Transferable Skills in Non-Essential Healthcare Might Qualify You for Other Roles

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Non Essential Healthcare

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While the images from hospitals around the world are bleak — hallways packed with sick patients, and doctors and nurses overwhelmed by the sheer volume of patients requiring care for coronavirus symptoms, there are other sectors of the medical community that are suffering in a different way.

With over 1 million confirmed cases  of COVID-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, federal and state officials have called for a mandatory hold of non-essential healthcare procedures to reduce the strain on the public health care system and ensure frontline workers are properly equipped to care for the thousands stricken daily with coronavirus.

Suspended services include cosmetic procedures; routine dental, physicals and eye exams; elective surgeries; and non-urgent orthodontic and endodontic work, which has meant that even those working in the healthcare industry have not been immune to the impact of the coronavirus.

By mid-March, 17,000 dental workers and 12,000 doctors’ office employees had lost their jobs. Now — nearly two months later — non-essential healthcare workers from every walk of life are among the more than 30 million unemployed U.S. workers who are out of work.

Still, all is not lost. Believe it or not, if you’re considered a non-essential healthcare worker and have lost your job, this is actually a good time to look for work. Many essential healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes still need frontline staff and you have valuable experience, training and skills they need urgently.

Getting yourself back in the job market now will put you ahead of the millions who will soon begin their own searches. Here, we’ll show you how and where to apply so you can get back to helping patients fast.

Transferable skills and training to emphasize on your resume

No matter your non-essential and ambulatory healthcare specialty, you have essential hard, soft and technical skills that you can transfer to many available jobs in necessary healthcare facilities.

These are called transferable skills, or skills that are desirable across job titles. Highlighting these transferable skills on your resume will set you apart from the competition and get you into a new role quickly.

Below is a breakdown of the hard, technical and soft skills you may have mastered as a non-essential healthcare professional that you should consider adding to your next resume:

Hard and technical skills: Hard skills include, taking vital signs, administering injections and medications, inserting IVs and catheters, drawing blood, reading electrocardiograms (EKGs), X-rays and MRIs, problem-solving, troubleshooting. Technical skills include, experience using computers, proficiency with record keeping software, use of medical equipment and tools, database management

Soft skills: Communication, empathy, decision making, customer service, ethical judgement, collaboration, conflict management, leadership, adaptability, relationship building, interpersonal, multitasking.

Certifications and training: Your training will get you noticed, so be sure to list all certifications and licenses you have obtained, such as: Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Certified Ophthalmic Technician, Licensed Radiologic Technologist, or Dental Hygienist License in a separate section on your resume.

Education: Most healthcare-related professions require at least one degree, so whether you have an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctor degree, you should list it in the education section of your resume. If you work in an administrative capacity and you have taken healthcare-related classes, listing your course work on your resume will help you stand out.

These industries are hiring people with your skills

If you are a dentist, medical assistant, optometrist, nurse or medical technician:

  • Many essential healthcare facilities like hospitals, veterinary offices, nursing homes, hospices, in-home elder care, emergency medical and dental providers, and research and laboratory services continue to need skilled healthcare professionals.
  • Check medical job boards like Health Jobs Nationwide, Career Vitals, Health Careers and Hospital Jobs Online as well as sites like Indeed and LinkedIn for opportunities.

If you are a healthcare administrator such as an office manager, patient coordinator, receptionist, recruiter, administrative assistant, operations specialist, human resources coordinator, training specialist, billing clerk or payroll specialist, you may be qualified for one of these roles:

  • Office manager (for example, for an emergency dental practice)
  • Virtual executive assistant (for example, for a CEO of a tech company)
  • Receptionist (for example at an urgent care clinic)
  • Sales associate (for example, at an essential retailer such as Walmart)
  • Sales representative (for example, at a biomedical company such as Boston Scientific)
  • Stocker (for example, at a grocery store like Piggly Wiggly)
  • Warehouse supervisor (for example, for a manufacturer like Johnson & Johnson)
  • Driver (for example, at a courier company like DHL)
  • Meal delivery person (for example, for a meal delivery company like UberEats)
  • Grocery delivery person (for example, for grocery delivery company like Farmstead)
  • Bank teller (for example at a bank such as PNC)
  • Caregiver (for example, at a health facility such as a hospice)
  • Cashier (for example, at a drugstore such as Southern Pharmacy)

How to apply for these roles and what you’ll need

If you are applying in person, you’ll need a current email address and phone number; a resume and identification, such as a driver’s license or passport

If you are applying online, you’ll need a current email address and phone number; a current resume; and a brief cover letter explaining what you’ll bring to the table.

How to find these jobs in your community

How to create a resume that will capture an employer’s attention

COVID-19 is disrupting the workforce, but it’s not changing the way employers evaluate candidates. An up-to-date resume is still the best way to show hiring managers why you are a great fit, no matter what job you’re applying for.

The best resumes speak directly to the job requirements, so make sure you match your experience and skills to each job. Grab hiring managers’ attention by highlighting your transferable skills and what you have achieved over the course of your career.

Don’t forget to add a strong cover letter, even if one is not required. It will help you stand out from the competition by showing employers you are willing to go the extra mile, even in times of crisis. A cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and explain why you are changing jobs or industries. It’s also a great complement to your resume, providing the space to expand on your experience and education, and give insight to your skills and achievements. A cover letter template can help you craft the perfect cover letter fast, even if writing isn’t one of your strengths.

Below, we’ve provided a sample resume to help you as you update yours for your new position.

Text resume example: Medical receptionist applying for an office manager role

Name: Ella Perkins
Address: Belle Plaine, MN 56011
Phone: (555) 555-5555

Summary Statement:  Versatile Medical Receptionist known for providing exceptional professional service and supporting complex medical cases. Meticulous recorder of sensitive personal data following appropriate security protocol. Supportive front-line staff with ability to prioritize and triage cases to filter caseload to available physicians.


  • Records management
  • Payment processing
  • Referral verification
  • Proficiency in Excel
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Patient callbacks
  • Communications
  • Regulatory Compliance

Work History

Lead Medical Receptionist
Health Catalyst
 Minneapolis, MN

  • Maintained current and accurate medical records for over 30 patients.
  • Organized paperwork such as charts and reports for office and patient needs.
  • Completed skilled administrative work to support all office staff and operational requirements.

Medical Receptionist
Jackson Health Services
Nahcotta, MN

  • Reached out to insurance carriers to authorize payment for medical procedures.
  • Answered patient questions about scheduling and medical procedures while scheduling appointments with providers based on optimal patient loads and clinician availability.
  • Completed and filed financial documentation for accounting purposes for over 30 clients.

Front Desk Agent
Tanner Medical Group
Yantic, MN

  • Answered multi-line phone system, responded to inquiries and transferred calls to correct departments and personnel.
  • Organized paperwork such as charts and reports for office and patient needs.
  • Documented patient medical information, case histories and insurance details to facilitate smooth appointments and payment processing.

Education & Training

Minneapolis Business College
Saint Paul, MN

Medical Terminology Certification (2015)

Resume example: Medical receptionist applying for an office manager role

resume for a medical receptionist applying for an office manager role

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