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How Can I Become a Hospital Admitting Clerk?

Explore the career requirements for hospital admitting clerks. Get the facts about education requirements, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Is a Hospital Admitting Clerk?

A hospital admitting clerk is responsible for processing patients when they arrive at a hospital. They ask patients pertinent questions and ensure that all necessary paperwork is properly completed so that patients can be admitted. They may need to transfer data from the paperwork to computer files, and update patient files as needed. In some respects their work is similar to the work of a receptionist, because they will answer calls and greet those arriving at the hospital. Once the patient's paperwork is processed it is transferred to the patient's file or the appropriate medical personnel so that the patient can receive treatment.

Education Required High school diploma at minimum; postsecondary certificate is optional
Key Skills Communication, customer service, computer literacy, listening
Job Growth (2018-2028) 3% (for interviewers, except eligibility and loan)*
Median Salary (2018) $34,060 (for interviewers, except eligibility and loan)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Hospital Admitting Clerk?

Beyond a high school diploma, no standard education requirement exists for becoming a hospital admitting clerk or hospital admissions clerk. In some cases, you may be able to train for this position on-the-job. Other employers may require knowledge of medical terminology and general receptionist skills, which you could gain through a certificate program in medical information technology or medical office training. Although rare, certificate programs specific to becoming a hospital admissions clerk are also an option.

Other traits that employers may be looking for include good communication, organization and customer service skills. Fluency in a foreign language may also be beneficial in some cases. Some employers value work experience over a formal education, so getting started in this field may be a matter of 'getting your foot in the door' and gaining some on-the-job training.

What Will I Study?

If you choose to pursue a certificate program, you'll likely take courses in medical terminology and health care ethics. You might also learn about medical billing, transcription, record keeping and general medical office procedures. Such programs may also teach basic receptionist skills and computer literacy. You'll likely learn to use various office computer programs, including word processing, spreadsheet and desktop publishing software.

A certificate program can often be completed in just a few months. Some offer the opportunity to gain real-world experience via an externship at an off-campus medical facility.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

As a hospital admitting clerk, your primary job duties will be admitting patients and making sure all admissions paperwork is sufficiently filled out. You might also be responsible for collecting co-payments and explaining financial expectations to patients. Additionally, you may enter patient information into the hospital's computer system.

In some cases, you may also be asked to share receptionist duties on a regular or occasional basis. Because you'll often be one of the first contacts that patients encounter on their visit, it's important that you are professional, timely and pleasant.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Hospital admitting clerks share common duties with receptionists, secretaries and hospital ward clerks. All of these administrative professionals greet people when they arrive and may answer phones. All of them may assist patrons with any paperwork necessary. They may schedule appointments and direct patrons to their appointments when they arrive; hospital admitting clerks may also add a patient to the queue to be seen by medical staff if they've come to the emergency room for treatment. Like hospital admitting clerks, receptionist, secretaries and hospital ward clerks may update files, store or retrieve files and transfer data to the appropriate personnel. Receptionists, secretaries and hospital ward clerks need a high school diploma. They do not necessarily need any formal postsecondary training, although postsecondary programs and courses are available to help those planning to enter these professions prepare for administrative careers.