Hands-Off Health Care

  • Article by: NANCY CROTTI , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: July 6, 2011 - 8:44 AM

Health care jobs don't have to involve hands-on care. A health care organization, like any large corporation or even a small town, has a variety of roles and responsibilities that make them function the way they do.

Health care jobs don't have to involve hands-on care. A health care organization, like any large corporation or even a small town, has a variety of roles and responsibilities that make them function the way they do. That means there are jobs in housekeeping or accounting, the mail room or the president's office. They may not involve direct patient care, but they support that care in myriad ways.

Entry-level jobs include housekeeping, maintenance, operating engineers and nutrition services, said Vicki Boche, talent acquisition consultant with HealthEast Care System (healtheast.org). Clerical jobs such as schedulers, transcriptionists, coders and health unit coordinators require some knowledge of medical terminology, which job-seekers may study at community colleges or online, said Kristen Meyer, a recruiter with Allina Hospitals & Clinics (allina.com).

Positions that require more education include clinical social workers, mental health counselors, chaplains, interpreters, clinical educators and corporate positions in human resources and finance.

Health-related positions in demand include pharmacists and clinical laboratory scientists, Boche said. She directs job seekers to an area of HealthEast's website called "explore health care careers," which links to iseek.org, the state of Minnesota's career, education, and job resource website. This site shows visitors what they need to enter certain careers, including education, certification and licensure.

Because job titles may vary within the sprawling Allina system, Meyer recommends job seekers visit the web site of the clinic closest to their home to see which jobs are available.

Many of the hands-off health care positions available now were created to help organizations streamline and economize, according to David Johnson, Allina's recruitment director. He listed in-demand positions in quality or process improvement, information systems, coding, research and data analysis. These positions require a bachelor's degree, a master's in Business Administration or a master's in Health Administration.

"I think a lot of people who have this type of background maybe don't think there is a fit for them in health care," Meyer said - but they can help health care enormously, according to Johnson. "I think it's associated with the recession, the squeeze by private insurers," he said.

"Reimbursement is less, so that's what is forcing us to operate more efficiently … With the challenges we're facing in health care, we're looking for process improvement people to help us get more productive and effective in our work, kind of bringing that business acumen into health care."

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