What Does a Ward Secretary Do?

A ward secretary’s main job is to keep a nurse’s station in a hospital running smoothly performing tasks assigned a registered nurse (RN) or another manager. Patients’ information is frequently communicated ward secretaries to other hospital departments as well as patient visitors. Most hospital ward secretaries are expected to perform both reception and clerical administration duties.

Many ward secretaries use a computer to enter updated information into patient records from doctors, nurses, and other hospital departments. Ward secretaries may be required to type information from reports into other documents as directed a supervising RN, even though they do not typically transcribe doctors’ notes into report form like medical transcriptionists do. As a result, ward secretarial job descriptions frequently require knowledge of medical terminology, pharmacology, and common surgical procedures. In order to have more time to deal directly with patients, registered nurses have a ward secretary who completes paperwork.

Medical staff require the most up-to-date and accurate information on charts and other documents when treating patients, so keeping up-to-date patient records is an important part of a ward secretary’s job. On-the-job training is provided to many ward secretaries more senior clerical nursing station staff. A senior ward secretary might be able to help registered nurses plan administrative and organizational procedures for the nurse’s station.

Other common ward secretarial duties include answering the phone and responding to email correspondence. Ward secretaries are frequently called upon to direct hospital visitors to the appropriate patient rooms. He or she may communicate with a patient’s family on a regular basis to provide updates on the patient’s condition. Most ward secretarial jobs include answering questions about the patient for a family member who has been designated to receive updates. A ward secretary often works right next to the nurse’s station desk, greeting visitors and directing them to patients’ rooms.

Ward secretaries can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and other medical facilities. Ward secretaries are frequently employed health and wellness centers, as well as community-based organizations. Ward secretaries might also work in doctor’s offices or walk-in medical clinics. Ward secretarial duties may differ from those in most hospitals, but they usually include reception and keeping patient files and paperwork up to date. A medical administrative assistant, rather than a ward secretary, may be the job title in these situations.