For dedicated surgical facilities, or even hospitals that offer surgical services and consultations, hiring a surgery scheduler is of great importance. These people provide support in scheduling surgeries by making sure that all details are managed according to the procedures of the facility.
Since surgery schedulers are in constant contact with people – patients, doctors, surgeons, nursing staff, insurance company personnel and patients’ families – they are required to be great communicators. The ability to multitask and coordinate is of the utmost importance in this work as one has to handle a multitude of duties in one go. The career roadmap of obtaining a position as a surgery scheduler includes taking up a position in a related field, such as an internship in a hospital, to gain insight into surgical scheduling procedures. Additionally, one has to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and strengthening his or her customer service skills.
To work at this position, one has to possess a high school diploma or a GED and knowledge of medical and surgical terminology. Many facilities require surgery schedulers to possess at least 2 years’ experience in surgery scheduling but you may be hired even at the entry level, especially if you have extensive knowledge about the position.
• Interview patients to derive information regarding their medical histories and previous surgeries
• Document all information derived from patients according to the facility’s protocol
• Respond to questions regarding the facility’s services and procedures, both in person and over the phone
• Determine need for pre-op tests such as bone scans, MRIs and CT scans and follow up with departments to ensure that they are expedited
• Schedule surgical procedures based on surgeons’ appointments and the convenience of patients
• Assess test results to determine if patients are ready for surgery and communicate any unusual findings to the doctor
• Keep patients abreast of surgeons’ schedules and any delays in surgeries, along with reasons for the delay
• Ascertain that follow-up appointments are scheduled to ensure patient wellbeing
• Establish and maintain effective relationships with surgeons, physicians, nursing staff, departmental heads and patients and their families
• Arrange for patient clearances before and after each surgical procedures
• Create and implement patient education plans to ensure that patients are made comfortable with the procedure and know what to expect
• Coordinate necessary patient care with hospitals, blood donations, radiology and anesthesia, as well as keep in constant contact with patients’ PCPs