If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a health systems specialist you’ll want to make sure you have what it takes. Here are five tools needed for a successful career as a health systems specialist.
- Previous administrative/analytical/clinical management experience is required. Experience is necessary in this position because health systems specialists provide health system management services in support of VA Central Office (VACO), Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) and medical center objectives to support patient care. They provide consultation and comprehensive support to senior leaders, network level programs and local medical center initiatives for which they are responsible. This experience can be paid or unpaid, including volunteer experience.
- Commitment to accuracy and attention to detail. Since much of your job will be interacting with patients and their families, it’s important to remain organized. Health systems specialists help ensure that Veterans Health Administration provides 21st century medical care and services that meet patient needs. A keen eye for details is critical for this important role on the team.
- Volunteer experience. It’s a good idea to get some hands-on experience in order to learn your strengths. If you’re looking for a career in health care, then volunteering at a hospital is a good way to get that exposure. Volunteer work also helps to build critical skills, and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. Care Enough to Share is a mental health volunteer program you may be interested in. Added bonus: Volunteer experience can also count towards your overall experience when applying for the position.
- Strong computer skills. The majority of work will involve using a computer for any patient-care services (e.g., accessing medical charts, diagnostic codes and pharmaceutical distribution processes). It is good to have a strong understanding of computer basics.
- Willingness to learn. It’s very important to stay at the top of your game when working as a health systems specialist. Part of your job is to stay current with legal regulations, medical terminology, medical coding and medical office software. This will be especially valuable when assisting senior leaders.
Are you up for the challenge of serving the health care needs of our Veterans? If so, we invite you to Join VA.
Still unsure about joining VHA? VA’s Career Fit Tool offers a quiz to help you find a job based on what you like to do, and where you like to work!