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What Are the Requirements to Be a Health Care Inspector?

Health care inspectors must possess excellent communication skills and be able to pay close attention to details. This position may go by other titles, including health facilities inspector, medical facilities inspector, compliance inspector, or health care facilities inspector. Read on to learn the job duties and requirements to become a health inspector.

Employment Requirements for Health Inspectors

In most cases, working as a health care inspector requires you to have a medical background. Typically, this means you have to be a licensed nurse or other licensed health care or mental health professional. Having this medical background enables you to understand the professional, ethical, and functional standards that are expected in a health care facility. For example, to become a registered nurse, you must complete a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor's degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, as well as meet other state requirements for licensure.

In addition to having a medical background, you'll need good communication skills and knowledge of legal and licensing regulations. You also need to be physically capable of standing for long periods of time, bending, stooping, reaching, and maneuvering office or medical equipment.

Important Facts About Healthcare Inspectors

Median Salary (2019) $41,440 (for health inspectors)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth (for all occupational health and safety specialists and technicians)**
Key Skills Attention to detail; computer competency; physical stamina; problem solving; clear communication
Similar Occupations Construction and building inspectors; fire inspectors; health and safety engineers; occupational health and safety technicians

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Responsibilities

As a health care inspector, your main job function is to inspect and examine health care facilities to ensure they are meeting licensing and legal regulations. To carry out this job, you'll travel to different facilities, check over the physical location, and examine the facility's legal paperwork, such as licenses, permits, and education documents of staff. In some cases, you'll be called to inspect a facility to ensure each area meets a specific requirement under the law.

During your investigations, you may look at machines and equipment, talk to staff, and review computer records. You may observe the staff at work to ensure compliance with policies and regulations. A review of professional standards may also be conducted on the facility's staff members.

While you are conducting an investigation, you may gather evidence that supports your findings. You may be called to testify in legal proceedings as to your findings or use the evidence to grant or revoke a license. After investigations, you'll usually have to write up reports to present your findings.

Work Environment

Typically, all health care inspector positions are with government agencies. You may work for federal, state, or local agencies, such as the Department of Health or the Office of Inspector General.

Work conditions can vary greatly as you'll be visiting and inspecting a range of different health care facilities. You may be exposed to infectious diseases or other hazardous situations. Travel is a large part of the job, since you must go to each facility to conduct the inspection. You may work alone or in a team with other inspectors.