Hospitals are where we go when we are sick and need medical assistance. Given the vulnerable state of most patients, it is vital they feel safe. To help achieve this, hospitals have to be careful about who they hire.
But how do they achieve this? Do hospitals run background checks? What does this involve?
Here we will discuss this and what those with criminal records can do to get hired.
What Is a Background Check?
A background check is an exam into a person’s history. Potential employers, landlords, and even lenders will often conduct this check.
Primarily, the goal is to get a clearer picture of the person’s character. Criminal background, work history, and education are basically considered during this check.
A better decision can be arrived at when such an appraisal is done. Be it to hire them, offer them accommodation, or lend to them.
Hospitals will usually carry out pre-employment screening that involves background checks. If a person fails, they will not be hired.
For these checks to be carried out, potential employers must seek written consent from the person. It is often made part of a conditional offer of employment.
This means the person will likely have gone through the application and interview process already. Depending on the company and type of job, they may also have undergone some testing.
After passing, the employer makes a conditional offer. It is pegged on the person passing a background check. And possible drug testing.
So, for what reasons are these exams done?
Why Hospitals Need to Run Background Checks On Hires?
As said, the safety of patients is key. So is that of other employees. Medications that can be used as narcotics as also kept in hospitals. These controlled substances may be stolen for illicit use.
They also possess access to sensitive patient information. Their investment in expensive equipment also calls for only qualified people to use it.
So the basic reasons for background checks are:
1 Safeguarding patient wellbeing
2 Protect patient information
3 Avoid theft of medications
4 Prevent damage to costly equipment
Background checks help hospitals to weed out bad characters. These people could turn out to be a risk to patients and other staff. Also, they may indulge in illicit drug use or damage costly machines.
This probing helps to assure the character of their hires. Qualities they look for include:
- Good communication skills
- A strong work ethic
- Strong social skills
- Flexibility to work odd hours
- Technical expertise
- Problem-solving skills
- Passion for the job and empathy
- Ability to multitask
A look into work history, education, and more can reveal if a person has these desirable traits. If the review reveals undesirable qualities, one is unlikely to be hired.
So what kind of background checks are there? What type of checks matter to hospitals?
Types of Background Checks
Different kinds of background checks cover different aspects. Let’s look at the various types and what shows up on a background check.
1 Criminal History
Commonly referred to as criminal background check, it seeks to reveal any criminal convictions and arrests one has. Some convictions may be cleared from one’s record after a time, depending on the state.
Crimes hospitals will be wary of with caregivers is anything to do with sex crimes. Also violent offenses. For those seeking financial jobs, convictions for fraud will be of concern.
2 OIG Background Checks
This checks the identity of the person against a list of those convicted of healthcare-related crimes. This falls under the mandate of the Office of Inspector General (OIG). This sanction list can include individuals and companies.
Pre and post-hiring screening will often include this check. They are usually run using social security numbers. The results will indicate the date of birth, address, and the reason for exclusion.
To be listed, one may have omitted offenses such as:
- Medicaid or Medicare fraud
- Patient abuse or neglect
- Felony charges related to controlled substances
- Revocation of license due to poor professional performance
3 E-Verify Background Checks
This is used to ensure employees are authorized to work in the U.S. The I-9 forms filled by new employees provide the details that will be compared.
It is a must for federal contractors. Some states also require it for specific public and private employers. Others may run this check on a voluntary basis.
4 Fingerprint Background Check
The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is used for this. It is done as part of pre-employment screening at hospitals and is mandatory for medical licenses.
Criminal background checks will often include this exam. It generates a report on criminal history that is highly reliable. This is because fingerprints are entirely unique.
5 Credit Background Check
This delves into the managed credit and bill payments in a person’s history. Those applying for financial positions in hospitals will often have this run. This is due to their access and management of institutions’ money.
For the hospital, it is not just a matter of solvency. They will also want to establish if the person has suffered any bankruptcies, tax liens, or civil judgments. These debts can make it risky to have such a person in charge of hospital finances.
6 Professional License Background Check
This is to verify a person has acquired the professional license claimed. This often goes along with an educational verification check. The check ascertains the training required for the license was achieved.
With these checks, hospitals can ensure they have the best candidate for the job. It also helps avoid liability issues as they will have done their due diligence.
So when considering questions like can a felon become a nurse, not without being discovered. These checks ensure hospitals have all the pertinent information to make informed hiring decisions.
How to Get a Hospital Job with A Criminal Record?
The best way to find out your chances is to talk to someone in the field. Especially one that deals in human resources at hospitals in your state.
They can tell you if your charges can be a barrier to getting hired. They can also reveal if getting a pardon can work in your favor.
Putting your best foot forward when going for the interview is also vital. Being well dressed and courteous can help. Speak clearly and politely, and maintain a warm and energetic demeanor.
Highlight your training, work history, and any volunteerism. Bringing focus to these positives will help make you more memorable.
Do not however hide the truth. Whether it is on the application or in the interview, be sure to divulge your criminal past.
But do not dwell on it. Share the pertinent facts and take responsibility. Then bring attention to how you have changed and are building a solid career.
Know that you may not get the job as you hoped. But this happens even to those without criminal records. You have to be persistent and keep working on forging an impressive resume.
Do consider running a personal background check. This will helps ensure you know what employers will find during their due diligence.
Working in the medical field is difficult for anyone with a criminal record. Many offenses make those convicted seem to be of poor character. While the pay can be quite good and vacancies many, employers are loath to engage anyone with felonies.
But it is not entirely impossible. You simply need to be discerning of what particular jobs do not suffer too much scrutiny. You also need to be realistic about if you can secure the needed licenses.
Where matters become too hard, consider alternatives like our list of best jobs for felons in 2023. Here you can find prospects in a much wider variety of fields with similarly good pay.