A Comprehensive Guide to Non-Clinical Careers in Healthcare

After the outbreak of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic nearly three years ago, the healthcare sector, both across the length and breadth of this country and internationally as well, every medical and healthcare professional, from student nurses to leaders in the field, have endured an extremely traumatic, turbulent and in some professional’s cases, exceedingly distressing, time. 

Interestingly and absolutely admirably, hundreds upon thousands of nurses, doctors and other medical professionals on the proverbial frontline have steadfastly committed to carrying on working throughout and in the future. However, some medical professionals, in particular professional, registered and practicing nurse, are looking to move into a less ‘hands-on’ career pathway within the healthcare sector.

With this in mind, continue reading for a comprehensive and thorough guide to the top non-clinical careers in the healthcare sector.

What Exactly is A Non-Clinical Job in Healthcare?

This means, essentially, any medical professional who has pursued a medical, yet non-clinical career pathway in healthcare that does not directly involve either the treatment of, or indeed the diagnosis and observation of, patients.

There is a multitude of benefits to choosing to pursue a non-clinical career in healthcare and the possibilities for career progression and new and rewarding opportunities are practically endless.

Such advantages of choosing a non-clinical career in the healthcare sector include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • An incredibly improved ability to balance your professional with your personal life
  • Little to no chance of experiencing a career blow from malpractice lawsuits
  • Same little chance of experiencing a tarnished reputation
  • An overall lower risk of experiencing a medical liability lawsuit
  • Much more engaging work
  • A wider variety or roles and duties
  • Larger opportunity to make an impact

The Wider Benefits of a Non-Clinical Job

Not only are there numerous, multi-faceted advantages to the individual medical professional to moving to a more non-clinical pathway within the healthcare sector, but non-clinical jobs also, exceedingly positively, influence and impact the health and wellbeing levels of the wider population as well. 

Whilst, obviously, medical professionals who work purely on the clinical side are absolutely integral and wholly invaluable, one thing taking a non-clinical role does that the former does not is allow a more general overview of healthcare and allows the use of medical expertise in a wider way. 

Just a few examples of the way that physicians can be directly influential to a wide number of different people, without having diagnosing and treating them, include the following:

  • Medical directors, especially those of larger companies, have a great deal of proverbial sway when it comes to planning and editing the healthcare plan and membership for hundreds and even thousands of people
  • Healthcare professionals who work to help a particular company develop and update medical equipment and various different types of technology improve the lives of millions of people who are treated using the machines they develop
  • Health officers working for the county, the state and the country as a whole have an incredibly important role play in protecting the health of the entire population of the country

Advocate for Patients

All too often, one of the issues of taking on a non-clinical role in the healthcare sector is that it can sometimes be the case that such professionals may lose touch with how it feels to be a patient who is putting their entire trust and often, their lives, in the hand of frontline medical professionals. 

This is where the patient advocate comes in, who acts as a, in simple terms, middleman between the patient themselves and the medical institution. Typical roles and responsibilities involved with taking on the challenging role of patient advocate generally include the following:

  • Working together with individual patients, as well as groups of patients, to professionally fight for a higher quality of healthcare and a more customized treatment plan in one hospital or across the board
  • Compiling and presenting assessments and referrals for individual patients 
  • Assisting patients to thoroughly understand and appreciate the support and the process of care as well as standing up in front of professional peers to fight for their rights
  • Challenging and questioning specific decisions surrounding patients’ treatment plans if either the patient themselves are looking for more treatment options, or else act on family members wishes (where applicable)
  • Conducting lengthy interviews with patients to help identify their feelings and emotions centered around specific problems with their treatment and/or care

Hospital Administrator

One extremely high non-clinical career pathway which sees the successful applicant having substantial and far-reaching power across the entirety of not just one hospital, but affecting other hospitals in the area too, is that of a hospital administrator.

Essentially, a hospital administrator is the person who oversees the entire operations of the hospital, as well as being directly involved with evaluation of staff, inter-departmental communication and public relations. 

With a national average salary of between $69,000 and £72,000 a year, the stressful and often downright turbulent working environment which hospital administrators often experience is financially balanced out in the salary. By far the best way to set yourself on the path to become an influential hospital administrator is to enroll on an innovative and leading executive MHA, which will build upon your medical knowledge and expertise as well as boost your skills at leadership, particularly in a healthcare setting.

