Medical Receptionist Jobs in Healthcare

Demand for medical receptionist jobs is on the increase, and is expected to outpace general industry growth, making this a good entry-level opportunity in the medical billing and coding field.

Nature of the Work

A Medical Receptionist is an integral part of a successful healthcare office. This is often the first person patients speak with, and a good first impression is essential for creating a positive environment for patients, and ultimately influences the success of the practice.

A healthcare receptionist's responsibilities include answering telephones, screening and routing calls, greeting patients, gathering the necessary personal and insurance information, and directing them to the proper waiting rooms.

In addition, the healthcare receptionist use computers, fax machines and other devices to send e-mail and to fax documents. They may be responsible for assisting coordinating appointments with specialists and fielding inquiries from outside offices. Most receptionists are expected to assist in a variety of office duties, including processing mail, taking messages, and and informing other employees of visitors' arrivals or cancellation of an appointment. Other duties may include performing basic bookkeeping, using a word processor, and filing paperwork.

Training and Qualifications Needed

Good interpersonal skills are crucial, as the healthcare receptionist provides the first impression of the office in general. Being courteous, professional, and helpful are essential for this job.

Healthcare receptionists typically need a high school diploma or equivalent; most training is received on the job. However, employers often look for workers who also have certain skills, such as knowledge of spreadsheet and word processing software. Since medical offices are often busy, the ability to multi-task and prioritize can be important.

Long Term Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% increase in the number of medical receptionist jobs from 2008 to 2018, making this an attractive option for employment. People with related work experience, specifically those with a number of technical and clerical skills, should have the best opportunities as a healthcare receptionist.

Opportunity for Advancement

A medical receptionist typically advances by either receiving a promotion to a job as supervisor, or by transferring to a job with more responsibility. Having a bachelor's degree, experience, and excellent computer skills may move up to a secretary or administrative assistant, jobs which typically earn higher wages.

Salary/Earnings Potential

Median hourly wages reported to the BLS in 2008 were as follows:

Dentist Offices $13.78
Physician Offices $12.20
Employment Services $11.63
Other Health Care Practitioner Offices $11.45
Personal Care Services $9.35

Wages of healthcare receptionist jobs will vary nationwide depending on amount of experience and whether you are in a rural or urban environment.

Find out more about Medical Billing Careers

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