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Patient representatives can be found in almost any medical setting—hospitals, health centers, private clinics, or nursing homes. Your work is as varied as the locations, but the main goal is the same: helping to address the special needs and concerns of patients and their families.
Patients call your office when they have a problem with the treatment they received, are confused about a policy, or want to report a staff member for unethical behavior. Whether explaining hospital regulations or helping patients file formal complaints, your task is to resolve the issue as quickly (and painlessly!) as possible.
You also work to prevent future issues. You may conduct patient satisfaction surveys, gather feedback from family members, or educate staff about particular problems.
Why the job outlook is good:
As aging baby boomers start needing more medical attention, the entire healthcare industry is set to expand. That means health-related jobs, like this one, are expected to rapidly grow as demand rises in the coming decade.
What training you need:
Most patient representatives have at least a Bachelor's degree—usually in psychology, human resources, or a similar area. Previous experience in customer service, conflict resolution, or a medical setting is a big plus. Also, fluency in another language will give you an edge, since you can work with the growing population of patients who speak English as a second language.
Show me the money!
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average salary of a patient representative between $24,000 and $38,000.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site that helps people discover and pursue a career that excites them. Check out the website for more information on personal fitness trainers, or join in the conversation on Twitter.