Working behind-the-scenes on movies, television shows, and live entertainment events is thrilling. You typically forge strong relationships with those that you work with, are part of exciting projects that you can look back on and think, “I was a part of that,” and you can also do and meet exciting people from all around the world. The entertainment business has dazzled people for generations and having a unique approach to the movie business can help you get started and be paid well sooner than you think.
Becoming a set medic does take time. The entertainment business is a lot about who knows who and your network, but the good news is that having a speciality skill can help open doors that starting out as a runner simply can’t.
Healthcare Jobs on Movie Sets
Healthcare staff either coordinate or provide healthcare support and guidance during filming and production. The top three job options where you can work as a set nurse include:
Set medics work on set while filming is occurring. Accidents, particularly when stunts are involved, can be quite common, and having on-set medics means professional, expert first-aid. Set medics work alongside stunt coordinators, the fire marshal, and the assistant directors to not only provide medical care but also help identify potential hazards you see on the ground.
Off Production Medics
These medics watch over and care for the laborers and set makers working even further behind the scenes. Often, sets, costumes, and the like are designed and built in a separate area from where filming is occurring or might be done before the rest of the team arrives. Your job is to provide medical supervision and care.
Eventually, you will be able to work your way up to become a key medic. Key medics are the first medical professionals hired for a project, often directly by one of the producers. The goal of the key medic is to assess the project, what medical needs will need to be met, and then assemble a team of set and off production medics to cover the job. Key medics are the directors and leads of the medical team working alongside actors and behind-the-scenes crew, and not only will they work independently, but they also work along with other health and safety teams
How to Become a Set Medic
Being a set medic means having the training and the right connections.
Further Your Training
The set medical team will have nurses and medical experts from a variety of backgrounds and levels. Yes, you can get started as an RN, but to give you the highest pay, the most work, and to further your career, you are going to want to advance your qualifications and become an APRN at minimum.
If your goal is to work as a nurse, then you will want to specialize in an adaptable role, like the family nurse practitioner. There are people of all ages working on set, and it isn’t just emergency care you need to offer, but everyday health and wellness services as well. You are the one they will go to when they feel unwell or if they are experiencing a health-related issue.
If you currently aren’t an FNP, then you can work towards this qualification while continuing your current job with one of the top online FNP programs. These programs help you go beyond simply treating conditions and help you learn how to understand them. It does take around 3 years to complete, but what is more important is that you make consistent progress than try to take too much on your plate at once.
Start with an Agency
There are agencies that hire nurses and then win jobs and bids for work. They often provide the entire team for a movie agency and getting hired can instantly open doors. As you work through the industry and become more familiar with those in it, you may get individual offers for work as well.
Starting with an agency, however, means building up that experience and getting your foot in the door.
Start Building Up Your Network
Join group chats, be friendly with the stunt coordinators and stunt actors, and try to grow your network with every job that you are on through your agency. If you find it difficult to get hired with an agency, then lookup for set roles for smaller productions which would be willing to hire you individually for a smaller paycheck. This network will become instrumental to your career; so big or small, remember the people you work with and use those connections to open new opportunities.