Nurses tend to be empathetic. That’s one of the reasons they’re attracted to providing care to patients in the first place. However, the heavy workload or repeated loss can cause emotional burnout with some of them. For other nurses, age and injury can make it hard to move patients and do the literal heavy lifting. One potential solution is moving into a different role. But the question for many is, where can they go that still utilizes their skills, and get paid well doing it? Here are five healthcare careers that don’t involve direct patient care.
The classic version of this job is someone who is assigning medical codes to a patient’s services based on the doctor’s notes so the insurance company or government health program can be billed for it. Medical billing specialists only process medical bills and are not concerned with coding. They work with insurance agencies and other organizations to ensure claims are paid. Medical insurance verifiers may work in quality control, ensuring claims are coded correctly, or they may make certain that the insurance company pays the claims.
Healthcare management is a much broader profession than being promoted from nurse to nursing manager, though that is one route. Healthcare management is a good choice for those who want to work with people and in health care but don’t want to be directly involved in patient care. Nurses who are exhausted dealing with patients could become a nurse administrator, hiring and recruiting new nurses for the organization. However, they can fill other roles, too. For example, a former nurse could become a front desk supervisor – someone who oversees those working on the front desk of the healthcare facility. A medical billing supervisor oversees those working in billing and coding.
If you have broader management skills, you could work as an office supervisor. This generally requires a business degree or MBA. You could get your RN to MBA online while you work, then move into a healthcare management role. Those who hold a dual MBA and MSN degree are most likely to work as a healthcare administrator or healthcare executive. Whether you’re managing a doctor’s office, nursing home or department in a hospital or healthcare system depends on you.
Without additional business and management credentials, you could work in a purely administrative position such as a medical administrative assistant or customer service representative.
As a patient advocate, you’ll be responsible for providing a link between the patient and the healthcare facility. You might be called to answer any concerns or questions patients may have about a particular treatment, for instance. In addition, you might be responsible for taking appointments, greeting visitors, manage medical charts and records, and more. This is also one of the medical careers with the lowest of entry. As a matter of fact, you could start working as an advocate with nothing but a high school diploma.
Healthcare IT, or information technology, is a great job for those interested in technology. A clinical documentation specialist is responsible for storing patient data in electronic medical records. In this role, you may help maintain electronic medical records and provide access to that information as required. Health information clerks help maintain and manage electronic medical records. You may even follow the doctor around documenting what they say and do so that the doctor can focus on the delivery of medical care. A document imaging technician converts physical documents to electronic form. You might also help organize and catalog existing electronic health records.
If you learn more about the software and hardware, you could become a help desk analyst. You’d be helping others when they have problems with healthcare IT. Nurses with additional training are ideally suited to train other medical professionals in how to use healthcare information technology as well. A medical software technician installs and maintains the healthcare IT software.
At a minimum, a legal nurse consultant must be a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. They may work for insurance companies examining bills for fraud or determining whether someone had a pre-existing condition before they sought treatment. They may work for law offices, creating medical timelines that capture the patient’s health status and treatments over time. They often assist with workers’ compensation, disability and health insurance claims.
If you cannot continue to walk the wards, or the work is just taking its toll on you, you can make a change and move into a new career. The right one for you depends on your interests and which training or education you’re willing to pursue.
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