What's the Job Description of a Health Clerk?

A health clerk performs duties of both a customer service and administrative nature. Keep reading to learn more about responsibilities of health clerks and education needed to work in this profession. Schools offering Health Services Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

A health clerk works in a medical setting, often a hospital or nursing care facility, providing administrative services. The position is designed to allow nurses and doctors more time to provide care to patients and to help operations continue to run smoothly. As a health clerk, you'll generally work from the nurse's station, answering phones, taking messages, and scheduling appointments. One of the primary responsibilities of a health clerk is to communicate information between doctors, nurses, other staff, and patients, ensuring accuracy and information privacy for your patients. You may also serve as concierge, directing patients and visitors to their destinations within the healthcare facility.

Health clerks also maintain patient records, with accuracy of the utmost importance at all times. Not only will you work with doctors and nurses, but you may assist patients with daily care and activities, such as rehabilitative exercises and diet management. Other duties you can expect to complete include keeping your unit station clean and presentable, ordering supplies, and managing inventory. In general, you'll oversee the organization of your unit and ensure it runs smoothly.

Important Facts About Health Clerks

Work Environment Clinic, office or professional medical workplace
Key Skills Attention to detail, analytical and technical abilities, excellent manners, honesty
Professional Certification Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR), and many others
Similar Occupations Medical transcriptionists, medical and health services managers

Minimum Requirements

According to CareerBuilder.com job postings in December 2015, employers require applicants to hold at least a high school diploma. Employers also tend to prefer those who have previous experience as a unit clerk or in a clinical healthcare setting. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary for this position. Additionally, you'll need strong computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.

Advanced Education Options

While generally not mandatory, postsecondary training in nursing assistance may improve your chances of employment as a health clerk. Some technical schools and community colleges offer certificate programs specifically for health unit clerks through health information technology programs. In such programs, you'll learn introductory anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and clerical skills, such as a communication methods and computer usage. You may also learn to transcribe physicians' orders and maintain patient charts.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by medical records and health information technicians, the category under which health clerks fall, was $35,900 in May 2014. Employment of medical records and health information technicians was expected to grow by 22% between 2012 and 2022, per the BLS.

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