The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is a powerful tool for helping individuals apply insights about their personal preferences to the career search process. It was originally released in 1927 and has been used by job seekers and career coaches alike for the better part of a century. The Strong Interest Inventory works through a two-step process. It starts with a multi-faceted survey-style assessment that measures individual preferences from workplace environment to subject matter. Then, it triangulates an individual’s responses against a database of responses from professionals. Based on this comparison, the SII recommends specific careers in addition to one or more of six categories of careers: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Because careers in each category share certain defining characteristics, job seekers interested in one career may be interested in others in the same category. For example, Conventional careers often involve completing specific tasks that require a set procedure within a highly structured environment.
Orderlies perform many logistical duties in medical settings. They are considered Conventional careers because they involve significant attention to detail and the ability to keep track of the needs of multiple people simultaneously, including numerous patients, staff members, technicians, and others. Orderlies are best known for helping patients move on or off of beds, surgical tables, examination tables, or stretchers and for using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds to transport patients between locations (e.g., between treatment units, testing units, operating rooms, recovery floors, etc.). They may also assist patients with certain activities, including bathing, dressing, standing, exercising, or using the restroom, as well as minor medical procedures like taking and recording temperature, pulse rate, or blood pressure. Orderlies have frequent contact with other people and work in an environment where they may be exposed to infections and diseases. As such, it is common to use personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves, protective suits, goggles, disposable booties, aprons, and more.
Moreover, Orderlies perform key organizational tasks that keep their medical practices and hospitals operational. For example, Orderlies often stock utility closets, storage rooms, and cleaning carts, as well as transport items between rooms or departments, such as messages, equipment, medical tools, and more. When inventory or medical samples are moved, Orderlies may need to document the transfer and successful delivery to ensure that nothing of value is misplaced. They also maintain cleanliness, which is essential to reducing the risk of infection and transmissible diseases, by using germicides and sterilizing equipment to clean, disinfect, and sterilize equipment or supplies and entire rooms or areas. They note any maintenance that needs to be conducted, such as outstanding repairs, faulty or damaged items, or tools that need to be replaced, and convey these to the relevant authority. They change soiled bed linen, curtains, and drapes.
Successful Orderlies must be familiar with some tools and technologies present in standard medical practices, including Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., e-mail, web browsers, word processors, spreadsheet software, etc.), medical software (e.g., GE Healthcare Centricity EMR, medical record charting software, etc.), and potentially other software used by their workplace.
Orderlies typically learn job-specific responsibilities during their workplace training and onboarding process. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 89% of Orderlies hold a high school diploma or equivalent, while 7% did not complete high school. The remainder may have finished some post-secondary education, such as a certificate program, without having earned a degree. That said, the strongest applicants for positions as Orderlies typically have a strong foundation in written and spoken English and should be able to respond to instructions and make decisions quickly.
The median salary for Orderlies in the United States is $29,900 annually, which comes to $14.42 per hour. As with most jobs, there seems to be significant salary variation based on geographical location. The median annual salary for Orderlies in New York is nearly $38,000, while in California, the median is over $43,000, with the highest paid 10% of Orderlies earning over $60,000 per year. In addition to salary, the employment rate is also important when making career decisions. As of 2020, there were 44,000 Orderlies employed in the United States. That number is expected to grow at an average rate of 5% to 10% in the next decade. This rate is on par with employment in other similar careers and is projected to add another 5,800 Orderly positions to the US economy before 2030.
Below are some employment trends for Orderlies:
- Median Salary: $29,990 per year; $14.42 per hour
- Employment: 44,000 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030): Average (5-10%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030): 5,800
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections Onetonline.org