A hospital porter transports patients, medical equipment and supplies between different hospital departments.
No formal qualifications are required to become a hospital porter, but applicants should ideally have a good standard of basic education and experience of working in a health care environment. A diploma in health and social care may be needed for this role. Applicants are required to pass a medical examination and a physical fitness test. Following entering into employment, hospital porters receive induction training and are likely to work under the supervision of experienced staff until they have a sound understanding of their role. Some employers encourage their porters to gain an NVQ Level 2 in support services in health care or an equivalent qualification.
Hospital porters should be physically fit, have excellent communication skills and enjoy working with people from a variety of backgrounds. They should also be reliable, polite, helpful and sensitive.
Employers of hospital porters include the NHS, private hospitals and contract companies who supply porters to hospitals. Job opportunities for porters can be found in hospitals large and small and are advertised in newspapers, on websites and through recruitment agencies. Working hours for porters may include evenings, weekends and public holidays.
The starting salary for a hospital porter is around £12,000 a year. Porters who work overtime and night shifts receive additional payments, as do those working in inner and outer London. With experience, hospital porters may become employed as supervisors or team leaders.