Administration 101: Tips and Tricks to Stay on Top of It
The administrative side isn’t what usually draws people to work in healthcare, but it is essential to the process of caring for patients. Staying organized, documenting everything that needs to be documented, and keeping everyone informed and on schedule make hospitals and clinics run efficiently. Effective administration is also what connects patients to the care they need, and diligent charting and documentation are what keep healthcare workers and institutions out of court.
Solving medical problems, helping people in times of crisis, and healing patients are what bring many of us to healthcare, but don’t forget about administration. What follows are a few tips to stay on top of the paperwork side of healthcare.
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Like any administrative job, staying organized in healthcare can help keep you on task and sane. Work with your co-workers to make sure your administrative environment is organized in an intuitive manner and that anyone who needs to find essential information can get at it. Obviously, this is an issue at any workplace, but often healthcare relies on paper documents. This means filing, organizing, and tidiness are all the more important in our field than in offices that have made a more complete transition to digital.
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Teamwork and communication are key
Healthcare is a team effort, and clarity and transparency with your co-workers are necessary for anything to get done. Good charting is a big part of communication. Write down everything you’ve done in a chart, not just what you observe. “If it wasn’t charted, it wasn’t done,” is a common refrain in healthcare because those documents aren’t just there for your own reference. They are part of a chain of communication that will inform many, many other healthcare providers about a patient’s treatment. Charting needs to be approached with the same seriousness you approach any in-person communication with your co-workers.
Another important area of communication in heathcare is making sure the day and night shifts (or the day, night, and swing shifts) keep each other informed. If possible, it’s always good to check in with the next shift before you go. Make sure all the documents your co-workers will need are organized and ready for them to work with, and keep them apprised of any serious changes from your shift.
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You can have a whole career as a nurse administrator
If administration is your main field of interest in healthcare, it is possible to eventually become a nursing administrator or nurse manager. If you do go down that path, you’ll be in a leadership position at your clinic, hospital, or other healthcare facility. You’ll be responsible for policy, vision, hiring, and logistics at your workplace.
Other healthcare professionals will look to you for advice, guidance, and help with their jobs. You might also still have clinical duties. Being able to become leader in nursing is one of the many benefits of pursuing a BSN, and it almost always comes with more pay. Regardless of your place in the hierarchy, though, you’ll always have to deal with the administrative side of healthcare. Good care can only come from proper order and organization. That covers everything from having a complete chart to overseeing a whole nursing staff.