Schools Training

What’s Involved in a Medical Receptionist Career?

30 JAN 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

Are you looking for a career that involves helping people? Do you need a fulfilling work life? A career as a medical receptionist (also known as a medical secretary, medical office assistant or a medical office administrator) may be just what you’re looking for.

In today’s fast paced healthcare industry, administrators and office staff are essential elements in the overall efficient running of clinics, hospitals and other healthcare providers. A medical receptionist is often the liaison between patients and doctors, and their presence and work can often help make stressful, chaotic environments more workable and friendly.

The Healthcare field is expected to be one of the fastest growing job markets in the next few years, with an aging population ensuring a growing demand for medical support staff in all areas of health-related services.

As a medical receptionist, you will be responsible for a number of different daily tasks. These include:

  • Greeting patients
  • Scheduling appointments and diagnostic testing
  • Answer patient queries over the phone
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Completing insurance forms and preparing bills
  • Handling correspondence, billing and bookkeeping
  • Maintaining medical supplies and equipment
  • Managing examining rooms and waiting areas
  • Liaise with medical professionals
  • Oversee prescriptions and repeat prescriptions
  • Transcribe dictation
  • Filing and other clerical duties

Qualified or experienced medical receptionist can find work in a number of work environments, including:

  • Private Medical and Midwife Clinics
  • Offices of physicians
  • Community Health Units
  • Hospitals (there are obviously a number of departments within a hospital, and each one will have its own administrative side)
  • Nursing Homes
  • Insurance Companies
  • Medical Transcription
  • Medical Supply and Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Chiropractic or Physiotherapy Clinics

Due to the wide range of responsibilities, a medical receptionist needs to be extremely confident and at ease working with a team and independently. They must also be well versed in the use of most computer software packages.

Typically, a medical receptionist will work standard office hours, however, as healthcare organizations often work outside the usual 9-5, employees may work on shifts. Salary for this type of medical office administration work can vary greatly, with it depending on what sort of healthcare organization is involved, how experienced the receptionist is and where the job is located.

Thankfully, there are now numerous medical receptionist programs where students can become accredited and gain practical experience. There are many online education courses that provide accredited certification for medical receptionists, however, it’s possibly a better idea to attend a training program that provides some sort of practicum or co-op work opportunity. Doing so will help increase your job prospects. The best of medical secretary courses will train students in the basics of medical office administration, and provide an in depth knowledge of the human anatomy, medical terms and a general understanding of the medical profession.

What are you waiting for? A fulfilling career may be within reach.