Three Important Uses of Complete & Up-to-Date Job Descriptions in Health Care


Whether you are involved in providing services, research and development or are on the business end of the industry, health care jobs are always moving and changing in scope and direction. A complete and up-to-date job description is important for training, performance evaluation and pay structures. Your job description should be an accurate reflection of what you do and should be updated regularly.

Explanation of a Job Description

  • When you are hired for a job in health care, you are typically given a job description. This document includes the position's duties and responsibilities. However, over time these details change. Maybe you are more competent than your predecessor and have therefore taken on more responsibility. The job may have changed over time. In any case, you should revisit your job description every two years and make sure it is complete. If changes are necessary, discuss them with your supervisor.

Use It for a Raise

  • As your skills and abilities increase in relation to your job, your compensation should increase in proportion. However, these discussions with the boss can be stressful and intimidating. Many people have a hard time speaking up for themselves. Having an up-to-date job description can help during salary negotiations. If you can document that you are doing more or that you now have different responsibilities, then it will be easier to ask for more compensation.

Keep Your Boss Honest

  • Sometimes when you are good at what you do, people give you more to do. It is not necessarily that they want to take advantage of you, but they see you as competent so they hand things off to you. However, you occasionally need to say no. This is easier if you have an accurate job description to fall back on. Politely reference this document to forestall any unwanted projects that may come your way.

Use as a Resume Builder

  • Because many people change careers and/or jobs multiple times, everyone needs a resume readily to hand. The best way to start building a resume is with a solid description of exactly what you do in your current health care job. Much of the detail in this description will find its way into the various components of the resume: the objective, summary, history and education.

Job Descriptions and the Organization

  • From the organization's point of view, a job description is both a training and a performance evaluation tool. The job description should be used during interviews and employee orientation to ensure the new employee is clear on expectations and to guide on-the-job training. Since it describes what the employee is expected to do, the job description provides structure for a performance evaluation and needs only the addition of criteria to describe the level of performance an employee must meet. Job descriptions are also helpful in cases of labor disputes or wrongful termination cases.

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