According to the Department of Labor (DOL), healthcare was one of the largest industries in the year 2008, providing 14.3 million jobs.*1 Furthermore, the sector is projected to add another 3.2 million new jobs until 2018. *2
If you are planning to start a work at home career, then healthcare is one field worth considering. Not only is the vertical brimming with jobs that offer the flexibility to telecommute, but also most of these opportunities don’t require extensive schooling. In fact, it’s possible to start a lot of healthcare home-based jobs with a vocational training program at a career school or college.
Here are some potential healthcare careers for stay at home moms, retired folk, working professionals looking for a side career, or just about anyone keen to spend less time on road traveling to work and more time with their family.
Medical Transcription: Those familiar with the healthcare industry would know that medical transcription has been around for a while. However, the profession has evolved a great deal over the years from the time manual typewriters were used by medical transcriptionists (MTs) to transcribe doctor dictations to now when most of them use top of the line, cutting-edge laptop computers to do the job.
Post-secondary training programs in medical transcription may provide candidates the skillset for this job. Such medical transcriptionist courses are available at career schools and colleges and many of them are self-paced online programs.
Voluntary certifications are offered to MTs by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity(AHDI) upon meeting certain requirements.
Medical Billing & Coding: It’s one of the allied healthcare professions projected to grow at a much faster than average rate over the next few years, according to the DOL. To become a medical billing and coding specialist, one needs to be good with numbers as the job involves assigning standardized codes to various clinical procedures and using these codified documents for the billing process.
Medical coders and billers can perform their job independently from home and require only limited interaction with healthcare providers and health insurance companies.
Aspirants can gain the skills for this job through a vocational training program in medical billing and coding. Alternatively, Associate degrees in fields like Allied Health or Medical Specialties may also provide the required proficiencies to those keen to have some college experience.
Medical Writing: If you have decent writing skills and some clinical experience, freelance healthcare writing can prove to be an extremely lucrative work-at-home career. It will allow you to let your creative juices flow and provide an outlet to the writer in you. At the same time, you will be able to make more than decent money for it. According to payscale.com, freelance writers in the healthcare industry can earn up to $50 in hourly wages.3
There are plenty of avenues that medical writers or communicators can write for including textbooks, journals, white papers, websites, marketing collateral, etc. Joining organizations like the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) may help healthcare writers find freelance assignments.
Telephone Triage: This is a popular work at home profession amongst registered nurses (RNs). It involves RNs offering clinical advice to patients over the telephone. They listen to the symptoms that patients describe and use their clinical knowledge to provide a medical assessment.
Since telephone triage services are mostly offered by RNs, the training requirements for the job are the same as that of a registered nurse – a two-year or four-year college degree or a hospital-administered nursing diploma. Experience in nursing practice may also be necessary to become a telephone triage nurse.
Virtual Medical Assistant: The job of a medical assistant involves performing administrative tasks at a healthcare center. This includes scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, following up on insurance claims, and a range of other paperwork. A lot of these tasks can be handled virtually from a remote location and may prove more cost-effective, especially for small employers. That’s why many independent physicians are trending towards hiring virtual assistants. It helps them trim their office staff and tighten their budgets.
Skills for this job can be acquired through a medical assistant training program from a career school or a two-year college degree.