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How to Become a Surgery Scheduler: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 17, 2018

Research the requirements to become a surgery scheduler. Learn about the job description and duties, and explore the step-by-step process to start a career in surgery scheduling. View article »

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  • 0:00 Surgery Scheduler Overview
  • 1:10 Complete Required Education
  • 1:39 Gain Relevant Experience
  • 2:24 Find a Surgery…
  • 2:58 Advance Your Career

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Video Transcript

Surgery Scheduler Overview

Degree Level None; postsecondary education beneficial
Experience Varies; typically 2+ years in a fast-paced medical or clerical field
Key Skills Strong customer service, communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills; satisfactory typing skills and sound knowledge of software applications; reliability; ability to work under pressure; knowledge of medical terminology
Salary $35,951 (2016 median for surgery schedulers)

Sources: Online job postings (November 2012), PayScale.com

Surgery scheduling is a clerical position in the health care field that involves organizing and maintaining an active surgery schedule as well as speaking with patients and others on the phone and in person. Surgery schedulers may also be responsible for various other tasks, such as managing patient records, inputting and updating patient insurance information and ensuring communication between staff members. Surgery schedulers are typically employed by physicians' offices, hospitals, medical groups and professional staffing agencies. Patience and empathy may be required when dealing with callers who might be upset or confused. Surgery schedulers also need strong customer service, communication, problem-solving and organizational skills, along with satisfactory typing skills and sound knowledge of software applications. They must be reliable and able to work under pressure and have knowledge of medical terminology. Payscale.com reported that surgery schedulers earned a median annual salary of $35,951 as of January 2016.

Step 1: Complete Required Education

A high school diploma or equivalent GED is typically the only education required to enter this career field. High school students demonstrating an interest in health care-related professions, like surgery scheduling, might want to take courses that will help them better understand the industry. Courses such as anatomy, biology, physiology and advanced mathematics could prove beneficial when it comes to preparing for a job in surgery scheduling.

Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience

Individuals who want to become surgery schedulers might gain relevant work experience by taking a position in a related field. A job in a busy medical office or other health care setting can provide prospective surgery schedulers with the core knowledge and experience necessary to become successful in their field.

While gaining relevant work experience, individuals should attempt to acquire the mandatory skills required by a surgery scheduling position. This includes learning medical terminology, becoming comfortable in a fast-paced work environment and strengthening customer service and communication skills. Individuals also might want to increase their familiarity with surgical and medical procedures as well as various health insurance plans.

Step 3: Find a Surgery Scheduler Position

Once aspiring surgery schedulers have gained at least two years of relevant work experience and acquired many of the skills necessary for the position, they can attempt to locate a job in the field. Job listings for surgery schedulers can be found on the Internet and in newspapers. Local hospitals, physicians' offices and medical groups hire surgery schedulers. Other jobs can be found through professional staffing agencies who hire both temporary and permanent employees for the health care industry.

Step 4: Advance Your Career

Postsecondary degree programs in medical technology, nursing and other areas are available to employees interested in furthering their skills and careers in surgery scheduling or pursing another medical profession. For example, surgery schedulers might opt to become registered nurses or health information technicians.

Surgery schedulers should stay informed of the latest news and updates in their field. Continuing education courses, seminars, newsletters and company meetings can all provide the means necessary for staying on top of career advancements and pertinent job information.

In summary, surgery schedulers typically need a high school diploma, along with relevant coursework and experience. Completion of a postsecondary degree program could lead to career advancement.

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