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Career Story: Administrative Officer At A Veterans' Administration Hospital

Administrative Officer At A Veterans' Administration Hospital

Job Title: Administrative Officer

Type of Company: Veterans Hospital

Education: High School Graduate

Previous Experience: I have worked in medical administration for the past 19 years, holding jobs as a unit clerk, transcription specialist and triage secretary and focusing on decedent affairs, registration, scheduling and insurance coverage.

Job Tasks: I am in charge of payroll for 250+ employees in the Geriatric Extended Care (GEC) Program at this Veterans' Administration facility. The GEC units are comprised of 10 community living home units, a home-based primary care program consisting of VA medical staff (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and social workers) and a Fee Program that provides homemaker, home health aide, respite, hospice in home services all of which are under contracts.

I maintain the contracts and authorize payments for services provided. I determine eligibility and authorize care at this facility or contracts for community nursing home, hospice, or palliative care. I collect performance data, analyze, report, and make recommendations to the hospital director and performance management. I make sure that the clinical and administrative staff education requirements are met and that physician and nurse practitioner licenses and competencies are up-to-date. I am a mentor to new front-line administrators. I teach transcription, taking minutes, organizational stewardship to new clerical staff. I establish a federal year budget based on staffing, equipment, and the programs mentioned above.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best thing about my job is that I have a job, that I have lots of experience and my experience has served so many! That I am respected. I love the variety and the many people I meet: anyone from veterans to doctors and staff. I love the fact that I am constantly learning. I love leaving at the end of the day knowing I've accomplished so much!

The worst thing about the job is trying to work within a budget before knowing just how much money will be made available.

Job Tips:
1. College is great but it will not prepare you for hospital administration.

2. It's best to get a degree and work or volunteer in a hospital to gain experience.

3. Be willing to move... mobility is important!

4. Network and learn from others!

Additional Thoughts: It is important to learn as much as you can from the different areas of hospital administration. They are the glue!

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