How To Become A Medical Receptionist In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become medical receptionists in Australia.


Are you a good communicator and passionate about health and assisting people? Then, a career as a medical receptionist could be perfect for you.


Medical receptionists greet patients and clients in different health facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, practices, doctor's offices, etc. They respond to telephonic, in-person, and email inquiries within the medical practice.


You can become a Medical Receptionist without formal qualifications. However, a VET course in administration (health or business) or clerical studies may improve your chances of job success.


In this blog, you will learn about the Medical Receptionist's responsibilities, what skills and training they need, courses, qualifications, salary, how much they earn, and the steps to becoming one.



1. What Is A Medical Receptionist?


Medical Receptionists play an integral role in creating a welcoming, friendly, and well-organized front office for patients in a healthcare setting.


They have specialized knowledge and administrative and organizational skills to carry out general administration tasks. 


Medical receptionists manage patients' accounts and health records, maintain the reception and waiting area, and optimize patient satisfaction.



2. What Does A Medical Receptionist Do?


A typical workday of a medical receptionist comprises the following tasks:


  • Greet and welcome visitors, returning customers, and clients and direct them to the concerned person

  • Schedule and record details of appointments for clients who require hospital admission and tests

  • Scan, photocopy, fax, file, and mail medical documents

  • Process and settle medical bills, payments, and insurance claim documents 

  • Supervise and order office stationery and clinical supplies

  • Schedule meetings

  • Keep staff, doctor, and patient details confidential at all times 

  • Answer and transfer multi-line telephone calls to the appropriate departments within a medical facility

  • Respond to inquiries and provide information on the services, goods, and activities of the organization

  • Resolve complaints from patients, clients, and the public

  • Receive and distribute correspondence, reproduced copies of messages, and deliveries

  • Ensure hygienic reception and waiting areas

  • Advise on and arrange accommodation

  • Perform clerical tasks such as data entry, form filling, word processing, mail despatch, and photocopying

  • Follow up with patients to remind them about their upcoming appointments. 

  • Record and update patient information in a hard copy (paper-filing systems) and soft copy format (word processing software and databases) 

  • Transcribe physician notes

  • Interact frequently with GPs, nurses, medical professionals, supervisors, and other medical staff 



3. Medical Receptionist Skills For Success


You need soft and clerical skills to perform the medical receptionist job.



Clerical skills


  • Use of Word processing software packages like MS Office

  • Scheduling software to create and adjust appointments

  • Medical billing 

  • Proficiency in working with printers, scanners, fax machines, multi-line phone systems, and photocopiers used in the medical office

  • Record management 

  • Stenography 

  • Transcription

  • From designing and filling



Soft Skills


  • Genuinely happy to help people 

  • Able to identify and address patient's needs 

  • Warm and hospitable

  • Strong administration and management skills

  • Critical thinking

  • Excellent customer service skills

  • Reliability

  • Professionalism on the call and via email

  • High level of organizational Skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Multi-tasking

  • Compassionate

  • Patience

  • Able to handle sensitive information and keep them confidential

  • Able to make patients feel supported and comfortable 

  • Caring

  • Sharp listening abilities

  • Able to manage tricky phone calls and deal with complex patients

  • Effective and clear verbal and written communication 

  • Respectful 

  • Sympathetic

  • Able to receive criticism gracefully

  • Exceptional time management

  • Sound Industry knowledge, including medical terminology, medical billing, privacy legislation, and industry-specific software programs



4. Qualifications To Become A Medical Receptionist In Australia



  • You do not need a formal qualification or training to become a Medical Receptionist. However, Certificate III in Business Administration - Medical (BSB31115) or Certificate III in Health Administration (HLT37315) may help you acquire valuable skills and knowledge to excel in this role.

  • Earning a Certificate IV in Health Administration (HLT47315) can help you with additional training in leadership, human resources, recruitment, and monitoring adherence to legal and ethical responsibilities.

  • Undertake a criminal history check

  • Medical receptionists work closely with patients and may also require standard vaccinations for hepatitis B and measles. 



5. Steps To Become A Medical Receptionist In Australia



Step 1: Get Qualified


Formal qualification isn't necessary. However, completing a health, business, or medical business administration course at TAFE or other RTOs can help you learn about medical terms and the medical industry.


Consider completing the following popular online courses to prepare for a full-time/part-time medical receptionist job.


  • The Certificates III and IV in Business

  • The Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical) 

  • The Certificates II and IV in Health Administration


Do you want to know how to become a medical receptionist without experience? The Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical) course is the best for aspiring medical receptionists.


It helps build business admin skills for medical settings, such as preparing and processing medical accounts, maintaining patient records, team working skills, and handling challenges in medical administration.


Completing the above qualifications will boost your resume and employability for the job. Some states in Australia also offer government-funded medical receptionist courses to students that meet the eligibility criteria.  



Step 2: Gain Training


Employers usually expect medical receptionists to have formal online or in-person training in medical terminology, ethics, software, and patient health information confidentiality.


You can undertake a 12-month apprenticeship in medical administration with an RTO to gain practical on-the-job experience.



Step 3: Gain Experience


Previous experience in reception, administration or other public-facing roles will improve your chances of landing an entry-level medical receptionist job


Seek internship opportunities in positions that require performing admin duties and records management to develop the desired skills before you commence your job search. 



