Medical Receptionist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Medical Receptionist, or Medical Administrative Assistant, conducts administrative work from the front desk of a hospital or doctor’s office. Their duties include answering phones, managing patient information, and organizing files.

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Medical Receptionist duties and responsibilities

Medical Receptionists have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities at which they need to excel, including: 

  • Answer phone calls and direct callers to the right person when needed
  • Provide assistance to patients and visitors when they arrive at the hospital or doctor’s office
  • Store information like patient history and insurance 
  • Ensure patients and visitors understand office policies
  • Process payments
  • Schedule appointments based on doctor availability
  • Call patients to remind them of upcoming appointments and schedule off-site services

What does a Medical Receptionist do?

A Medical Receptionist has similar duties to other Receptionists, but they specifically serve the administrative needs of a hospital or medical practice. They speak with patients, set up appointments, assist in document filing, and maintain patient records. Calling patients to remind them of their scheduled appointments and helping them schedule testing for off-site services are other major components of this job. Medical Receptionists may also assist patients in filing insurance claims and processing payments. 

Medical Receptionist skills and qualifications

Medical Receptionists will need to possess several prerequisite skills and qualifications, including:

  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Scheduling and time-management skills
  • Prioritization and organization skills 
  • Analytical-thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Proficiency with computer software like Microsoft Office and Google Calendar

Medical Receptionist experience requirements

Candidates with a year or two of prior experience as a Receptionist are often preferable. You may also consider candidates who have previously served in a customer service role or worked as an Administrative Assistant. A basic understanding of medical terminology is an asset, though a medical receptionist can learn this on the job. 

Medical Receptionist education and training requirements

Candidate education will range from a high school diploma or GED to those with a related diploma, or associate or bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of study such as office management or business administration. Overall, a Medical Receptionist needs to have training that focuses on computer skills, clerical tasks, and the ability to work with office systems. 

Medical Receptionist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Medical Receptionist is $16.77 per hour. While this is the general average, specifics can vary based on the amount of experience a candidate has, the location of the position, and the company itself.

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Medical Receptionist job description FAQs

What's the difference between a Medical Receptionist and a Scheduler?

A Scheduler focuses almost exclusively on scheduling appointments with patients, while a Medical Receptionist manages varying duties and responsibilities. Medical facilities that get a lot of traffic and have extensive appointments every day typically hire a Scheduler so a Medical Receptionist can focus on other responsibilities like filing and tending to patients on arrival. In smaller offices or hospital wards, a Medical Receptionist is likely responsible for scheduling appointments and managing their other tasks. 

What makes a Medical Receptionist job description stand out?

To make a job description for a Medical Receptionist stand out, highlight what the doctor’s office or hospital specializes in. Provide an overview of the patients and medical situations they’re likely to encounter regularly. For example, whether the candidate will work with parents and children at a pediatric hospital or people with heart conditions at the front desk of a cardiologist’s office. If there are any benefits that come with the position, like RRSP matching programs or generous vacation time, include those in the description as well.

What qualities make a good Medical Receptionist?

The ideal Medical Receptionist is gentle, empathic and understanding. They must also be able to make patients and other guests feel welcome. Providing excellent service makes patients feel comfortable and willing to return to the medical facility. In hospitals, it helps calms patients during challenging times. Medical facilities often see people at some of their most vulnerable moments, so the ability to make those people feel welcome and safe is an essential quality. 

Do Medical Receptionists' jobs vary depending on the type of medical establishment?

Ultimately, a Medical Receptionist has the same duties regardless of the facility in which they work. However, their work hours may vary. Medical Receptionists working at hospitals and urgent care centres may need to work irregular hours including nights and weekends. Medical Receptionists who work at private practices usually work regular nine-to-five hours. Additionally, Medical Receptionists who work at busy practices or large hospital departments may work alongside a Scheduler, who takes care of all scheduling duties. 

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