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Career Story: Unit Secretary In A Hospital Emergency Room

Unit Secretary In A Hospital Emergency Room

Job Title: Unit Secretary

Type of Company: I work for a hospital in a suburb of Boston.

Education: AS, Business, Quincy Junior College (Quincy, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a secretary in a law firm for 11 years after college. Then I worked at a real estate office as the administrative assistant for 10 year.

Job Tasks: I am a unit secretary in the emergency room of a hospital. My most important job responsibility is order entry: when a doctor orders blood work, x-rays or another test, I take the chart on which the order is written and input it into the computer. Another one of my job responsibilities is to type up the discharge instructions for the patients who are leaving the hospital. These tell the patient what he was diagnosed with, along with a description; which medications have been prescribed for him (describing what the drugs are and how to take them); and finally, what follow-up care the doctor is recommending. Another responsibility is to take the charts once the nurse and doctor have finished with them and "finalize" them on the computer, then break the charts down and send them to medical records.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping people who are hurt and assisting the doctors and nurses to do their work. The worst part of the job is seeing people in pain and having to deal with this calmly and continue to do my job as best I can. Also, when it is very busy and you just don't get a change to sit down is another part of the job that is not the best.

Job Tips: I would recommend going to school for medical terminology and for secretarial studies so that you are better equipped to handle the day-to-day aspects of the job. I would also recommend having some sort of customer service background, because a large part of this job is customer service-based. You are trying to make patients happy with the care they are getting while sometimes having to wait long periods of time. So sometimes just getting them a blanket when they are cold is enough to help them through the waiting.

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