DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL,
TECHNICAL, AND ADULT EDUCATION
CARL W. PROEHL, Assistant Commissioner
TECHNICAL and HEALTH
THOMAS W. STRICKLAND, DIRECTOR
Modern medical, hospital and nursing methods have increased clerical
tasks related to nursing service to a point where many such tasks
are performed by a worker called a ward clerk. The ward clerk has
become a necessary and integral member of the nursing unit staff.
This worker can be trained to relieve nursing personnel of many
clerical related tasks, thus freeing them for direct patient care
functions. The nature of the assisting tasks performed by the ward
clerk requires a degree of supervision by an appropriate, designated
The course designed to prepare the ward clerk is a short, intensive
course made up of a basic list of tasks and competencies generally
agreed upon (through common practice) as an acceptable list of
duties for this worker.
Employing agencies may expect more competencies or less competencies
than included in this basic course. It shall be the responsibility
and prerogative of the employing agency to adjust, expand, or delete
any task(s) according to agency policy and to provide appropriate
orientation and inservice education to prepare and maintain this
worker in the employment situation.
Inherent in the work of the ward clerk is the need for continued
supervision to guide, direct, and follow through on many designated
In the event this course is used for purposes of training a person
under the Manpower Development Training Act, it may be expected
that any needed additional training will be included (as indicated)
to qualify this candidate for admission to the.course. Such
inclusion of additional educational experience may of necessity
increase the length of the prescribed course, but should in no
way detract from nor reduce the basic, minimum list of competencies
and performances as included in the minimum standards established
for the preparation of this worker.
DETERMINATION OF NEED
Demonstrated need for ward clerks is determined by survey of local
agencies, by the Florida State Employment Service and other appro-
priate community agencies.
DEFINITION: WARD CLERK
A ward clerk is a person in a nursing unit who works under the
direction and guidance of a designated nursing unit staff member.
Duties include specified clerical and unit tasks, receptionist
activities common to a patient care unit in general and to the
nursing station in particular.
SUGGESTED DUTIES OF THE WARD CLERK
The ward clerk will perform the following duties under the
direction and supervision, of a designated person in the patient
1. Participate in an orientation to the patient area.
2. Perform all clerical functions.
3. Assume the duties and responsibilities of the hostess
in the patient area.for patients, visitors, physicians
and staff personnel.
4. Order and check the supplies and equipment for the
5. Assist with maintaining an orderly, pleasant environment
for personnel to work in and for the public to visit.
6. Evidence interest in continued self-improvement through
staff inservice program and individual effort,
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
I. Clerical Duties
A. Patient Clinical Record(s)
1. Assemble new records.
2. Prepare patient's admission record.
3. Complete patient's discharge and/or transfer record.
4. Record temperature, pulse and respiration, blood
pressure, weight, bowel movement, intake and output.
5. Attach laboratory reports to the record.
6. Maintain records as to order, need for additional
sheets, proper date and headings.
7. Observe "stop orders", Statt orders" and report to
8. Obtain records from other departments as needed.
9. Purge records according to agency policy.
B. Other Record Responsibilities
1. Check physician's order sheet.
2. Copy physician's orders on nursing care sheet/form
for charge nurse approval.
3. Prepare medicine and treatment cards for charge nurse
4. Prepare and forward requisition forms subject to
charge nurse approval. To include such as: X-ray,
laboratory, diet, etc.
5. Prepare charges and credits to patients for drugs,
supplies and equipment.
6. Copy (write/type) time sheets.
7. Maintain (or assist with) various statistical records
such as: census, admissions, discharges, transfers,
patient condition forms, nursing service reports.
8. Maintain an adequate reserve of all stationery-and
II. Hostess Responsibilities
A. To The Patient
1. Greet new patients, introduce to nurse in charge.
2. Escort to bed and explain the use of: call system,
telephones, television, services--newspapers, mail,
means for purchases needed.
3. Explain food service--time served and pertinent
4. Provide necessary initial information concerning any
tests ordered--to include time, escort or dispatch
5. Show interest in helping ambulatory patients who seek
B. To The Visitor
1. Greet visitors, show interest in them and direct them
to the appropriate room.
2, Answer questions (if appropriate to do so) and obtain
information if needed.
3. Show interest in visitors through manner, voice,
attention and in particular to those in stressful
C. To The Physician And Allied Health Personnel
1. Obtain patient recordss.
2. Obtain help needed from other personnel.
3. Have available any/all supplies needed for working with
patient's record (forms, pencils, pens).
III. Other Responsibilities
A. Equipment and Supplies
1. Order supplies according to patient area standards
and needs. (Pharmacy, central services, and laboratories.)
2, Check supplies when they arrive, maintain inventory (if
needed) and store in proper place.
3. Check for "out-dated" supplies and return to proper
4. Check patient's special drugs for re-order or credit.
5. Check special supplies/equipment, return when no longer
used and credit patient record,
1. Answer telephone; relay messages to appropriate personss.
(Telephone orders for medicines not included--notify
2. Make telephone calls under the direction and knowledge
of the person in charge.
