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Hospital porter

Hospital porters support patients by helping them move around the hospital.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £21,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements but you'll need good communication skills and a sensitive approach when dealing with patients and their families.

You may need a driving licence for jobs that involve working at different sites during a shift.

You could volunteer in a hospital, helping out with porter duties. Contact the voluntary services coordinator or manager at your local NHS trust for further advice.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to cope well under pressure
  • the ability to act calmly and quickly in emergencies
  • the ability to cope well with sickness, death and distress

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • transferring patients to and from wards and departments
  • delivering clean linen to wards from the laundry
  • collecting domestic and clinical waste, some of which may be hazardous
  • moving furniture and medical equipment safely
  • transferring files, specimen samples and pharmacy boxes to different parts of the hospital
  • moving deceased patients to the mortuary
  • dealing with incoming and outgoing mail

Your work could take you anywhere on the hospital site. In some hospitals you'll help with security, which could involve working on the reception desk and doing patrols.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,000

Experienced: up to £21,000

You may get additional payments for working overtime and shifts.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work around 37 to 40 hours a week, including shifts and weekends. Part-time hours are often possible.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor. You may need to have, or be working towards, qualifications in supervision and management.

Experience of working with patients as a porter could be useful if you want to move into an area like the ambulance service, healthcare assistant work, or nursing.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017