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What is a Bariatric Coordinator?
A bariatric coordinator oversees and helps organize the clinical activities of a bariatric surgery program. Bariatric surgery involves surgically reducing stomach size to help obese individuals achieve long-term weight loss.
At the administrative level, the bariatric coordinator may verify patients' insurance benefits, schedule and communicate appointments to patients, and collect payments. In addition to patient-related administrative tasks, the coordinator is often responsible for maintaining accreditation standards and submitting data to regulatory bodies. They may also collect program outcomes data and help implement quality improvement initiatives.
At the clinical level, bariatric coordinators collect and input patients' medical information and gain necessary authorizations from patients prior to surgical procedures. They also might perform initial intake procedures, such as recording patient temperature, pulse and blood pressure. Additionally, bariatric coordinators have a role in patient education both pre- and post-surgery, which might include one-on-one interactions as well as information sessions for groups of prospective patients. Responsibilities may extend to educating other nurses/staff and coordinating with physicians to help patients with treatment plans.
|Educational Requirements||Most employers prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing along with current RN licensure|
|Job Skills||Basic computer skills, knowledge of office equipment and basic medical equipment, experience in nursing and/or patient education, strong written and verbal communication skills|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$66,951|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||20% (for all medical and health service managers)|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Some employers may hire bariatric coordinators with only a high school diploma and experience in a medical office setting, but these positions involve limited administrative tasks. Most employers seek those with a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and current registered nurse (RN) licensure. Candidates may also be required to complete the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical Clinical Reviewer online training program.
Additionally, some employers prefer candidates who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and who are, or are willing to become, Certified Bariatric Nurses. This certification, available through the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, requires current RN licensure, 24 months of experience and passage of an exam.
Experience in nursing and/or patient education and strong written and verbal communication skills are important since bariatric coordinators work closely with patients and prospective patients, both in coordinating care and educating pre- and post-surgery. Bariatric coordinators must have basic computer skills and knowledge of office equipment, including fax machines and copiers, to facilitate daily administrative duties. They also should be able to use basic medical equipment, including defibrillators (in case of an emergency) and equipment used to take vital signs, like thermometers, blood pressure devices, stethoscopes and pulse oximeters.
Career Outlook and Salary
There are no job outlook statistics specific to bariatric coordinators, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that medical and health service managers in general should experience above average job growth of 20% between 2016 and 2026.
As of April 2018, bariatric coordinators made a median annual salary of $66,951, according to PayScale.com.
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