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Medical couriers transport medical items between labs, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. If you enjoy driving and spending much of the day working independently, a position as a medical courier could be right for you.
Medical Courier Job Description
Medical couriers safety transport lab specimens, pharmaceuticals, X-rays, hospital supplies, interoffice mail and related items to clients. They must demonstrate safe, courteous and efficient driving behavior on a variety of roads and under a variety of weather conditions. They must maintain a clean, orderly appearance, both for themselves and the vehicle. Medical couriers are expected to have good customer service skills, since they will be interacting with clients upon delivery of items. Clients can include physicians, nurses, lab technicians and other health care professionals.
Though there is no standard medical courier training, employers may require that you learn to use a handheld scanner to accurately track items through the delivery cycle. Specialized equipment may also be required to handle sensitive items.
No formal education is required to become a medical courier. Most employers seek a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Previous driving and delivery experience may be required, although many employers offer medical specimen delivery training as a condition of hire.
You may be able to enhance your employment opportunities by taking courses in person or online. To make your resume or job application more attractive to potential employers, you can demonstrate understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which concerns how medical information is stored and shared, as well as safety protocols for handling medical specimens.
Training need not be expensive. You can take an online course in HIPPA compliance from Integrity Medical Courier Training, for example, for as little as $12.95. Training is available in English and Spanish.
Some employers will provide a vehicle, while others require that you provide your own reliable motor vehicle. Employers seek candidates with a valid driver's license and clean driving record. Most require that you pass background and drug tests. You may be asked to provide your own smartphone for voice and text communications with your employer and delivery client.
Medical deliveries are usually time-sensitive, so you must be able to navigate your routes safely and efficiently. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) on your phone or mounted in your vehicle can help you get where you need to be, particularly if you're unfamiliar with an area or have to be rerouted due to construction or an accident. You must be prepared to drive in all types of weather conditions.
Many deliveries take place during regular business hours, but, depending on your employer, you may be called upon to make deliveries in the evening, overnight, and on weekends and holidays. The healthcare industry operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the jobs website ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for medical couriers across the U.S. is $27,567. Compensation varies according to a number of factors, including employer and geographic location.
Some employers offer medical, dental and vision benefits with full-time employment. Depending on your circumstances, it might be better to take a lower-paying position if benefits are offered. Other medical couriers take jobs as independent contractors with transportation companies and get paid according to the number and location of the deliveries made.
Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for eHow.com, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.