Schools Training

5 Tips For A New Clinic Receptionist

18 SEP 2013
Career Path : Healthcare

For the new clinic receptionist, fresh from medical office assistant courses or dental assistant schools, there are many on-the-job considerations that you need to consider as you embark on your new career. The healthcare industry is a fast-paced, sometimes high-pressure environment that demands much from its employees, but also offers employees great rewards and personal fulfillment. Here are five tips for the new clinic receptionist that will help you hit the ground running in your new healthcare career.

Show a Friendly Face

  • As a clinic receptionist, you are the first person that patients will interact with during their visit. It is important to make a positive first impression, both for the comfort of the patient and the success of the clinic. By greeting patients promptly, with courtesy and smile, you can set a comfortable, caring tone for the rest of their visit.

Respect Confidentiality

  • One of the most important concerns in modern medicine, for both healthcare facilities and patients, is confidentiality. When you are discussing a personal matter with a patient, be sure to exercise the requisite respect of privacy. Speak quietly, or ask them into another room for these discussions. This will put the patient at ease and give them confidence in your facility.

Proper Phone Etiquette

  • Just as the receptionist is the first person the patient interacts with when they enter a clinic, they are also the first point of contact for people calling by phone. The receptionist should be friendly, courteous, and always aware of what information they can and cannot give. For medical emergencies, medication advice, or treatment information, the receptionist should always transfer the call to a healthcare professional like a physician.

Chart Preparation

  • One of the most important tasks that the receptionist has when it comes to keeping the office running smoothly is preparing charts. Make sure to get all patient charts ready before the day, including a blank sheet for new physician notes, any forms that the patient needs to fill out, and relevant information about the patient’s past treatments to aid the doctor in treatment and diagnosis.


  • By keeping accurate and up to date information on patients, you help to ensure that the insurance reimbursement process is streamlined for both patients and the practice. If it is the first visit a patient has made in a while, be sure to obtain updated information from them for these purposes.


When moving on from medical office assistant courses or dental assistant schools to an active career as a clinic receptionist, these tips should help to smooth your transition. Aside from staying up to date on records and charts, the most important takeaway is to always serve with courtesy, comfort, discretion and a smile.

Visit NAHB for more information on payroll training and other career training for clinic receptionist careers.

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