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For most of us, healthcare means doctors, nurses, technologists and therapists of all kinds - in other words, direct patient care. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), about one-fifth of healthcare employees work behind the scenes in roles that don't involve direct patient care.
In other words, there's plenty of room in healthcare for those who would rather not deal with "blood and guts."
A Range Of Occupations
Like other large employers, healthcare organizations hire accountants, finance experts, and payroll specialists; public relations, communications and marketing professionals; human resource specialists; food service professionals; maintenance and grounds staff.
Business offices need clerks to verify charges, submit claims to insurers and make sure that patients are billed promptly and correctly. Clinics need receptionists and front desk staff to check-in patients, answer the phone and take messages. Volunteer departments need professionals to recruit and manage volunteers.
And like all businesses, healthcare organizations employ secretaries and administrative assistants at all levels to plan and schedule meetings, manage projects, disseminate information and generally keep operations running smoothly.
IT And Administration
Other essential supporting players include information professionals, such as coders, analysts and managers who collect, store and make healthcare data available to appropriate users.
At the systems level, administrators work to design safe, effective, high-quality systems that support the provider-patient relationship and lead to the best outcomes with the most efficient use of resources.
According to the BLS, growth in management, business and financial areas is tempered by restructuring to reduce administrative cost and streamline efforts. Technological changes are also slowing growth in office and administrative support. Yet because the overall healthcare employment base is large, the need to replace retiring employees and others who leave the field will continue create a substantial number of openings in these areas.