Should You Work in a Hospital or a Private Clinic?

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If you’re training for a healthcare career in B.C., you may start considering whether you’d like to work in a hospital or private clinic setting. Each choice would have its own list of advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of preference.

Say for example, you’re interested in practical nursing training. A hospital setting may offer you more flexible hours, whereas a private clinic may offer a better starting salary. Working in a hospital emergency room may offer a fast-paced, exciting work shift whereas a private clinic has a lot of return clients which offers you the opportunity to build ongoing relationships with patients.

Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of working in both sectors that may help making your decision a little easier!

Private Clinics

In Canada, private healthcare clinics are often specialized practices. Dentists, optometrists and family physicians are examples of healthcare professionals who may have their own private practice. Usually, patients visit private clinics on a pay-per-visit basis, which offers you the opportunity for greater earning potential if the practice is well-established and successful.

Students with medical office assistant training may earn a higher starting salary in the private sector, since there might be more bookkeeping duties involved than in a hospital setting. This sector can also sometimes offer more opportunities to ask for raises, as your employer’s revenue may increase over time as their patient base builds.

If you prefer a lower-stress work environment, private clinics typically work on an appointment-only basis, which makes for less crowding in the waiting rooms and a calmer “non-critical” atmosphere.


Hospitals have many different departments, and therefore offer tons of potential for mobility within the workplace and advancement to managerial positions. Earning a hospital support specialist diploma, for example, could provide you with the opportunity to give administrative support to any number of departments, from radiology to oncology. For graduates with families, it’s important to note that hospital employment usually includes retirement plans as well as benefits.

If you’re most concerned about job stability, statistics report that there is a higher demand for professionals to work in the hospital sector, so landing a job right out of school is highly likely. Hospital emergency rooms are also open around the clock and therefore offer a wider variety of work shifts to match your lifestyle.

The hospital setting is fast-paced and gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of people. If you’re customer service-oriented and enjoy working in a busy environment, a career working in a hospital may be for you!

Will you apply to hospital or private clinic positions after receiving healthcare training in B.C.?

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