An emergency room clerk has responsibilities in a medical environment that can be tiring, stressful and chaotic. ER clerks often find helping those in need rewarding, though they must often deal with difficult or distraught patients and their families. Experience with helping people or directing them to others who can help requires patience. Those with strong computer skills often advance to other jobs in hospital administration.
An emergency room clerk typically reports to the nurse manager and functions as a coordinator for registration and administrative activities. An ER clerk greets patients and starts processes such as obtaining and verifying identification, insurance and any medical records. Work includes admitting patients and transferring appropriate paperwork. Work involves interactions with doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel. The position requires strict patient confidentiality.
An ER clerk works directly with patients, obtaining signatures and completing required forms as required by state and federal regulations. Job responsibilities include verifying insurance eligibility, obtaining copies of insurance cards and visiting patients in their rooms as appropriate to complete tasks. An ER clerk assists patients with handling clerical problems and resolving any issues such incorrect identification. Occasionally, ER clerks arrange for overnight accommodations if the patient is not admitted to the hospital.
Required Skills and Experience
Jobs descriptions for ER clerks generally list a high school diploma or equivalent as a requirement. Typically, hospitals provide extensive on-the-job training regarding their policies and procedures. Knowledge of basic medical terminology is often necessary. Good interpersonal skills are essential, as well as empathy for people in crisis. You should be able to handle multiple tasks at once, prioritize work and manage interruptions easily. Specialized positions often require certification or additional training.
Expert Insight on Job Outlook
Jobs for receptionists and information clerks are projected to grow faster than the average job (by about 17 percent) from 2006 to 2016, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many new jobs arise when existing workers transfer or leave the work force.
Work Schedule and Salary
Coverage required by hospitals and other medical settings often demand flexible work schedules to cover evenings, weekends and holiday hours. Median hourly wages for receptionists and information clerks were $11.01 in 2006.