There Is More To The Healthcare Industry Than Clinical Careers
Published on: April 14, 2022
Most people associate the healthcare industry with clinical jobs, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, surgical assistants, and patient care technicians. However, there is an entirely non-clinical side to the healthcare industry as well. Students who want to make a difference by working in healthcare, but not necessarily in a clinical capacity, still have many options from which to choose. The career paths below are just some of the avenues open to you if you are interested in healthcare.
What Are The Differences Between Clinical and Non-Clinical Healthcare Roles?
Typically clinical roles in healthcare involve engaging in face-to-face contact with patients for matters concerning the diagnosis, treatment, or ongoing care of their medical issues. There are also some behind-the-scenes clinical roles involving diagnosis and treatment, such as the case with laboratory professionals. In most cases, clinical roles require some type of certification or licensing to perform.
While those in non-clinical roles could still interact with patients, their work does not involve any type of medical care. Instead, these jobs usually involve the administrative or business side of the healthcare industry.
Why Choose A Career in Non-Clinical Healthcare?
Many of the career paths in non-clinical healthcare continue to grow, making it a lucrative industry for those with the right skills. For example, there is a continued need for specialists who can organize and manage all of the electronic health records that are being kept. Routine administrative duties are also essential for physicians to see more patients, so these roles will always be in demand. Overall, the employment of people in non-clinical healthcare is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
What Are Some Examples of Non-Clinical Healthcare Occupations?
Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding involve processing patient data as part of the medical reimbursement cycle. The data typically involves treatment records and related insurance information, which must be transcribed into standardized codes for billing. Therefore, it is an essential function and can significantly impact the financial health of a practice.
One factor that makes medical billing and coding appealing is that it is a career where remote work is common. Employers often hire certified Professional Billers and Certified Professional Coders to manage their medical billing and coding online. Medical billing and coding is a good match for quick learners who are detail-oriented and comfortable working with computer software on a daily basis.
Healthcare administrators typically take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations, such as management or supervisory positions. However, different concentrations are available in healthcare administration, which allows students to specialize in the area they prefer. Responsibilities may include improving the organization's efficiency, ensuring compliance with healthcare laws and regulations, and coordinating staff schedules.
In addition to faster than average projected employment growth, healthcare administration offers competitive salaries and career satisfaction. While the job can be stressful, it is a good match for people with leadership skills who are good at problem-solving and critical thinking.
Medical receptionists are often the first member of staff to interact with patients, which makes it a vital role. No matter how big or small a medical facility is, there is a need for a medical receptionist if patients come in for care. This also means that there are a diverse variety of workplace settings available, ranging from fast-paced emergency care to more sedate outpatient clinics. Responsibilities could include everything from managing patient intake and handling telephone duties to scheduling patient appointments and updating patient records.
Jobs for medical receptionists are not just always in demand, but it is also an excellent career for those who enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life. Students who are interested in this career path must be good at multi-tasking and able to work under stress. The most important trait of this job is the ability to treat everyone with care and respect.
Nursing Informatics is a popular degree program for people who want to be the connection between patient care and technology in the healthcare industry. It is a dynamic field where information technology is used to improve patient care and outcomes. Nurse informaticists work throughout the healthcare industry, including hospitals, clinics, EHR companies, counseling centers, etc. Their responsibility is to retrieve and review information to improve patient safety, ensure those information systems are constantly updated, and educate other staff on changes to EHRs and EMRs.
Nursing informatics is important because if the various systems within an organization are not working seamlessly, it is harder for providers to focus on their patients. The work of nurse informaticists can help improve the quality and care of patient outcomes, and they are at the forefront of using technology solutions to improve efficiency. Overall, it is a great career choice for anyone interested in transforming care and improving health outcomes on a broader scale.
Patient advocacy is an evolving profession that involves providing direct assistance with the complexities of healthcare. They can work in various settings, including insurance companies, government agencies, patient-focused firms, or even as self-employed entrepreneurs. Medical and insurance systems can be highly complicated for patients to understand, and patient advocates are able to provide them with the support and help needed to do so during a challenging time in their lives.
The tasks performed by patient advocates can vary depending on where they work but might involve explaining medical terms and procedures to patients, assisting patients with getting the treatments that they need, and educating patients on their treatment plans. Patient advocates also make sure that patients feel heard. Therefore, strong listening skills are required to become a patient advocate, along with good public speaking skills and keen attention to detail.
Healthcare professionals are always in demand, but students often overlook the non-clinical careers in the industry. These careers usually do not have the immense financial burden of a medical school and can also be studied online. Even those working in the clinical profession often transition to non-clinical jobs later in their careers if they desire a greater work-life balance.