Health Technician Job Description
Health technicians - also known as medical technicians, healthcare technicians, and health information technicians – perform clerical and basic medical care tasks that include checking patients in and out, taking vital signs, and administering patient care. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and medical environments of all kinds hire health technicians to work full-time hours during all shifts, including weekends and holidays. Health technicians work in a collaborative environment with the rest of the medical staff and report to nurses and physicians. Health technicians work within the medical facility itself and do not travel outside the property to perform their basic job tasks.
Health Technician Duties and Responsibilities
Daily job duties performed by health technicians differ based on the type of medical facility they’re in, the number of patients coming into the facility, and the types of procedures performed at the facility. However, there are several core tasks associated with this job that are universal for all health technicians.
Perform Clerical Duties
Health technicians perform many administrative tasks, such as checking patients in and out, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and adding notes to patient files.
Monitor Vital Signs
Health technicians monitor patient vital signs during medical procedures, and alert medical staff to any problems.
Health technicians maintain patient confidentiality at all times, in accordance with federal and facility policies.
Perform Basic Medical Tasks
Health technicians perform many basic medical tasks, such as collecting specimen cups from patients, hooking up test equipment, and taking vital signs.
Health technicians assist in transporting patients around the facility, sometimes physically lifting patients for transport.
Health technicians assist patients with all tasks, including grooming and bathing.
Health technicians keep medical equipment clean and well-maintained.
Health Technician Skills and Qualifications
Health technicians use interpersonal skills to interact with patients, and communication skills to work as part of a collaborative healthcare team of staff members. Employers hire health technicians who have the essential skills needed to perform all the tasks associated with this job.
- Interpersonal skills – health technicians have direct contact with patients and interact with patients in many ways, which requires good interpersonal skills.
- Physical ability – health technicians stand for long hours at a time and lift patients, which requires physical ability
- Attention to detail – health technicians monitor patient vital signs and perform basic medical procedures, which requires excellent attention to detail.
- Computer skills – health technicians use computer skills to access and update patient files.
- Communication – health technicians use verbal communication skills to work in a collaborative environment with other medical staff members.
- Multi-tasking – health technicians manage many duties at once and assist with many medical tasks, which requires strong multi-tasking ability.
Health Technician Education and Training
A majority of employers require health technicians to have a high school diploma or GED. Many employers hire health technicians on an entry-level basis and require little special education or training.
Medical facilities provide training to health technicians. This training period differs by employer, but it typically lasts a few weeks. While in training, health technicians work closely with a senior staff member to learn how to perform their required work tasks. Some facilities may require various certifications from health technicians but provide training and assistance for employees who need certification.
Health Technician Salary and Outlook
BLS data shows that medical records and health information technicians earn about $39,000 annually – about $19 hourly – median salary. Medical records and health information technicians occupied more than 200,000 jobs in 2016, a number expected to rise by 13 percent through 2026. These professionals work with patient files and perform duties similar to those required of health technicians. According to information from PayScale, health technicians earn $16.44 median hourly pay.
A majority of employers offer full benefits to health technicians. This includes health, vision, dental, and life insurance. Retirement options are usually included in these packages as well. Paid vacation days, holidays, and sick days are typically offered by most employers. Some facilities may provide additional benefits to health technicians, such as free meals, continuing education assistance, and free parking.
Use these books and websites to find tips and strategies for health technicians, learn more about certification programs, and read news updates and other professional information:
National Association of Healthcare Technicians – Use this website to find out more about certification programs for health technicians and other medical professionals.
The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, 2nd Edition – Written in a straightforward, readable way, this guide to healthcare provides information about healthcare policy in the US, various healthcare systems, health insurance and medicine, medical devices, and more.
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management – This website for all administrative and clerical medical professionals, including health technicians, has resources for certification programs, upcoming event dates, and membership benefits.
Handbook of Informatics for Nurses & Healthcare Professionals (5th Edition) – This book provides an overview of using health information technology and includes practical information to help real professionals who work in the field.
American Public Health Association – Stay up-to-date on important healthcare topics, read various medical periodicals, explore professional development resources, and get news updates for medical professionals at this website.
The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy, and Tools, Third Edition – This book focuses on providing a quality healthcare experience to patients, and contains tips for medical professionals of all types.
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