The number of duties the average hospital administrator is tasked with on a daily basis are too many to note here, but some of the primary roles include the following:

  • Adhering to OSHA requirements in terms of checking all technology, equipment and PPE within the hospital is sterilized
  • Continuously ensuring that the stock levels throughout the building are right and as they should be as well as keeping on top of ordering new stock
  • The authorization of treatments and admissions according to the legal protocols in place
  • Helping and guiding consenting, enrolment of personnel, screening and recruitment
  • The general overseeing of both the implementation and development of policies and programs regarding public relations, department activities, quality assurance and patient services
  • The coordination, organization and control of all services provided by the hospital
  • Completion of accurate and timely reports and documentations of patient visits
  • The communication of all medical results for all patients currently under the clinical supervision of the hospital
  • The management of the budgets for the whole hospital

Director of Nursing

On an average salary of between $88,000 and $91,000 a year, the role of the director of nursing is certainly a lucrative one financially.

Moreover, there is also a multitude of personal rewards in working your way up to become the director, who has the primary responsibility of overseeing every single nurse across hospitals as well as nurses located at other medical facilities.

To become a director of nursing, it is first necessary to successfully acquire an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, before taking the NCLEX-RN examination then obtaining your professional nursing license. After you are fully licensed, it is then important for you to apply for a postgraduate Master of Science in nursing, before seeking official certification for your professional career.

Whilst you are working in your role, you should then apply for a PhD Doctorate in Nursing to ensure, after the successful completion of your doctorate, that you will now be in the perfect position, both in terms of your academic knowledge as well as your medical and leadership expertise, to apply for the position of director of nursing.

Following are just some of the primary roles and responsibilities of the prestigious position of director of nursing:

  • Ensuring that each and every member of the nursing staff is properly and legally certified and also that they each abide by the official and legal standards of care set by both the government and the hospital itself
  • The implementation of regular quality improvement hospital programs which are specifically designed to improve the quality and standard of the care nursing staff provide and deliver
  • Leading each and every nurse to deliver the highest possible levels and quality of care and treatment to patients as well as offering quality and thorough support to each and every other member of the medical staff
  • The creation, monitoring and development of both existing nursing polices and new procedures with the overall aim of training the standard of treatment and care for each and every patient 

Chief Operations Officer

One of the most highly paid and simultaneously prestigious non-clinical career pathways within the healthcare sector is that of the chief operations officer, who, in the United States, earns between $118,000 and $121,000 a year.

There is a myriad of benefits to pursuing an acclaimed, challenging yet incredibly rewarding career as a chief operations officer in a medical setting including, but in no way limited to, the following:

  • The huge wealth of knowledge you will have accumulated before you assume the position
  • Being responsible for making incredibly influential and important decisions on an almost daily basis
  • The status of becoming chief operations officer is seriously impressive which is always a little bit a bonus
  • Making a huge impression and positive impact on the health of people in the local community, the state and beyond

The typical roles and responsibilities of a chief operations officer include the following:

  • Supporting and leading committee meetings and groups relating to service areas such as marketplace needs, managed care, patient-centered services and the competitive environment of hospitals
  • Communicating and building professional relationships with university officers, medical center and medical school officers and other important medical personnel and professionals
  • Ensuring the effective inter-departmental communication between medical staff leaders, faculty members, members of the medical board and clinical departments
  • Effectively liaising with private clinics and the hospital in which they are based
  • Overseeing any and all major and important decisions regarding both the workforce and pertaining to the hospital and its core business structure
  • The development and implementation of innovative business strategies to both improve the overall performance of the hospital and the market share
  • The communication of important information, data and statistics to stakeholders regarding the primary different service areas, specifically cost management, marketplace needs, managed care and customer-focused services
  • Always professionally and appropriately acting as the first port of call in relation to representing the hospital 
  • Expanding certain referral networks and outreach activities to strengthen pre-existing relationships and create new professional relationships between hospitals, board members and other medical organizations both in the local area and nationally
  • Leading, and at sometimes overseeing, the continuing development and advancement strategic plans and operating divisions across the entirety of the business model of the hospital

Medical Records Supervisor

One role that is still firmly in the non-clinical sector of healthcare and one that is exceedingly vital to the smooth running of the hospital or other medical establishment is that of a medical records supervisor.

Essentially, medical records supervisors work in the surgery, clinic or hospital’s records department and work exclusively with patient records and patient data. It is, therefore, exceedingly crucial for anyone who is interested in becoming a medical records supervisor that they are someone who is dedicated to and passionate about patient privacy and the rights of the individual patient.

Roles and responsibilities of a medical records supervisor include, amongst others, the following:

  • The provision of medical data and information on both the clinician and the client’s behest
  • Requesting and dealing with medical records which have gone missing or indeed a medical record with data which seems inaccurate or irregular
  • The implementation and modification of medical policies and procedures to ensure the complete and utter confidentiality of each and every individual patient’s medical record 
  • Monitoring the compliance and legality of each medical record itself
  • The supervision and coordination of the tasks, projects and daily duties of all staff underneath your position
  • Compiling health statistics and administrative statistics for the use of admission to the clinic
  • The compiling, arranging and releasing of medical information and data 
  • Resolving issues and problems which come from the release of confidential data and medical information

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