Medical Unit Clerk Jobs

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© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin

The primary functions of hospitals, doctors’ offices and other medical facilities center around diagnosing medical conditions and treating patients. However, as businesses, they must also manage information and paperwork, or risk inefficiency, unprofitability and eventual failure. Medical unit clerks perform general business tasks to support doctors, nurses and other health-care staff.


Basics

As with administrative staff in any other industry, medical unit clerks perform basic business functions for health-care establishments.

  • They greet patients and ask them to fill out forms, answer phones and schedule appointments, and transfer doctors notes to medical charts.
  • Whether in paper or digital form, information that they receive must be processed in a timely manner and stored for easy access by medical staff.
  • They also operate office equipment such as copiers, faxes and communications systems.
  • Unlike medical assistants, medical unit clerks do not perform basic medical tasks such as measuring patient vital signs.


Confidentiality

One major difference between medical unit clerks and administrative help in other industries is the need to keep patient data confidential. This information is generally quite sensitive, requiring discretion and security for handling. For example, a clerk in any business may dispose of unwanted documents by simply throwing it in the trash. Medical unit clerks may need to shred such paper, or observe it being destroyed so it can no longer be reconstructed. Those who deal with digital storage systems and computer networks must safeguard their units from hackers, viruses and other unauthorized access. This may require working closely with and learning from computer security specialists.


Characteristics

Medical unit clerks who have certain personal qualities and skills can perform their jobs more effectively.

  • Interpersonal skills are arguably the most important because they interact constantly with patients, medical staff and administrative staff.
  • A good attitude can improve what may be stressful experiences.
  • Organizational skills are necessary for storing information quickly and so doctors can view them at a moment’s notice, while computer skills allow the benefits of digital technology for data management.
  • Clerks must also be able to communicate accurately and professionally to many types of people, both verbally and in writing.


Jobs

Although a high-school diploma may be the minimum requirement for medical unit clerks, many employers prefer those with some post-secondary courses in medical terminology and health-care procedures.

  • As of May 2011, medical unit clerks earned a mean $28,510 per year, or $13.74 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • This was less than the average $32,900, or $15.82 per hour for all medical office support occupations, and under the mean $47,550 yearly, or $22.86 hourly, for all professions in the health care industry.


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Comments 14 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Althought the pay is not as high as other professions, it does give one stability. I love the characteristics of the job.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

Very interesting! A point that you mention about medical unit clerks is the high level of confidentiality they must maintain. I hadn't even considered that until now.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

An interesting look into the job and responsibilities of this profession. Considering it has some level of confidentiality attached to it, the pay seems low.

voted up and interesting.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Fascinating look at the medical unit clerks, it is interesting to see the different wage levels especially as they have to maintain confidentiality, voted up and shared, nell


innerspin profile image

innerspin 3 years ago from uk

From a medical unit clerk.....Not sure how the wages compare to the UK, but they sound quite high. Dealing with upset relatives of patients is also part of the job. Added to this that we do deal with sensitive information and have to stay emotionally detached.......I want a pay rise!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City

The medical clerk's job can get pretty hectic. Like many jobs in the health care field, it requires someone with a cool head, in addition to many other skills.

Great hub; voted up and Shared.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Very clear information here!


Diabian profile image

Diabian 3 years ago

I want to work this job ,what are the qualification do i need for it

voted,useful


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Yes, MarleneB, all medical professionals learn confidentiality as part of their training.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Aurelio,

It is always nice to be greeted by a friendly and helpful person when checking into any office or hospital for treatment. Medical unit clerking jobs are important and they definitely get to use their interpersonal skills to the max. Most wear uniforms of some sort which cuts down on clothing costs since the salaries they earn are not that high. That helps defray costs. Up and interesting votes.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

A high school diploma with some medical terminology and procedure courses should be fine for entry-level positions, Djabian.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Medical unit clerking jobs are good and it does give the stability.Useful hub, thanks


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 3 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

They definitely deserve a bit more, as they really have to deal with some 'awkward' and stressful situations. Discretion and people skills would be important for this role.

Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and useful.


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

While the pay isn't very good, this important position can be a good starting point for those interested in become an administrator or other moves within the healthcare field.

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