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A Day in the Life of a Medical Records Technician

Apr 08, 2010

Considering a career in a health care related field? How about a job as a medical records technician? This career is challenging, fast-paced, and offers good pay and reasonable opportunities to advance. While the pay rate to start is quite low, it is a great job for a new grad who wants to finance their future education, or those who are just getting back into the workforce.

In general, a medical records technician will work in an office environment. This office may be part of a hospital or large health care center, or it may be an individual building. You will have a desk, computer, and any other supplies you need to complete your job, which will essentially involve coding medical information in a patient’s file for insurance billing purposes. Some medical records technicians have additional responsibilities that include analyzing data and preparing documentation for legal cases.

Depending on the company you work for and the work load at the time, you may work part-time, full-time, or swing shifts. As the need for medical records technicians grow there will be a need to find more spaces for them, and companies can save money by having a night shift of technicians, instead of having to double their office space. While night shift may not sound like a lot of fun, it can allow you the flexibility to still see your kids during the day, or go to university while still keeping your job.

Your normal workday will usually include evaluation of patient’s records to ensure they are complete, clarifying information with physicians, coding every diagnosis, procedure, and test in a patient’s file as well as follow-ups on patients. Most of this work is done on a computer or by telephone. Some insurance companies still use paper-based systems so you may need to fill out forms manually from time to time.

If you have difficulties with a file you can always talk to your supervisor or manager. Their job is to ensure that you always have the information you need to get the job done. If you show initiative you may be given projects with more responsibility, and you will move up in the workplace. Eventually you can become a manager or supervisor yourself.

Being a medical records technician involves long days in front of a computer, but for some this is perfect. Just don’t forget to get up and move around once in a while. You will meet a lot of new people who are just like you, and perhaps you can forge some long-lasting friendships with fellow co-workers.

Growth in the need for medical records technicians is expected to be above average for the next several years, and since you only need an associate’s degree to become a medical records technician then this is a great job opportunity for those who don’t want to be in school for the new 4-6 years. In just two years or less you can be ready for this great career, and if you consistently do good work you will be rewarded with higher pay and promotions.

Now is the perfect time to get ready for a career in the health care industry, so get started. Find someone who is a medical transcriptionist and ask them about the details of their job, or ask a medical records technician employer if you can job shadow for the day. By doing this you can discover exactly what the job entails before you sign up for school. Don’t wait, the perfect job opportunity may be right at your fingertips!

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