Schools Training

A Day In The Life Of An Outpatient Department

18 MAR 2014
Career Path : Healthcare

While there are a variety of interesting and personally rewarding career paths an individual could opt to follow, choosing to work for an outpatient department can be particularly intriguing. By learning more about the daily life of an outpatient department, you can determine whether the unique challenges and rewards that result from such employment make a career in the field right for you.

Outpatient Departments-The Basics 

Although defined diversely, outpatient departments are basically the part of a medical facility responsible for providing administrative and medical care for patients who do not require overnight hospitalization. Some examples of care provided by outpatient departments include surgical, nursing, and dental care. Some of the services offered by outpatient departments include injections, pap smears, punch biopsies, nebulization, and ungiectomy.

A Day in the Life of an Outpatient Department 

The daily life of an outpatient department could consist of a plethora of different things. The specific tasks and responsibilities the department will be required to fulfill is generally contingent upon things such as office protocol, state mandates, and the instructions of one’s immediate supervisor. Despite the differences that exist between outpatient departments, however, there are several similarities between the unique facilities. Because this is the case, a day in the life of most outpatient departments will almost always consist of the following:

Administrative Work 

Typically, administrative work will be a part of an outpatient department’s daily operations. Some of the administrative tasks the department will generally handle include the paperwork involved in checking patients in and out. This paperwork can include basic information forms that include contact information, medical forms, waiver forms, and more. Additionally, the department will be responsible for the filing of these records. Other forms of administrative work the outpatient department may handle includes medical billing.

Diagnosis and Treatment 

To treat patients who do not need to stay in the facility overnight, an outpatient department will handle the process of diagnosing him or her. Because outpatient departments provide all types of medical care, the process of diagnosing a patient can involve a plethora of unique practices. Some examples include blood and urine sampling, other lab tests, and MRI scans.

Just as an outpatient department will be responsible for handling the diagnosis of its patients, it will also take responsibility for treatment.

Wellness And Prevention Care 

Many medical centers have included wellness and prevention care as part of the services provided by the outpatient department. The work involved in running this component of the department can be time-consuming and necessitate daily attention. Some daily responsibilities that an outpatient department may need to handle within its wellness and prevention care sector include passing out informational brochures about its weight loss program or offering counseling services designed to help individuals quit smoking.


In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, an outpatient department is often responsible for training new employees or working with those who are completing an internship. In some cases, the outpatient department may have recruited individuals from local healthcare schools who are interested in gaining hands-on experience to prepare to work within a specific medical field.

Vist the Academy of Learning College Alberta for more information on healthcare schools.