What to Expect from a Cancer Registry Contract Job

Flexibility, competitive compensation, and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are making a difference in the lives of millions of people are just a few of the benefits that come with a career as a cancer registry professional.

According to the National Cancer Registrars Association, cancer registrars are data information specialists who capture a complete history, diagnosis, treatment and health status for every cancer patient in the United States. The hard work and dedication of cancer registrars was recognized this April 3-7, during the 27th annual Cancer Registrars Week—emphasizing the vital role cancer registrars play in capturing data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.

“We are the people who collect all of the data for cancer patients,” explained Kathy F., RHIT, CTR, workforce manager for cancer registry within the Revenue Cycle Solutions team at AMN Healthcare. “Cancer, by law—both federal and state—is required to be reported nationwide. The data from each patient gets gathered by the cancer registry, and then CTRs (certified tumor registrars) analyze data from each patient—from symptoms to diagnosis to treatment, and then often times until they pass away. The data that we gather is used by researchers, facilities and administration.”

“There’s a lot of data coming in and hopefully useful data going out for treatments and improving quality of life,” she added. “We don’t talk to patients whatsoever, we are not patient-facing. All of the information is from medical records that we read.”

Taking a Cancer Registry Job with AMN Healthcare

Cancer registry professionals can enjoy opportunities for onsite and remote positions at top level healthcare facilities and organizations across the United States when they take a contract with AMN Healthcare Revenue Cycle Solutions.

Assignment lengths vary greatly for cancer registry jobs depending on what the client organization needs, ranging anywhere from several months to several years. Kathy reported that she has some consultants who have been on the same assignment for five to eight years. “Once it’s a perfect fit and they are happy and the client is happy, you can potentially have long-term assignments.”

Interested professionals start by connecting with a recruiter and passing two to three assessments which ensures they are qualified to AMN Healthcare’s standards. From there, the cancer registry professional can begin exploring opportunities based on their wants and needs.

“Flexibility is really a big deal when it comes to CTRs,” Kathy said. “Like I said, we don’t really interact with patients per se, so we don’t have to have a Monday through Friday role. We can work typically anytime we want to, so that is a big draw for bringing people in.”

Most of the cancer registry opportunities with AMN are currently remote. “Even pre-COVID, we started being able to work from home,” she continued. “It frees up office space for the facility and I would say 95 to 98 percent of AMN work is remote for CTRs.”

On the Job as a Cancer Registry Professional

Once a match is made between the CTR and a contract assignment with a healthcare organization, the onboarding process begins, including labs, security and background checks. After that, orientation starts and the candidate will learn about the organization’s systems, including the electronic health records (EHR) system they will be working in.

“If it’s a quality CTR that we’ve hired, they can be handed a list of patient names and hit the ground running,” Kathy said.

Working as a cancer registry professional can be an extremely rewarding career, and the most important trait for someone to find success in this field is to be ready and willing to learn, according to Kathy.

“The only constant thing in cancer registry is change,” she said. “It’s just forever changing so you have to really be willing to understand change, not only in the profession but going between assignments. Just be flexible and go with the flow.”

Enjoy the Benefits of a Cancer Registry Job with AMN

In addition to standard benefits like comprehensive health insurance options (multiple medical, dental, and vision plans for the cancer registry consultant or their whole family), 401(k) with match, and accrued vacation time, AMN Healthcare Revenue Cycle Solutions offers other perks including free continuing education and an educational allowance.

“Cancer isn’t going anywhere, and the growth [in cancer registry jobs] is there,” Kathy concluded. “What we do is very important. The onus seems to always be on physicians and the patient contact part of it, but without cancer registry data, the treatments, the quality of life and the longevity of cancer patients would not be where it is today.”

Interested in cancer registry jobs with AMN? When you contact a recruiter, we’ll work to find the perfect fit for your professional and personal life.