Career Development

What Does a Surgery Scheduler Do?

Find out what a surgery scheduler does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a surgery scheduler.

Surgery schedulers are responsible for scheduling the operating rooms and surgical equipment at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other medical professionals to ensure that all procedures are scheduled in a timely manner and without conflict.

Surgery schedulers must be able to juggle multiple tasks at once while paying close attention to detail. They often have to coordinate with several different departments within a hospital or clinic to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Surgery Scheduler Job Duties

A surgery scheduler typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Scheduling operating room time for surgeons and other medical staff members
  • Coordinating patient admission and discharge with nursing staff members
  • Reviewing medical records to determine insurance coverage and authorization requirements for surgeries
  • Coordinating with insurance companies to ensure that claims are processed properly
  • Scheduling staff such as nurses, anesthesiologists, or other clinicians who will be working on the patient’s case
  • Estimating length of hospital stays based on patient conditions and surgical procedures involved
  • Coordinating with insurance companies to ensure that claims are processed properly
  • Communicating with patients about their procedures and answering questions they have about their care
  • Coordinating with other hospital departments regarding patient scheduling and logistics

Surgery Scheduler Salary & Outlook

The salary of a surgery scheduler can vary depending on their level of experience, the size of the hospital or medical facility they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $39,500 ($18.99/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of surgery schedulers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As the population ages, more people will need surgeries and other procedures. In addition, the increasing popularity of minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic surgery, will require more scheduling coordination.

Related: Surgery Scheduler Interview Questions and Answers

Surgery Scheduler Job Requirements

A surgery scheduler typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most surgical schedulers have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. Courses in computer software, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, are helpful for surgical schedulers.

Training & Experience: Surgery schedulers typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include shadowing a current surgery scheduler or a medical assistant. The training may last for a few days to a few weeks.

Certifications & Licenses: There are no required certifications to become a surgical scheduler, but some employers may prefer or require certifications. Check job descriptions to determine whether employers in your area expect or prefer certifications.

Surgery Scheduler Skills

Surgery schedulers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Time management: Schedulers often work with multiple surgeons and staff members, so time management is an important skill for this job. You may need to manage multiple schedules and ensure that everyone is where they need to be at the right time. You may also need to manage multiple tasks at once, so time management is a crucial skill for this position.

Attention to detail: Schedulers must be able to pay close attention to detail when entering patient information into the scheduling software. This information includes the patient’s name, medical history, insurance information and any other relevant details that the doctor needs to know. This information is important for the doctor to have when preparing for the surgery.

Communication: Schedulers communicate with patients, surgeons, anesthesiologists and other medical staff to ensure that all aspects of a surgery are in place. They also communicate with patients to answer questions and provide information about the surgery. Strong communication skills can help you to be an effective communicator and to build positive relationships with others.

Organization: Schedulers need to be organized to ensure they have all the information needed to make appointments and track the progress of patients. They also need to be able to prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively to ensure they meet all their responsibilities.

Computer skills: Schedulers use computers to create and update patient schedules, so computer skills are an important part of this job. Computer skills can include knowledge of computer software, such as scheduling software, word processing software and spreadsheet software.

Surgery Scheduler Work Environment

The surgery scheduler works in a hospital or medical office setting. They typically work a regular 40-hour workweek, but may be required to work evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of surgeons and patients. The job can be stressful, as it requires attention to detail and the ability to handle last-minute changes. The surgery scheduler must be able to remain calm under pressure and have excellent communication and organizational skills.

Surgery Scheduler Trends

Here are three trends influencing how surgery schedulers work. Surgery schedulers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Out-of-Office Procedures

The trend of out-of-office procedures is growing rapidly as more and more people are looking for ways to save time and money. This means that surgeons will need to be able to schedule appointments outside of the hospital, which requires a different set of skills.

Surgery schedulers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in scheduling out-of-office procedures. They can also work with hospitals to develop policies and procedures that make these procedures easier to manage.

Patient Demands for Better Communication

Patients are increasingly demanding better communication from their healthcare providers. This is especially true when it comes to surgery scheduling, where patients want to be sure that they are being seen by the best possible surgeon for their particular procedure.

As a result, surgery schedulers will need to be excellent communicators who can build trust with patients. They will also need to be able to understand patient needs and recommend the best options for each individual.

More Use of Technology in Healthcare

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry. This is evident in the increasing use of electronic medical records (EMRs) and the adoption of telemedicine services.

As technology continues to play a larger role in healthcare, surgery schedulers will need to learn how to use these tools to their advantage. This includes learning how to use EMRs to track patient information and using telemedicine services to connect patients with doctors who are located across the country.

How to Become a Surgery Scheduler

A surgical scheduler career can be a great way to get started in the healthcare field. It’s important to have a strong understanding of the surgical process and how it works, so make sure you do your research before starting this job.

It’s also important to stay up-to-date on new technologies and procedures that are being used in surgery. This will help you provide better service to your patients and surgeons.

Advancement Prospects

There are a few ways to advance in this career. One is to move into a position as a surgical coordinator. In this role, you would be responsible for all aspects of scheduling surgeries, from pre-op to post-op. This would include coordinating with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other staff to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Another way to advance would be to move into a management position, such as surgical services manager. In this role, you would be responsible for the overall operation of the surgical services department. This would include budgeting, staffing, and quality control.

Surgery Scheduler Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide top-notch surgical care to our patients. We are currently seeking an experienced Surgery Scheduler to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience in a hospital or medical office setting, and will be well-versed in medical terminology. They will be responsible for coordinating surgical procedures with surgeons, anesthesiologists, hospitals, and patients. They will also be responsible for maintaining surgical schedules, ensuring that all surgeries are performed in a timely manner.

The Surgery Scheduler will be a key member of our team, and will play a vital role in ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Schedule surgeries and related procedures, working closely with patients, families, physicians, and other health care team members to ensure all logistics are in place prior to surgery
  • Verify patient insurance benefits and coverage for scheduled procedures, ensuring that any necessary precertification or authorization requirements are met
  • Serve as a liaison between the patient, family, and physician regarding scheduling issues, providing clear and timely communication
  • Maintain an up-to-date schedule of surgeries and related procedures, adjusting as needed based on cancellations, delays, or other changes
  • Coordinate with the surgical team, anesthesiologists, and hospital staff to ensure that operating rooms and other necessary resources are available when needed
  • Prepare surgical schedules and block time for surgeons, taking into account individual preferences and needs
  • Manage the surgical case load for assigned surgeons, ensuring that cases are appropriately prioritized and sequenced
  • Monitor surgeon compliance with OR scheduling policies and procedures, escalating issues as necessary
  • Keep abreast of new developments in surgical scheduling software and systems, making recommendations for improvements as needed
  • Assist with the development and implementation of new scheduling processes and procedures
  • Train new schedulers and other staff on existing scheduling processes and procedures
  • Serve as a resource to patients, families, and staff regarding questions about the surgical scheduling process

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a scheduler, coordinator, or similar role
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to multitask and prioritize
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Familiarity with medical terminology

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Previous experience working in a medical office or scheduling surgeries
  • Working knowledge of electronic medical records (EMR) systems
  • Bilingualism


What Does a Credit Portfolio Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Hedge Fund Trader Do?