Work-at-Home Options for Nurses
Linda Childers | Monster Contributing Writer
July 29, 2008
Telecommuting provides an attractive option for nurses seeking flexibility and work/life balance. Many large companies hire nurses to work from home doing a variety of jobs. Here’s a look at three options: triage (also called telehealth), medical transcription and case management.
Over the past three years, McKesson Health Solutions, a healthcare services and IT provider, has increased its at-home worker population from 13 to more than 500 agents. Most are RNs who provide over-the-phone triage and disease-management services. Patients can call in with health questions, while nurses make outbound calls to patients with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
To qualify as a telehealth nurse for McKesson, candidates should have at least an associate degree in nursing, three to five years of recent acute nursing experience, and strong clinical documentation and assessment skills. They should also be self-motivated and enjoy working independently. In addition, they must have strong Internet and typing skills and a working knowledge of Windows.
“We can offer nurses the kind of flexibility they often can’t find in other jobs,” says Linda Casey, senior operations manager at McKesson. “We can ensure their schedule allows them time to attend their children’s soccer games as well as other personal appointments.”
Salaries and benefits for telehealth nurses are very competitive, and openings exist nationwide, Casey says.
IntelliCare, a healthcare contact center company, and United Healthcare offer similar work-at-home opportunities for nurses.
Another option for nurses seeking to work from home is medical transcription, an occupation the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects will experience faster-than-average growth through 2014.
Transcriptionists transcribe recordings made by physicians and other healthcare professionals into medical reports, correspondence and other administrative material.
Flexibility and the opportunity to set their own hours make medical transcription a viable career choice for nurses with young children or for those seeking a less-demanding job than traditional hospital work.
Community colleges and online providers, such as Career Step, Gatlin Education Services and Professional Career Development Institute, offer medical transcription courses. Prices may vary significantly.