Do you like the idea of caring for people but not necessarily getting your hands dirty with bodily fluids? You can still help people in a number of different health administration jobs. You’ll directly interact with patients in various medical settings, whether you work in a hospital or a private office setting.
Do you have a specific type of medical administrative position you want to pursue? You’ll need to know what kind of educational requirements are needed, and your chances of getting the job you want. You’re in the perfect place to find all of the above.
What Are Health Administration Jobs Like?
Health administration jobs are any kinds of careers that see you performing office or clerical work inside a medical environment. You could find employment in several different areas, whether you end up working in a hospital or other office environment. Most of the time, you’ll be working at a desk and answering questions, whether it’s in person or over the phone.
A huge part of health administration is the proper following of HIPPA laws. Since its inception in 1996, health information privacy has become one of the primary focal points when working in a medical office. There are strict laws on what can and cannot be released to anyone other than a patient receiving medical treatment or care.
Depending on your level of responsibility, you might be in charge of others who need to follow the same strict procedures. At the management level, it’s up to you to be sure that the safety and security of patient records is upheld.
What Kinds of Jobs Exist in Health Administration?
While most health administration jobs consist entirely of clerical work, there are some that see you taking on more responsibilities. Take a look at this list of careers and see which one might be right for you.
Medical assistants are a direct line of support for both patients and medical staff. Their job responsibilities can change with each practice and setting. On a typical day, a medical assistant will take notes regarding patient history and information. Medical assistants will measure any necessary vital signs, such as blood pressure or resting heart rate.
Medical assistants are qualified to help physicians with patient exams. They can give injections when they are permitted, both by their employing office and the laws of the state.
On the clerical side, medical assistants are also tasked with insurance forms and patient billing. In a smaller office, a medical assistant might wear several hats, taking vitals one minute and answering phones without batting an eye.
Certain medical assistants specialize in their area of practice. You could find work in podiatry or optometry, directly assisting patients and doctors in a specific type of medical setting.
To become a medical assistant, you’ll need to graduate from high school. From there, the requirements vary by state and each practice. Community colleges offer certificate programs for medical assistants, and the American Association of Medical Assistants grants formal certification for a career. Most of the time, you can finish a certificate program in one year.
Job prospects for medical assistants are very good, with a 29% increase in employment expected for 2016 through 2026. This can be chalked up to the rising age of the baby boomer generation, increasing the demand for preventive procedures.
Medical assistants took home a median salary of $32,480 in May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% earned $23,830 or less, while the highest 10% earned $45,900 or more.
Also known as healthcare documentation specialists, those in medical transcription are in charge of very carefully recording observations by physicians. They will listen to a dictation by a doctor and transcribe everything they hear. All details, including operation reports, discharge summaries, and notes from examinations, are taken into account.
When using speech recognition software, medical transcriptionists will comb over drafts that the software has put together. All words must be checked for accuracy and adherence to the style mandated by the practice or hospital where the exam was performed. You’ll need to have immediate knowledge of medical abbreviations to know what to recognize.
As a transcriptionist, you’ll need a keen eye for errors, especially if you are working with automated software that dictates notes. Any missing information that is required must be inserted by you before the transcription process is complete.
Once finished, you will follow up with all doctors and physicians who contributed to the report. You need to be sure that each word is accurate and follows their dictation. Even the slightest of pauses and tics have to be recognized when transcribing.
Most of the time, you can use audio equipment to play back and listen to an entire dictation. In today’s world, special software can be used to cut dictation into sections, allowing you to focus on details you might have missed. You’ll feel like a sound engineer when you zoom in on certain sections of dictation and find tiny pieces of information to transcribe.
Medical transcriptionists need to have excellent listening skills. Even though this sounds redundant, you have to do more than just “hear” the recording. You will be the last person between the doctor’s report and the written version, which means mistakes will fall on you if the report is inaccurate. Along with listening, you’ll need to be an excellent writer and editor.
Becoming a medical transcriptionist requires you to attend some college after graduating high school. You might be able to find an associate degree program, but most of the time, you’re looking at a 1-year certificate. You can also become cross-trained as a medical transcriptionist through other medical jobs, like a nursing assistant.
In May 2017, medical transcriptionists earned a median annual salary of $35,250. The lowest-earning 10% took in $21,670 or less, while the highest 10% earned at least $51,410.
The BLS predicts a 3% decline in available jobs for medical transcriptionists through 2026. This can be attributed to the rise in speech-to-text technology advancement. Although there will always be a human element involved in transcription, the software for recognizing vocalization is improving each year.
What Are Some Other Examples of Health Administration Jobs?
Having a career in health administration doesn’t restrict you to one type of medical office. A wide variety of clinical and administrative settings ensure that administrators in healthcare are always needed.
If you like working with children, you could focus on a pediatric office setting. Pediatrician offices need a very specific type of health administrator who is comfortable around children and can set their minds at ease. When taking children back for their appointments, you can help to work with their parents to comfort them if they are scared.
Administrators also exist in dental and orthodontic offices. In some cases, dental hygienists might double as clerical support if an office is small enough. Along with taking x-rays and performing basic cleaning duties, you will schedule appointments for patients in the future.
Orthodontic administrators will also be in charge of scheduling and billing and establish a line of contact with dentists’ offices to obtain patient records. Like dental assistants, orthodontic support staff may work in the clinical area as well as the front office.
Other types of healthcare settings are home to health administration jobs. You might work in the office of a nursing home, or a rehabilitation center. Laboratories that deal with bloodwork and fluid analysis employ administrative support for scheduling appointments and sending results to patients.
Inside a hospital, health administration workers can find employment in all wings of the building. You could go to work in an intensive care unit, cancer center, or one of the help desks located around the hospital campus. You might even find a job with a university that is affiliated with a hospital.
Health Administration Jobs and Starting a Career
Because of the nature of healthcare, the job market will always fluctuate for health administration. You might find a bunch of prospects one year and run out of luck the next. The best thing you can do to work in health administration is to decide ahead of time what kind of field you enjoy the most. Once you narrow down your specialty area, figure out how far you want to go in the field.
Work experience can also help you secure a job in health administration. Even if you lack the proper training in the medical field, a previous job in clerical support will give you a boost among your competitors when applying. If you are already familiar with certain kinds of software, don’t forget to mention it on your resume and application.
When you secure a job in health administration, you’re making a commitment to yourself and to all of the patients who come through your office. Never forget that their safety and health are your number one priority, along with the security of their records. This holds true no matter what type of clinical specialty you work with.