideration to increase your salary when working in a hospital.

7. The Work Environment is Fast-Paced

Certainly, fast-paced working environments aren’t for everyone.

But if you consider yourself the type of individual who absolutely thrives in this type of environment, you could be up for a real challenge.

Hospital professionals see a lot of change in just a single shift, every single day.

You’ll see patients who are suffering from injuries that can range in severity.

In addition, the emergency department of a hospital is full of operating rooms, mothers giving birth, and so much more.

In a nutshell, it’s chaotic, which could work in your favor.  

Cons of Working in a Hospital

Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of working in a hospital:

1. Work Shifts are Inconsistent

While this may not include everyone, most individuals working in a hospital have inconsistent schedules.

Hospital work is typically unpredictable and naturally fast-paced.

For instance, some hospital staff may start a shift early in the morning and get off late at night.

This is not uncommon.

In addition, most medical staff tend to work on holidays.

If you’re someone who would prefer a more consistent and predictable schedule, working in a hospital may not be for you.

2. Exposure to Germs

One of the biggest and most unfavorable cons of working in a hospital is the exposure to germs.

No matter where you work, you’ll be exposed to germs, but it’s not comparable to that of a hospital setting.

The severity to which you are exposed may depend on the patient, in particular, and how sick they are.

The best way to combat these issues is to follow the safety guidelines that are put in place by the hospital.

This ensures that staff remain safe while performing various job functions.

3. Work may be Physically Demanding

Hospital work can vary in intensity, depending on the actual role you are performing.

However, the majority of hospital work is considered physically demanding.

Much of your shift will be spent on your feet.

Some of your daily responsibilities may include checking on patients, transferring patients to different areas around the hospital, and providing treatment on an emergency basis.

The best way to combat the demands of your job is to take frequent breaks throughout your shift. 

4. Patients may be Difficult

Not all, but some patients may make your job much more challenging, as you’ll come across many of them who are uncooperative.

Being in a hospital is already stressful enough for the patients.

As a result, some patients may become upset, angry, impatient, or just plain difficult to deal with.

The best way to combat these behaviors is by communicating with your patients every step of the way.

This provides patients with the encouragement and reassurance they need to feel relaxed.

5. Treating Patients in Bad Health

Another downside of working in a hospital is treating patients who are severely ill.

Not all patients will be extremely sick, but you’ll encounter quite a few.

Depending on your exact role, coming into contact with these patients may really take a toll on your mental and emotional health.

Some patients will have conditions that are challenging to treat.

However, these types of situations can assist medical staff in determining the best treatment and care for these patients.

6. Difficult Commute

Not all, but many hospitals, especially bigger hospitals, are located in highly populated areas.

So, what does this mean for you?

It could make your commute to work much more difficult than it needs to be.

Not all people working at a hospital will run into this problem.

However, you may live in a town where public transit isn’t efficient.

Traffic can become a real hassle and can even be nerve-racking.

You may want to think twice about working in a hospital if having an easy work commute is important to you.

7. Long Working Hours

As mentioned earlier, your shifts may be inconsistent when working in a hospital.

Besides inconsistency, you may also be subject to working long hours.

If you are part of the medical staff, you will have to work longer than your typical 40-hour work week, mostly due to unforeseen situations and emergencies.

Hospitals remain open all day and night, which means you’ll probably have to work 12 hours in a single shift.

In fact, it may not even be possible to work shorter hours.

Fortunately, you can help your days go by smoothly by taking frequent breaks and speaking to loved ones during those times. 

14 Pros and Cons of Working in a Hospital – Summary Table

Pros of Working in a HospitalCons of Working in a Hospital
Expansion of Job OpportunitiesWork Shifts are Inconsistent
StabilityExposure to Germs
Plenty of Opportunities to LearnWork may be Physically Demanding
Variety of Job Roles AvailablePatients may be Difficult
Access to Different ProgramsTreating Patients in Bad Health
Aggressive PayDifficult Commute
The Work Environment is Fast-PacedLong Working Hours

Should you work in a hospital?

The answer to this question really depends on what your preferences are.

Hospitals are an essential part of the healthcare field.

However, it may not align with your goals and interests in life.

It’s certain that no job will be absolutely perfect.

Ultimately, you will be the one who needs to decide whether working inconsistent shifts, long hours, and exposing yourself to germs is rewarding for you at the end of the day.

However, carefully weighing these pros and cons can help you determine whether you would like to move forward with seeking employment within a hospital setting or steer clear altogether.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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