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How do I become a medical receptionist ?

How do I become a medical receptionist?

A medical receptionist is the point of contact between the patients (public) and doctors or healthcare professionals. Their work is invaluable because it maintains a systematic order in what sometimes can be a chaotic environment.

Medical receptionist is a broader categorisation for all types of receptionists working in the medical industry. Receptionist jobs range from those working at a General Practice to those working at hospitals as well as for private health care providers, i.e. Ear Nose and Throat Surgeons, Consultant Physicians etc.

Duties of a medical receptionist

  • Welcomes patients and visitors by greeting patients and visitors, in person or on the telephone; answering or referring inquiries.
  • Optimises patients' satisfaction, provider time, and treatment room utilisation by scheduling appointments in person or by telephone.
  • Keeps patient appointments on schedule by notifying provider of patient's arrival; reviewing service delivery compared to schedule; reminding provider of service delays.
  • Comforts patients by anticipating patients' anxieties; answering patients' questions; maintaining the reception area.
  • Ensures availability of treatment information by filing and retrieving patient records.
  • Maintains patient accounts by obtaining, recording, and updating personal and financial information.
  • Obtains revenue by recording and updating financial information; recording and collecting patient charges; controlling credit extended to patients; filing, collecting, and expediting third-party claims.
  • Maintains business office inventory and equipment by checking stock to determine inventory level; anticipating needed supplies; placing and expediting orders for supplies; verifying receipt of supplies; scheduling equipment service and repairs.
  • Helps patients in distress by responding to emergencies.
  • Protects patients' rights by maintaining confidentiality of personal and financial information.
  • Maintains operations by following policies and procedures; reporting needed changes.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
  • Adhering to Accreditation Standards

Where do medical receptionists work?

  • General Practices
  • Specialist Offices i.e. Ears, Nose and Throat Surgeon
  • Hospitals
  • Allied Health Professionals i.e. Physiotherapists, Podiatrists

Typically, a medical receptionist works the standard office hours, however, the pattern of hours could depend on the shifts worked because some healthcare organisations operate outside the usual business hours, e.g. hospitals operate all hours and therefore will have receptionists working on shifts. Remember, the more flexible you are with hours, the more chance you have of getting the job.

Requirements to be a medical receptionist

A medical receptionist needs to have an extremely confident personality as interaction with patients, or people in general, as well as medical professionals is part and parcel of the job. Need to be able to work independently on their own as well as part of a team. Need to have a good level of proficiency with running and working with computer packages. Some of the medical software packages used in Australia are:

Preparing to become a medical receptionist

Although there are no specific requirements to become a medical receptionist, this may depend on the type of medical receptionist you intend to become. For more complex medical receptionist jobs, a receptionist would be expected to have either some qualifications relating to a medical receptionist course; past experience as a medical receptionist; or to undergo intensive training prior to starting the job or on the job training.

Australian medical reception qualifications may include a Certificate III Business Administration (Medical) and CPR. If a person is changing their career path and have been previously in an administration position, then they may only need to do the five medical administration units which are listed on this website.

Nicky Jardine can provide good grounding for a job as a medical receptionist because these courses tend to provide skills required by an administrator, which is what a medical receptionist, in effect, is. All of Nicky Jardine’s team work in the health industry, so you can be assured they are giving you up to date information.

In Australia, there is a range of receptionist courses offered by Nicky Jardine Health Training and Consulting.

How to enter the medical receptionist profession

There is no age barrier to entering the medical receptionist profession. Candidates as young as 16 are able to apply for jobs as a medical receptionist.  At this age, it's probably more likely to be a training program though. If you are a school leaver and are intending to become a medical receptionist, we would advise to start the course in December so you are “work ready” in the new year.

Medical receptionist salary

The salary earned by a medical receptionist will vary due to various important factors: the type of medical receptionist the person is; where the receptionist is working; how experienced the receptionist is. However, the median hourly wage is around $18-25 plus superannuation.

Earnings will increase with experience and the level of responsibility accorded to the receptionist by the organisation.

Due to many healthcare organisations such as hospitals being open 24 hours, many will require their receptionists to work in shifts, i.e. in rotation. Of course, receptionists will be financially compensated for working outside normal business hours.

Receptionists also have to accept that working outside normal hours goes with the territory of being a receptionist in some sectors. For example a lot of General Practitioners work Saturday mornings.

Medical Reception Interview tips