A ward clerk works in a hospital ward or nursing unit, providing clerical support. His responsibilities usually include everything from handling patient records to answering phones. Most employers provide on-the-job training to new hires, so a person who wants to become a ward clerk doesn’t need any special education beyond high school. Experience in a hospital setting, clerical work experience, and computer skills may help a person get hired for this position.
Ward clerks have an important role to play in a hospital. They provide vital clerical assistance to a nursing unit, allowing nurses to devote more time to patient care. A person in this position, also known as a floor secretary, is responsible for handling paperwork, creating new patient records, updating existing records, and preparing medical test, drug, and supply forms. A ward clerk can arrange for a patient to be transferred to another unit or simply to a different room. He may also greet visitors and deliver mail to hospital patients, as well as answer the unit’s phones and relay messages to the correct person.
A person who wants to work as a ward clerk usually doesn’t need any special education. Employers are generally willing to hire people with either a high school diploma or a general education development (GED) diploma. Employers frequently prefer job candidates who have good computer and typing skills in addition to this basic level of education. It’s also common to be expected to have a working knowledge of acceptable office procedures. Because a ward clerk will be interacting with medical staff, patients, and hospital visitors, he should be able to communicate effectively and understand phone etiquette.
The majority of people who work in this position receive on-the-job training from their boss. A person can also gain experience working in an office or attending classes at a community college or vocational school. He could, for example, take typing classes to improve his accuracy and speed or medical terminology courses. Volunteering in a hospital can also provide valuable experience in a health-care setting for someone in this field.
A person who chooses to work as a ward clerk typically does not have many opportunities for advancement. Some, on the other hand, go on to pursue additional education in order to pursue other health-related careers. A person could work in this field while studying to become a medical records clerk or a nurse, for example.