Hospital ward clerks, or unit clerks, handle clerical tasks at the nurse's station of a hospital floor, or an area such as the intensive care unit or emergency room. These clerks are responsible for dealing with most of the paperwork on the ward. They may have the title of unit or ward secretary.
Hospital ward clerks greet people at the counter, answer questions, direct visitors to patients' rooms and answer phones. They also deliver mail and flowers to patients.
Hospital ward clerks create records on the computer for new patients, and regularly update patient records from charts. Measurements of vital signs such as temperature and respiration rate must be recorded, along with any notes from doctors and nurses.
The job description for a hospital ward clerk includes recording diagnoses and treatments on insurance forms and other medical forms, and processing discharge forms.
Arranging for patient transfers to other wards is another part of a hospital ward clerk's job, and the clerk may transport the patients as well.
Increasingly, hospitals are advertising for ward clerks who also are nursing assistants, or even licensed practical nurses. These clerks can pitch in and help with medical needs when staffing is low, or in contrast, an LPN can help with clerical work when necessary.