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Key Career Skills for Medical Receptionists

As a medical receptionist, you'll find that you've inherited a hectic juggler's routine, performing the critical tasks that keep a medical or dental office in the pink. You provide the essential link between patients and their healthcare providers, as well performing as clerical, scheduling, billing, or insurance-related assignments--often at the same time. The good news is that medical receptionists will benefit from strong job growth during the decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Receptionists enjoy a wide range of workplace options. They're employed by private physicians and dentists, medical clinics, hospitals, extended-care facilities, government healthcare agencies, and mental-health providers. You will, by nature, be dealing with sensitive people. To handle the routine, you may need to incorporate a wide range of skills across several disciplines.

Let's look at some key career skill sets:

Academic Skills
A well-trained medical receptionist should be exposed to coursework in computer operations, medical terminology, data entry, basic anatomy and physiology, medical office procedures, medical office laws and ethics, software (billing, scheduling, and accounting), and business writing/composition.

It can be advantageous, even essential, to receive HIPAA training. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to ensure patient confidentiality in reporting between medical professionals and insurance providers.

Interpersonal Skills
You will also make the first impression that patients receive when they enter your medical or dental office. To that end, you'll need to learn to foster an atmosphere of friendly and professional courtesy, compassion, patience, and an unflappable personality in the face of stress.

To succeed you may need to know how to handle busy phones, patients who may be unhappy with treatment, diagnosis, and their bills. You may also be called upon to deal with other healthcare providers or insurance companies in a professional, polite manner.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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