Hospital ward clerks are responsible for a wide range of clerical and administrative duties. They are also tasked with monitoring live patient data in addition to transcribing and entering orders for caregivers. These dedicated workers help fast-paced medical facilities operate efficiently.

“I am on the frontline, making sure everything is running smoothly in our unit,” said Lisa Barrett, a ward clerk transcriber at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “I do everything from greeting patients to managing their appointments. I make certain our units have the supplies they need, request patients’ charts from other hospitals and help patients get their prescriptions among many other things. I work closely with everyone.”

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What qualified you for the post?

“I had practiced as a certified nursing assistant for eight years, prior to becoming a ward clerk. I had already gained valuable experience with computer technology and acquired a good understanding of medical terminology.”

How was the position offered to you?

“I was presented with an opportunity to take a three-week ward clerk training class. I jumped at this opportunity to further myself, take on a new challenge, learn new skills and become even more visible to our members.”

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How does one prepare for a lasting career as a ward clerk?

“The best way is to make sure you have good customer service skills. Compassion and patience go a long way, too. You are often dealing with people who are ill or have sick loved ones, so a desire to help and support those facing difficult situations is important.”

What is your message to aspiring ward clerks?

“It’s a great field to pursue. You learn a lot sitting in the inside because you get to see everything on the outside. A lot of people rely on you in this role, which can be very satisfying and rewarding. I love my job. I haven’t called out sick in 10 years. Coming to work is like a blessing every day.”

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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.