Clinical Receptionist Careers

Overview

A clinical receptionist performs a variety of administrative functions. Your main goal as a clinical receptionist is to make sure that the medical office operates in a smooth and effective manner. You may transcribe physician notes, enter patient information into the office database, submit insurance claims to insurance companies and collect co-pays, etc.

You may also be responsible for greeting patients and others visiting the office, answering and returning telephone calls and emails and providing the office’s hours of operation, medical professionals, what to do in case of an emergency and the office’s location and contact information. You will not only schedule appointments, you will also make sure the patients and the medical professionals are aware of these appointments.

Educational Requirements

Before you can become a clinical receptionist, you will need to complete high school. You will more than likely receive the majority of your training on the job. You will learn how to operate the phone and computer system correctly and how to properly greet patients and visitors. Most employers prefer that their clinical receptionist have intermediate or advanced skills in the areas of: word processing and Microsoft Excel (spreadsheets) and/or a formal education in administrative duties.  Training may last several weeks and involve a variety of tasks and responsibilities.

Moreover, you may need to have prior experience in file and data management, document transcription, database applications and office software. In addition, you will need to have good communication and customer service skills because you will spend the majority of your time interacting (phone, email and in person) with medical professionals, patients and vendors. Furthermore, it is imperative that you manage your time wisely. This job requires excellent organizational skills and the ability to follow-up and multi-task.

Job Duties

As a clinical receptionist you may be required to perform the following duties:

  • Answering, screening and/or forwarding telephone calls to the appropriate area
  • Welcoming patients and other visitors and guiding them to where they need to be
  • Maintaining office security by monitoring access points in the office
  • Receiving and/or sending documents through the mail, email and/or fax machine
  • Performing a variety of administrative support tasks (scheduling appointment, copying files, filing, answering calls)
  • Accumulating, organizing and preparing courier and mail deliveries
  • Administering travel vouchers, if need be
  • Transcribing physician notes
  • Entering patient information into a database
  • Providing information in regards to the office, location, departments and/or medical professionals

Salary

The majority of clinical receptionists work in the healthcare and/or social services industry (doctor’s offices, nursing homes, clinics and hospitals. Your salary prospects will depend on your experience, education, location, industry and skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), you can expect to make approximately $30,000 per year. If you are in the lower 10%, you can expect to make approximately $21,000 per year and if you are in the upper 10%, you expect to earn approximately $40,000 per year (bls.gov).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013) asserts that if you work in a doctor’s office, you will earn between $27,000 and $30,000 per year, while if you work a clinic, you will approximately $28,000 per year. If you work at an outpatient care facility, you will earn approximately $29,000 per year, while if you work at a hospital you will make approximately $31,000 per year (bls.gov). Lastly, if you work at an educational institution (college, university, technical school, etc.) you will earn approximately $31,000 per year (bls.gov). You will more than likely work full-time and you may be required to work evenings, nights, over time, holidays and/or weekends.

Job Outlook

The job outlook in this field is very positive. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), clinical receptionist job opportunities are expected to increase approximately 24% by 2020. It is important to note that if you have experience of skills in a related field, you will have the most opportunities. If you work at a physician’s office, dentist office and/or skilled nursing facility (nursing home), you have the most job opportunities.

Even though many clinical receptionist duties have slowly lessened due to technological advances (automated customer service options), other receptionist duties have grown (knowledge of office procedures and equipment, the ability to manage Internet and electronic devices). The healthcare field is growing and will continue to grow in the future.

Most patients prefer to be able to speak to someone (a human touch), a receptionist and/or customer service rep when seeking answers to their concerns, which is where you come in.

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