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How to become a ward clerk

You can become a ward clerk by completing a Modern Apprenticeship or applying for vacancies on our recruitment website.

What is a ward clerk?

Ward clerks work in hospital wards, where they provide administrative support to healthcare professionals. They also:

  • welcome patients, relatives, and visitors to the ward
  • take phone calls and answer emails
  • manage access to patient medical records
  • look after patient test results

In this role, you'll have lots of contact with patients, their relatives, and carers. You'll answer questions and provide updates about the patient's care while in hospital.

Starting your career as a ward clerk

Choosing subjects at school

To become a ward clerk, you'll need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Administration and IT
  • Information and Communications Technology

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Education and training pathway

Modern Apprenticeship

Some ward clerks start their careers as Modern Apprentices. With a Modern Apprenticeship, you'll get the training and experience you'll need for the role and an industry-recognised qualification.

Modern Apprenticeship opportunities:

  • Business and Administration
  • Healthcare Support

Find out more about becoming an apprentice.

College courses

If you choose to go to college, you could do the following qualifications to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role:

  • SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 5
  • SVQ Healthcare Support at SCQF level 6

You can then apply for vacancies on our recruitment website.

Course search

Search for college courses on My World of Work.

Get to know the role

As a ward clerk, you'll provide administrative support in a hospital ward. This includes answering telephone calls, updating confidential patient data, and making sure healthcare professionals have access to patients’ medical records.

They also have ldirect contact with relatives, carers, and visitors, providing the information they need about a patient's care.

Tasks include: 

  • respond to queries face to face, by email, and on the phone
  • update and maintain the admissions register and make sure patient details are accurate
  • maintain patient confidentiality at all times
  • make sure patient case notes are maintained
  • order and maintain stock supplies
  • make sure patient property and vauables are stored securely
  • scanning and saving documents
  • contact and arrange repair work with estates services
  • help to coordinate patient discharges from hospital

You'll need these skills:

  • communicating
  • initiative
  • feeling
  • integrity
  • collaborating
  • focussing

As a ward clerk, you could work with: 

  • ward manager
  • nurses
  • allied health professionals
  • doctors
  • healthcare support workers
  • domestic assistants
  • porters
  • maintenance assistants
  • health records assistants
  • medical secretaries
  • pharmacy support workers
  • pharmacy technicians
  • HR assistants

You could work in: 

  • hospital wards
  • specialist departments or clinics

Learning and development

You will be encouraged to develop your career in the NHS. As well as learning specific to your role, you'll need to complete mandatory training, including:

  • health and safety
  • occupational health
  • fire safety
  • counter-fraud
  • moving and handling
  • safe information handling

Your NHS employer will confirm their mandatory training requirements during your induction.

Career progression

You may also have the chance to study for additional qualifications, including:

  • SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 6
  • SVQ Management at SCQF level 7
  • HNC Administration and Information Technology at SCQF level 7

Gaining new qualifications will help you when applying for more senior roles, such as team leader or ward manager.

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