Working in the medical and healthcare fields has its pros and cons. On one hand, it can be rewarding and challenging while paying well. On the other hand, it can also be emotionally and physically demanding.
Some healthcare workers have moved to virtual or work-at-home environments in the past few years, keeping them safer and allowing more flexibility. Consider these remote opportunities if you're interested in a healthcare career but don't want to be in a hospital or clinic setting.
Medical Coding and Billing
Coders assign the appropriate insurance billing codes to various procedures, then bill patients and insurance carriers for medical services. The information is sent to you remotely, and you can do the work from home in many situations.
Communication with doctors and insurance companies is via phone and email. You’ll need an associate degree and certification. There are several online schools for medical billing and coding.
Transcribing the recorded notes of doctors for paper or electronic record keeping allows scheduling flexibility. In most cases, medical transcriptionists can decide when they want to work as long as they get the work completed within a set time frame.
The recordings are sent via email, listened to, and typed up. Both full-time and part-time opportunities are available, particularly in larger clinics and hospitals. Certification is optional but preferred. Most transcriptionists have a bachelor's or associate degree.
This is similar to a medical transcriptionist but with very different essential duties. A transcriptionist types up voice recordings word-for-word then sends them to the doctor for review. The work is done after a patient is seen.
Medical scribes work in real-time, virtually connecting during individual patient appointments to record all patient information during their meeting with the doctor. Some of these positions are work-from-home. Others are done remotely from scribe offices, providing a schedule and professional setting while allowing a virtual scribe to do the work without physically coming into contact with patients.
This is usually a freelance position offering extreme flexibility but no benefits such as employee healthcare. Medical writers need to have a good understanding of medical terminology, an excellent grasp of the written word, and clearly convey complex concepts.
Possible projects include blogging for a clinic or hospital to creating technical reports. Most medical writers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism, English, or creative writing, often with a minor in a scientific discipline. Certification and membership in medical associations are also helpful.
It’s a brave new world, and there’s a greater need for healthcare professionals than ever before. Virtual careers offer flexibility and security in the healthcare arena.