Many Minnesotans have skills that can transfer to a health care career

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Lesley Farnham, Senior Recruiter with Cassia

Minnesota health care employers are seeking compassionate and caring people to fill a multitude of positions, both patient facing and non-patient facing. Many Minnesotans looking for work now already have the skills to do many of them.

People that think they need extensive education and training to start their career in health care may be surprised to learn that sometimes the only thing needed to get in the door is a passion for doing good and the ability to pass the background check required by the Minnesota Department of Health.  The rest of the training is often provided, and paid for, by the employer.

There are numerous jobs available in health care facilities today, utilizing a variety skills and talents. Health care facilities are not only in need of certified nursing assistants, physicians, and occupational therapists, they are also in need of IT professionals, accounts receivable and billing professionals, as well as those skilled in culinary arts, dining services, recreation and maintenance.  Many of the skills and talents developed by work in other sectors, like leisure, hospitality, retail and other service-related employment transfer well into a career in health care. 

Good customer service skills top the list, along with being dependable. Compassion and being a good listener are also very important. According to Lesley Farnham, Senior Recruiter with Cassia, “Every single role in health care has a bit of care in it. Not everyone is a direct caregiver, there are several positions that are not specifically patient facing. But every employee should have the heart for health care because whether patient facing or not, all work affects our patients in some way, which creates an impact on their lives, and the home that we help create for them.” 

Cassia has a talent for attracting and retaining their talent.  Many of their long-standing employees will return to work part time post retirement, and this theme has carried through to their recruitment efforts. Scott, a retired history teacher from Rosemount, determined that he wanted to continue to serve his community and started working part time at Cassia as an evening server in the dining room. It soon became clear that the residents so enjoyed their conversations with Scott, that he started a Thursday discussion group to talk about current events as well as various topics submitted by residents. This group was soon a weekly highlight for many residents and something that they all looked forward to, including Scott. Another example is Bill, a now retired administrator at Cassia. Bill had a long tenure in sales and retail management and decided to go back to college to become a long-term care administrator after his mother became ill and needed care.After completing his internship at a Cassia skilled nursing community, Bill went on to work at Cassia in administration as a director for a new assisted living building.

Health care employers have positions and schedules to meet a variety of needs and talents. There are options for those under 18 who need flexibility around their class schedule, as well as those with children who need to work around schedules at home. Part time options for those like Scott, who aren’t quite ready to fully retire, as well as plenty of full-time options for those who have experienced a lay off and are ready to jump into a new career. You’ll find many health care job openings that may entail on-site training, but don’t require certification or state licensure. Among them are home care aides, resident aides, and direct support specialists, as well as jobs in medical coding/billing, food service, and housekeeping.  

Many health care employers would love to have you on their team, to put your talents back to work in their facilities, serving the people of Minnesota. If you are interested in learning more about how your skills transfer into a career in health care, check out our new Transferable Skills from Hospitality to Health Care resource.

If you are interested in learning more about careers in health care, be sure to check out this recording of a health care roundtable discussion held on January 6, as well as our new virtual Explore Careers series. 

Contact Jessica Miller, Workforce Strategy Consultant at Jessica.Miller@state.mn.us.

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