A day as a clinical coder

You work at your local NHS hospital, and begin at 9am. You and your team record information about every patient who visits your hospital, investigating all aspects of their journey from start to finish. You begin by recording the stay of an elderly woman who had a hip operation two days ago. From her medical notes you find out the ward she stayed on before surgery, how long her operation took, her recovery time and any other treatment she received. Then you use the special alphanumeric code you've been trained in and record everything on the computer system. These records can be understood throughout the NHS and used to plan for future patient care. You love the detective element of your job, and learning about healthcare and new treatments means work is always interesting.

Does this sound like you?

You're a good lateral thinker and problem solver. You're logical, pay attention to detail and enjoy working as part of a team

What's next after GCSE?

You'll usually need a good, basic education to apply for this role, so GCSEs (or the equivalent) in maths, English and science are essential. Experience using computers is also important, so consider taking an IT qualification such as the European Computer Driving Licence to boost your skills.

What's next after A level and beyond?

A levels (or the equivalent) will certainly improve your chances of winning a role as a clinical coder, as will any higher-level qualification - especially in IT. There are sometimes apprenticeships in clinical coding roles.