3. Use nurse-patient intercom system when appropriate.
4. Answer public address system when appropriate.
5. Relay message to appropriate person.
C. Delivery Services
Distribute mail, flowers, and parcels to patients.
D. General Environment Responsibilities
1. Maintain a neat, orderly station and supply cabinet.
2. Promote safety by keeping floor cleared of any
3. Assist in keeping area as quiet as possible.
4. Observe for possible hazardous equipment needing
attention (loose or bare electrical wires, broken
parts, loose wheels, etc.).
1. Ability to read, write, and speak English at 10th grade level.*
*Local requirements may call for higher ability.
2, Age: 18
3. Health certificate from local health department.
SELECTION AND SCREENING
1. Recruitment through the local office of the Florida State
Employment Office (MDT courses).
2. Screening for educational level by sponsoring school or
Florida Employment Service (FES for MDT courses).
3. Screening for aptitude by sponsoring school (GATB). MDT
candidates tested for counseling purposes.
4. Evidence of good health (written or otherwise).
5. Final screening for acceptance is the responsibility of
STANDARDS FOR RETENTION IN COURSE
Criteria should be established for evaluating students in both
classroom and laboratory, including hospital practice. Students
should be informed that failure to perform satisfactorily is cause
for dismissal and that judgment of the school is final.
Enrollment in the course should be limited to a maximum of 15
students per teacher to insure effective instruction in both the
classroom and clinical areass, A hospital may be used for clinical
learning experience. Such experience shall be under the continuous
supervision of an instructor or by a member of the registered nurse
staff who is assigned and is available to give needed assistance to
students; this supervision shall be in cooperation with and under
the direction of the instructor.
1. Classroom with space for seating entire class--preferably at
tables to provide practice area.
2. Storage area in or near classroom.
3. Area for instructor's desk (may be in classroom).
4. Business education facilities for typing and machine instruction.
5. Nursing station (hospital) facilities for supervised practice.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING HOSPITAL
1. Licensure by the State Board of Health.
2. Accreditation by the Joint Committee on Accreditation of
Hospitals is recommended.
3. Currently licensed registered nurse in charge of nursing unit
during student learning experience periodss.
4. Current job descriptions of ward clerk if presently employed.
5. Adequate equipment and facilities available in the nursing
station to meet the objectives of the program.
6. Signed agreement with the participating agency. (See appendix
for suggested agreement form.)
EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAM AND NEED
The appropriate agency or agencies should conduct regular and
periodic assessments of the program as well as determine the need
for continuation of the program.
1. Registered Nurse.
2. Recent experience in hospital nursing.
3. Recent experience or orientation to nursing station activities.
4. Some preparation for teaching is desirable.
5. Valid vocational education teaching certificate.
6. Qualified Business Education Instructor.
Selected uniform bearing "Ward Clerk Trainee" sleeve patch to be
worn during practice periods in the classroom and hospital. Specific
stipulations concerning the uniform should be the responsibility of
NOTICE OF COMPLETION
At the completion of the course, the school shall provide the ward
clerk with a certificate bearing her name, course title, number of
hours completed, date of completion and signature and title of the
proper school official.
I. Time Allotment
Total hours (suggested minimum)
1. Regular program* 480 hours
2. Manpower training** 640 hours
30 hours/week; 16 weeks
** 40 hours/week; additional hours (10) used for
remedial reading, writing.
Division of hours
Classroom/laboratory 220 hours
Hospital learning experience 260 hours
Basic education (MDT requirement) 160 hours
II. Program Objectives
General program is designed to help the student possess
selected beginning abilities and understandings at the time
of program completion. The program should provide the student
with a foundation for continued growth and improvement on the
The following statements represent outcomes (student) sought
upon completion of the program:
1. An understanding of the role of the ward clerk in the
2. Skill(s) in carrying out tasks assigned to the ward clerk.
3. Skill(s) in communicating with personnel, patient and
4. Ability to serve as a hostess in a patient area.*
5. An understanding of hospital policies which govern work
6. An awareness of legal implications pertinent to work
7. An awareness of ethical implications pertinent to work
8. Ability to improve personal assets necessary for continuity
*The term patient area as used here includes: hospital floor,
clinical division, ward situation.
The ward clerk is a task-trained worker. Course content is
specifically directed toward the acquisition of skills and
understandings essential to carrying out the duties outlined
in these guidelines. The list of duties, in and of itself,
does not constitute the program curriculum; it must be
organized into a purposeful, realistic pattern to have meaning
for the student as well as to accomplish the general program
Suggested Content Areas
1. Relationships: working with others
2. Basic clerical skills
3. Basic terminology
4. Personal hygiene
5. Clinical learning experiences)
6. Fundamentals of ward clerking
7. Basic education (MDT requirement) 160 hours
IV. Curriculum Organization
The organization of content within a given area is a faculty
decision. Likewise, the faculty determines the sequence
relationship among the several content areas, taking into
account the proximity and availability of facilities and other
instructional personnel who may participate in this program.
