The traditional 9-5 work schedule has become increasingly uncommon due to the demands of globalization and our 24-hour society. Many people choose to work on their own schedule, often from home, because they view the strict routine of a 9-5 job as demotivating and seek more diversity in their work life. Others find that the eight-hour time block interferes with other aspects of their life like school, family obligations or additional part-time jobs. However, while some people simply find traditional working hours counterproductive, others don’t have much of a choice because their profession demands high flexibility.
Many industries these days offer flexible careers that allow you to telecommute. Accountant, consultant, writer, editor, graphic designer, computer programmer, and web designer are common examples of professions that increasingly involve telecommuting. However, did you know that the health care industry offers a number of careers that allow you to telecommute as well? This is good news for everybody who likes to work independently, but also wants to work in a highly lucrative field. The health care sector is projected to grow approximately by 26 percent by the year 2020 – much faster than most other industries.
Hence, if you are searching for a job in health care that doesn’t have a 9-5 schedule and allows for more flexibility, consider the following medical careers:
Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
Medical billing and coding specialists or medical records and health information technicians organize and manage health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. Medical billers and coders document patients' health information, including the medical history, symptoms, examination and test results, treatments, and other information about healthcare provider services. To become a medical billing and coding specialist, it is recommended that aspiring medical coders complete a professional education training program and required exams to become certified, according to Carrington.edu. They mostly work in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Some work in nursing care facilities, home healthcare facilities or for the government. However, experienced and knowledgeable medical billing and coding specialists can start their own business and work from home, too. Particularly small practices have trouble attracting and keeping good medical billing specialists, which are great opportunities for medical billing coders who wish to telecommute.
Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare professionals make and convert them into written reports (medical transcripts). Sometimes, they may also review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. In addition, medical transcriptionists interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents. Employers and clients usually prefer to hire transcriptionists who have completed postsecondary training in medical transcription, which is offered by many vocational schools, community colleges, and distance-learning programs. Prospective medical transcriptionists must have an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, grammar, and word-processing software. The majority of medical transcriptionists are employed by hospitals or physicians' offices, while some also work for third-party transcription service companies that are contracted by health care institutions. Yet, a growing number is self-employed and works from home as independent contractors.
Medical translators translate technical, regulatory, clinical or marketing documentation, software or training curriculum for the pharmaceutical, medical device or healthcare fields. For example, if medical devices or pharmaceuticals that are sold in different countries, medical translators are responsible for translating the corresponding literature and labeling. Furthermore, documents necessary to conduct clinical trials sometimes need to be translated, so that health care professionals, patients and regulatory representatives are able to read them. Similarly, regulatory approval submissions typically have to be translated as well. Medical translators are expected to have subject expertise regarding medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, as well as linguistic expertise concerning spelling and grammar. Thus, many employers or clients often demand professionals who completed postsecondary training in medical translation or have extensive experience in the medical field. While medical translators often work for hospitals, physicians' offices or third-party translation service companies, many are self-employed and work as independent contractors for health care organizations across the world.
Medical writers typically work for clients in media, government or health care. They are often hired by pharmaceutical companies, medical-device manufacturers and clinical-research organizations to prepare regulatory documents used to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for drugs and devices. In addition, medical writers help doctors write research articles, monographs, and reviews on medical topics. Continuing medical education companies also hire medical writers to compile educational materials used by doctors and nurse to prepare for license renewals. Furthermore, they produce sales training materials and press releases for health care organizations or fact sheets and web content for government agencies. Medical writers also write about research discoveries for medical journals, websites, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, blogs and any other medium that covers health and medical issues. Medical writers have usually worked in the medical field and frequently hold a post-secondary medical degree. Whereas some are employed full-time, a large majority works independently on freelance-basis.
Medical editors plan, coordinate and edit medical related content for publication purposes. Furthermore, they are also responsible for reviewing proposals and drafts submitted by medical writers prior to publication. Other responsibilities of a medical editor include deciding layouts, indexing content, and revising final drafts to prepare for publication. Moreover, a medical editor communicates with the writers regarding additional questions, edits or revisions. The job of a medical editor also requires proficiency in various software programs that are used in editing and/or publishing. A post-secondary degree with a specialization in English literature or grammar is required by most employers, while a further degree, certificate or specialization in the medical field is strongly desired as well. Usually, medical editors worked as medical writers beforehand. The generally either work in-house for medical publications or health care institutions or as independent contractors hired on-demand by clients in the medical field.
Monica Gomez is a career, health, and healthcare industry writer. She has written numerous articles on career advancement and health profession opportunities.