So you’ve heard that the healthcare industry is growing rapidly, and you’re interested in healthcare career training. But here’s the thing—you’d rather have no patient contact. That eliminates positions like nursing, nursing assistant, patient care technician, dental assistant and more. But there are more options for careers with no patient contact than you might think.
Here are a few positions you could train for if you want to work in healthcare but avoid large amounts of patient contact.
Note: While you won’t be administering medications, taking care of patients or assisting with exams and minor surgeries in these roles, we can’t promise you won’t occasionally come into contact with patients. But these positions are centered more on administration and technology than direct patient care.
1. Medical billing and coding.
Billing specialist, medical biller and coder or medical insurance verifier
These jobs fall under the field of Medical Billing and Coding, which is a hugely important aspect of healthcare. In order to be paid for services, providers have to correctly bill the insurance company, patient or other payer. That’s where these jobs come into play.
A billing specialist is responsible for processing medical bills. They usually communicate with insurance agencies or other payers to make sure claims are paid.
A medical biller and coder is similar to a billing specialist, but they’re also usually responsible for coding patient information. In order to be paid, claims must be correctly coded into ICD-10, which has some 68,000 code sequences.
A medical insurance verifier often handles patient claims relating to insurance companies. This means making sure claims are coded correctly and communicating with insurance companies to make sure claims are paid.
2. Healthcare information technology.
Clinical documentation specialist, document imaging technician or health information clerk
These three roles fall under the category of Health Information Technology. If you’ve ever found yourself interested in the technology that supports the healthcare industry, then this might be the right path for you.
A clinical documentation specialist is responsible for managing patient information, which is stored in Electronic Medical Records, or EMRs. In this role, you’ll likely help maintain EMRs, ensure their accuracy and make sure that providers can quickly and easily access the information while treating patients.
A document imaging technician is mainly responsible for moving physical documents into electronic form. The healthcare industry made a massive shift into EMRs in recent years, and there are still files that need to be converted. In this role, you’ll probably also be responsible for keeping EMRs organized and catalogued.
A health information clerk helps to manage and maintain EMRs, checking them for accuracy and providing immediate access to physicians and providers.
3. Healthcare management.
Front desk supervisor, medical billing supervisor or office supervisor
Say you do want to work with people—both healthcare professionals and patients—but you don’t want to be directly involved in patient care. Then Healthcare Management might be a good field of study for you. Healthcare management is the administrative arm of healthcare, and it’s about supporting the people and processes that make the healthcare system work.
A front desk supervisor is responsible for overseeing the front desk of a healthcare office. This role usually includes managing front desk staff, working through operations checklists and other responsibilities.
A medical billing supervisor usually makes sure that medical billing codes have been entered and submitting correctly, to help ensure payment for services rendered. They might also take charge in the case of billing issues or mistakes.
An office supervisor usually oversees report filing, clerical work, reports and more to make sure office staff stay on target and on task. This role could also include checking inventory, keeping track of budgets, talking with patients and other responsibilities.
You would work closely with the people who do have patient contact, without having patient contact yourself. Job skills include understanding medical billing systems, budgets and resolving workplace conflict.
4. Healthcare technology and systems
Help desk analyst, medical software technician or application support specialist
These positions fall under the umbrella of Healthcare Technology and Systems. This field of study focuses on the healthcare software, programs and technology used in the healthcare industry. It generally includes little to no patient contact.
A help desk analyst usually troubleshoots IT issues within a healthcare office. They are responsible for identifying issues and providing solutions to employees in person, via email or over the telephone.
A medical software technician help healthcare offices and organizations manage their software by installing and maintaining the programs. They might also offer troubleshooting services and coordinate upgrade schedules.
An application support specialist aids employees as they put applications and programs to use within healthcare offices. This is similar to a help desk position; application support specialists provide IT assistance and troubleshoot issues.
5. Medical administrative assistant.
Medical secretary, receptionist, customer service representative, front office staff, office assistant
Do you want to be the smiling face that greets patients at the front desk when they walk into a healthcare provider’s facility? Some medical offices have a reception desk with sliding glass panels to help prevent the spread of germs, but I can’t guarantee all jobs in this category will offer that feature. (Maybe that could be one of your requirements in choosing an employer. “I’m interested in your medical office administration position, but do you have sliding glass panels at your reception desk?” It’s worth a try.) If scheduling appointments, answering phones, and handling other day-to-day medical office administrative tasks sounds good, this could be the career path for you. Our medical administrative assistant program and medical office and billing specialist programs online are two programs that would enable you to seek a career in this area of healthcare.
So there you have it. Careers in healthcare that minimize the icky. I hope you find something that fits your interests.
Learn about the online healthcare programs and on-campus healthcare programs at Ultimate Medical Academy. You can use cool filtering features on the left side of the page to refine the list of programs according to your preferences, including one filter called “administration” and another called “computers.”
Originally posted: August 25, 2015
Last updated: August 29, 2016