Surgical office coordinators help surgical offices run smoothly. They take care of patient intake, prepare patients for surgery and order medicine and supplies as needed, in addition to scheduling appointments and assisting in the operating room and in postoperative care of patients. Surgical coordinators must also greet patients, help them feel comfortable and prepare patient rooms. This type of job may be stressful because of its varied requirements; you must be dedicated to patient care to enjoy it. Depending on the specific job listing, surgical office coordinators can be high school or college graduates or can have nursing degrees; their duties and compensation will reflect this range of preparation.
Surgical office coordinators assist surgeons by organizing records and pulling out the records the surgeon needs before each patient visit, such as results of diagnostic tests, the patient's medical history and referrals from primary care physicians. The coordinator also records data in the patient's chart at the surgeon's request and places prescription orders with the pharmacy for the surgeon.
Surgical office coordinators must be able to assist with some medical procedures. They often must administer medicine to patients during their hospital stays and accompany surgeons on hospital rounds, assisting them with postoperative procedures as needed. Some surgical office coordinators assist with outpatient or in-office procedures as well. They are generally not expected to have the same expertise as nurses and must report concerns to the operating room nurse during surgical procedures, although in some offices, the surgical office coordinator will also be a nurse.
Working with Patients
Surgical office coordinators schedule appointments for patients and monitor the surgeon's schedule to ensure there are no overlapping appointments or overbooking of surgeons. They also greet patients and take them to the appropriate room and help patients remain calm before and during surgical procedures. When the patient arrives for surgery, the office coordinator checks the patient's chart against his hospital band to ensure that all information matches and helps secure the patient to the operating table before surgery.
Point of Liaison
Surgical office coordinators are the point of liaison between the surgeon, the patient and the operating room team. They schedule appointments for the patient per the surgeon's direction and help the patient feel as comfortable as possible before, during and after the procedure. They also get a supply list from the surgeon and communicate with the operating room team to ensure that all needed supplies will be in the operating room before the operation.