Each content area should be developed to include:
2. Topics to be covered--
laboratory (classroom and/or hospital)
learning experiences to be included, with time
allotments for each.
3. Methods to be used.
4. Types of evaluation to be used.
It is suggested that selected practice in the hospital situation
be introduced as soon as feasible to assist the learner. Factors
which influence the use of the hospital generally include loca-
tion, size of patient area, student readiness to profit from
V. Teaching Methods and Materials
Of necessity, there will be considerable lecture and discussion.
Time should be allowed for questions and answers. Demonstrating
will be a much used method; student involvement in practice with
close supervision will be another method frequently used. Dis-
cussion of problems encountered in the work-practice situation
should be another method.
All types of visual aids can be employed; they should be used
to help clarify for the student what the teacher has put into
words. This student needs simple, uncluttered visual assist-
ance to help him learn faster. Many such visual aids are
teacher-made rather than commerical; samples of hospital forms/
materials will be helpful.
The student should be provided with a copy of the topics to be
covered, tasks to be included under each topic, and any other
such hand-out material as would help him feel acquainted with
the course from day to day.
Notebook--each student should have a regular three-ring notebook.
All hand-outs should be punched ready for use in the notebook.
Textbook--students may or may not be required to have individual
texts. Instructional materials for this occupation are
limited. The teacher will need to use a variety of source
materials in preparing pertinent hand-out sheets.
WARD CLERK LEARNING EXPERIENCES
IN A HOSPITAL
(To be appropriately modified if program is not conducted under
provisions of Manpower Development and Training Act.)
The School Board of County of ,
Florida, is conducting a ward clerk training program under the
provisions of the Manpower Development and Training Act of
weeks in length, for the citizens of
The cooperating hospitals) agrees to permit the use of
their facilities for trainee experience under the supervision
of a registered nurse instructor employed to teach the course.
The experience in the hospital shall consist of approxi-
mately hours scheduled during the course by the in-
structor and in cooperation with the nursing personnel in charge.
The instructor shall select assignments in accordance with the
functions taught in the course.
The maximum number of trainees in a single class will be 15.
The number of classes trained will be determined by the local need.
The undersigned approves the cooperative plan of training as
outlined herein for ward clerks between the School Board of
County and the at Florida.
Administrator of Hospital
Director, Vocational Education
Chairman of School Board
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
WARD CLERK EDUCATION PROGRAM
1,Visible chart rack (holds 20 charts)
10 Clip-style chart holder, size 10" x 13"
10 Book-form chart holder, 9" x 12" size for
use with 8" x 11" record sheets
1 Steel file (3" x 5" cards)
1 Steel file (5" x 7" cards)
2 Wire baskets, 6" deep for charts
2 Pocket-bound card frame; 21 pockets per
frame, (5" x 8" cards)
1 Typewriter, standard manual and typewriter desk
1 Flexible insite index
Classroom equipped with tablet arm chairs, chalk board and storage
cabinet for patient chart forms and other supplies.
It is suggested that the clerical skills portion of the program be
taught in a classroom assigned to Business Education where possible.
SUGGESTED BOOK LIST*
Communication and Relationships
Fagothey, Austin. Right and Reason 4th Ed. St. Louis: C. V.
Mosby Company, 1967. $5.00.
Johnson, M. A. Developing the Art of Understanding New York:
Springer Publishing Company, 1967. $3.50.
McFadden, Charles J. Medical Ethics 6th Ed. Philadelphia:
F. A. Davis Company, 1967. $5.50.
Edmondson, Frances W. Medical Terminology 4th Ed. New York:
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965. $4.95.
Edmondson, Frances W. Medical Typing New York: G. P. Putnam's
Sons, 1965. $6.95.
Johnson, C. E. Medical Spelling Guide: A Reference Aid
Springfield, Illinois: Thomas, 1966. $10.50.
Smith, G. L. and Davis, P. E. Medical Terminology: A Programmed
Text New York: Wiley, 1963. $4.75.
Young, C. G. and Barger, J. D. Learning Medical Terminology
Step by Step St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Company, 1967. $5.00.
Miscellaneous Reference Materials
Physician's Desk Reference (current edition) Oradell, N. J.:
Medical Economics, Inc. $10.00.
Fitch and Dubing. The MacMillan Dictionary for Practical and
Vocational Nurses New York: MacMillan, 1966. $5.95 (plain)
$6.95 (thumb indexed).
Dorland. Illustrated Medical Dictionary 24th Ed. Philadelphia:
W. B. Saunders Company, 1965. $13.00.
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (latest edition) Springfield,
Mass: Gand C. Merriam Company, 1965. $6.95 (indexed).
1 Set Training the Ward Clerk (student manual, instructor's
guide, training outline) $9.00/set available from: Hospital
Research and Educational Trust, 840 North Lake Shore Drive,
Chicago, Illinois 60611.
*This list does not include any specific references for Basic Clerical
Skills content. Some materials are very new and would warrant review
prior to purchase.