By Ashley Brooks
It’s hard to ignore the healthcare field if you’re searching for a stable career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the healthcare field is expected to add 2.4 million new jobs from 2016 to 2026—which is more than any other occupational group!
There’s no denying that there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you in healthcare. But what if you don’t see yourself working in direct patient care? Luckily you don’t have to work in a clinical setting to take advantage of a career in the booming healthcare industry.
The healthcare field revolves around caring for people, but it takes more than just doctors and nurses to make it happen. High-quality healthcare gets plenty of support from non-clinical workers who take care of administrative tasks, coordinate care efforts, manage technology and more.
These non-clinical healthcare occupations are a valued part of the medical field and play an important part in keeping the healthcare industry running smoothly. Explore these non-clinical healthcare career descriptions to find the one that’s the best fit for you.
- Medical coder
In a sense, medical coders are the translators of the healthcare industry. They convert patients’ medical records and physicians’ notes into specially designed codes so insurance companies can accurately bill for the services patients receive. Because these healthcare professionals have access to sensitive patient information, they also need to be well-versed in government regulations surrounding healthcare privacy and electronic health records.
This role may sound simple, but it keeps a healthcare provider’s financial records in tip-top shape.
- Health information technician
Technology is changing the way the healthcare industry works, especially where electronic health records (EHRs) are involved. Health information technicians (HITs) ensure that a patient’s EHRs are accurate and secure. They also analyze data on patient outcomes.
Like medical coders, HIT professionals are expected to stay current with regulations about patient privacy.
- Healthcare manager
Healthcare managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a medical department. They set and monitor budgets, train new staff members to their team and look for ways to increase efficiency and quality of care.
Healthcare managers set the tone for their department and their team, so their leadership influences every patient who walks through a facility’s doors.
- Medical administrative assistants
Medical administrative assistants, sometimes called medical secretaries, are often the smiling faces you see when you first enter a medical facility. These administrative experts greet patients and provide customer service, schedule appointments, enter insurance information and work with patient billing.
Medical administrative assistants keep a healthcare facility running smoothly behind the scenes, and they make patients feel welcome and cared for.
- Healthcare administrator
Healthcare administrators are the leaders of their medical facility. They set financial goals for their facility, create policies that benefit patient care and ensure that their facility stays in compliance with healthcare regulations.
Healthcare administrators might seem far removed from patient care, but their work directly impacts the quality of care a facility is able to provide.
- Community health worker
Community health workers focus on improving the well-being of the people in a particular area or region. Their tasks include educating community members on important health issues, reaching out to at-risk populations to improve their health and assisting with disaster preparedness. These healthcare workers are in the unique position to impact individuals’ general well-being on a large scale.
- Human service assistants
Human service assistants work with patients to help them arrange the medical care and other services they need. Their work varies depending on the population they serve. Human service assistants who focus on the elderly might help patients arrange transportation to the doctor, set up a meal delivery service or navigate Medicare. Those who work with people with disabilities might help them arrange personal care services or find a job that accommodates their disability.
Human service assistants spend their days making it easier for patients to navigate a complex healthcare system so they can live their lives to the fullest.
- Corporate wellness coordinator
Corporate wellness coordinators work at the intersection of healthcare and business. These healthcare pros bring wellness programs to corporations to help their employees improve their overall health—which in turn gives a boost to the company’s bottom line. They often run fitness initiatives and evaluate individuals for health risks.
This healthcare career puts the spotlight on wellness so individuals can be aware of their risk factors and take control of their health.
- Patient advocate
It can be easy for patients to feel overwhelmed in a medical setting, especially if they’re experiencing health issues. Patient advocates help bridge this gap by explaining medical terms and procedures to patients, ensuring they have access to the treatments they need and helping them understand their treatment plan. Patient advocates also communicate a patient’s concerns to doctors or nurses.
Patient advocates dedicate themselves to making sure patients feel heard. They’re the ones patients can turn to if they need support and aren’t sure what to do.