Health Care

Community Health Worker

Occupational Purpose and Context

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted and understanding members of the communities they serve. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to be liaisons, links, or intermediaries between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. Community health workers also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy.

Community health workers are bridges between the community and the health care, government, and social service systems.

Community health workers work in government, nonprofit, and private organizations, including hospitals, government, ambulatory care facilities, and religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, or similar organizations. They also provide individualized support or family services from a central location, from remote locations, or through home visits. They work in rural, metropolitan, and urban areas; on tribal lands; or internationally.

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)

Medical Assistant

Occupational Purpose and Context

Medical assistants work in medical offices and outpatient care centers, including urgent care centers and surgical centers. They work with licensed health care and allied health care providers, including doctors, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurses, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, and office support staff (e.g., clerical office staff). Some medical assistants work in small medical practices that employ only a physician and a single medical assistant, and others work in larger medical practices and outpatient care centers (including those affiliated with hospitals).

Medical assistants work with licensed medical care providers in medical offices or other outpatient centers to maintain office records and equipment, schedule and participate in the examination and treatment of patients, perform basic diagnostic tests or medical procedures, and provide patient education and follow-up support.

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians and Medical Coders

Occupational Purpose and Context

Coding professionals use coding conventions and guidelines to abstract, analyze, and accurately assign International Classification of Diseases, Current Procedural Terminology, and other classification systems, as well as principal and secondary diagnostic and procedural codes to inpatient, ambulatory, and outpatient medical records. Coding professionals also query physicians when diagnosis is unclear, audit records, and perform peer reviews. These professionals use encoder, grouper, and other Health Information Management software, including electronic health records. Job requirements include a current credential, such as Registered Health Information Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, Certified Coding Associate, or other designated credential from a nationally recognized organization.

Coding professionals assign clinical classification codes for medical services. They also use abstracting databases, internal and external audit results, Quality Improvement Organization reports, and revenue cycle edit and denial information, and they are a resource to the clinical team. This position requires effective interaction with coding staff, clinical staff, and different levels of management throughout the health care system.

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)

Phlebotomist

Occupational Purpose and Context

Phlebotomists are Medical Lab Technicians who draw and process blood and other biological samples for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. They may explain the procedure to patients and provide assistance if patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn.

Phlebotomists work in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, doctors’ offices, and mobile phlebotomy services.

Because all blood samples look the same, phlebotomists must carefully identify and label each blood sample they have drawn and enter it into a database. In order to avoid causing infection and other complications, phlebotomists must keep their work areas and instruments clean and sanitary.

Phlebotomists are specialists at their craft and often represent the “face of the laboratory.”

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)

Sterile Supply Technician

Occupational Purpose and Context

Sterile supply technicians prepare, sterilize, install, and clean laboratory and health care equipment, and they perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

These technicians work in hospitals, surgical centers, dental offices, outpatient clinics, and treatment centers to clean and prepare medical instruments and equipment. They also assist in infection control and ensure that care providers have ample access to clean, functional, and sterile equipment. Exposure to disease agents and hazardous materials is possible.

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)

Surgical Technologist (Alternate Title: Operating Room Specialist)

Occupational Purpose and Context

Surgical technologists (also referred to as “Operating Room Specialists,” but will be referenced as Surgical Technologist in this document and aligning materials) work as members of a healthcare team alongside physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, and other healthcare workers.

Before an operation, surgical technologists prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment. They also prepare patients for surgery by washing and disinfecting incision sites, positioning the patients on the operating table, covering them with sterile drapes, and taking them to and from the operating room. Surgical technologists prepare sterile solutions and medications used in surgery and check that all surgical equipment is working properly. They help the surgical team put on sterile gowns and gloves.

During an operation, surgical technologists pass instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants. They also hold retractors, hold internal organs in place during the procedure, or set up robotic surgical equipment. Technologists also may handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis.

Once the operation is complete, surgical technologists may apply bandages and other dressings to the incision site. They may also help transfer patients to recovery rooms and restock operating rooms after a procedure.

Work Process Schedule (pdf)
Full Competency-Based Framework (pdf)