Surgical coordinators are responsible for all aspects of pre-operation activities for their medical facility. This work typically includes following a patient through many stages of preparatory work. Once a patient’s surgical needs have been identified, surgical coordinators work with their facility to secure a surgical schedule for the patient. They ensure that any necessary administrative clearance for the surgery to proceed is obtained. Additionally, surgical coordinators work with the patient’s insurance company to obtain all necessary documents and authorization for payment; they also work directly with the patient, answering questions, confirming the schedule, and determining payment methods. Surgical coordinators also maintain the surgeons’ schedules.
Surgical coordinators work in an office environment (if they are privately employed by a surgeon or collective of surgeons) or in a hospital. They interact directly with patients on a daily basis, as well as work closely with doctors both in their own office and at hospitals. Private surgical coordinators may be required to physically travel to a hospital to resolve issues. Minimal supervision is typical in this position, as a wide degree of latitude is needed to resolve the complicated and changing scheduling and surgical needs of patients and hospitals. In larger hospital settings, surgical coordinators may manage a staff to handle the volume of work. In private settings, surgical coordinators typically work alone.
Hospital surgical coordinators are often required to hold an associate’s degree in business, nursing, or a related field. Private surgical coordinators are generally required to a high school diploma and some related or clerical experience. Candidates must have specific medical industry and terminology knowledge, and they may be required to hold a nursing license.
Surgical Coordinator Tasks
- Ensure all preoperative testing is scheduled
- Complete preoperative paperwork and obtain patient signatures
- Set surgery dates with patients that fit within doctor’s schedule.
- Prepare information for patient