Step 4: Get Certified


Though certifications aren't mandatory for medical receptionist jobs, it is one of the ways to strengthen your resume and develop the skillset to outclass at work. 


Here are a few certifications that you can consider:


  • Medical Reception Certificate 

  • Medical administrative assistant certification

  • Electronic Health Records Specialist certification



Step 5: Apply For Jobs


Build your resume by mentioning your educational credentials, experience, and certifications. Create a customized cover letter based on the job environment you want to work.


Once your resume is ready, you can search for jobs online or visit local medical settings. These include clinics, hospitals, physical therapy offices, and specialists' offices.



6. Medical Receptionist Courses In Australia


Are you interested in working in the health sector as a Medical Receptionist? Here are the recommended nationally recognized training courses:



Certificate III in Business (Medical Administration)


It is a 12-month online course that trains in critical areas such as medical terminologies, processing medical accounts, managing patient records, patient confidentiality, and stocks and supplies. 


Students also develop essential business admin skills, including communication, critical thinking, and teamwork. 


Career Outcomes:




Certificate III in Health Administration - Foundation Education


This 12-month online course teaches you medical terminologies giving you a thorough understanding of implementing work health and safety procedures and infection control policies.


Students will also learn how to maintain financial and health records, manage resources and information, and innovate the workplace.


After completing the course, you can work in different health service settings, including hospitals, community health clinics, and medical practices.


Studying this certificate course, you learn a variety of admin duties that helps in the efficient operation of a health care facility. Moreover, it will provide a solid base to study advanced courses, such as a Certificate IV in Health Administration or a Diploma of Practice Management.


Career Outcomes:




Certification of Medical Reception and Office Administration


You become a Certified Medical receptionist by completing this 75-hour comprehensive online professional development course. This course helps your job prospects and distinguishes you from your competitors. 


During the program, you will learn medical receptionist office skills, including:


  • Communicating with clients

  • Advising clients

  • Using appropriate medical terminologies

  • Maintaining medical accounts

  • Scheduling appointments

  • Filing medical records

  • Managing medical billing

  • Processing referrals for patients



Certificate IV in Health Administration - Foundation Education


This certification program is most suited for individuals who lead a health administration team or work in a senior operational role. This 12-month program is available in various modes such as distance learning, workplace, on-campus, or online.


Students learn to conduct routine tasks in a medical environment and use appropriate medical terminology. Further, they learn how to manage patient record-keeping systems and develop team effectiveness and leadership skills to manage teams.


Career Outcomes


  • Senior Administrative Worker

  • Medical Records Team Leader

  • Senior Admissions Clerk

  • Health Services Supervisor

  • Senior Ward Clerk



7. Working Conditions Of Medical Receptionists


Medical receptionists represent different medical environments, including medical facilities, hospitals, and clinics. Being the primary point of contact for patients and medical professionals, they often work at a desk in the front office section of a healthcare setting.


Medical receptionists work during daytime office hours, 40-hour-a-week schedules from Monday to Friday.


Those working in hospitals, 24-hour medical facilities, and emergency rooms may require working in extended shifts, including evenings and weekends, based on the business hours of the workplace.


The job involves heavy interaction with staff and patients from varying backgrounds daily.


They often answer several calls, in-person questions, and emails at once.



8. What Tools And Technologies Do Medical Receptionists Use?


Working as a medical receptionist, you often use a variety of standard office equipment daily:


  • Complex phone systems with several incoming lines extensions that connect to other offices in the medical facility

  • Computers 

  • Eftpos machines 

  • Photocopiers

  • Scanners 

  • Fax machines

  • Healthcare software systems, including word processing and payment software

  • Emails



9. Where Do Medical Receptionists Work?


Medical receptionists greet patients and work in the administrative department in a range of settings that include:


  • Doctor's office 

  • Hospitals 

  • Dentist clinic

  • Allied healthcare clinic 

  • Specialist clinic

  • Pharmaceutical companies

  • Research institutes

  • Insurance companies

  • Medical billing companies

  • Medical transcription companies



10. How Much Do Medical Receptionists Get Paid In Australia?


The Medical receptionist's salary in Australia depends on several factors that, include:


  • Geographic Location

  • Years of Experience

  • Education Level 

  • Size of the Medical Clinic

  • Size of Workload (that can vary between clinics)


Those who excel in the position can have many advancement opportunities that provide salary increments and additional titles.


The average medical receptionist hourly rate in Australia is AU$ 24.27 per hour, equivalent to AU$ 48,507 per year. The more time you spend in this field, the greater your chances of earning a higher income.


Here is what could be a medical receptionist's salary based on varying levels of experience:


  • Entry-level medical receptionist salary per hour (< 1-year experience) - AU$22.65 

  • Early career Medical Receptionists (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$23.75

  • Mid-career Medical Receptionists (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$25.00

  • Experienced Medical Receptionists (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$25.65



Medical Receptionists draw higher salaries in specific locations in Australia. A medical receptionist's salary in Sydney, NSW, is $54,851 annually. Other high-paying cities include:



  • Richmond VIC: $61,286 per year

  • Bondi Junction NSW: $60,395 per year

  • Townsville QLD: $53,085 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $51,876 per year

  • Perth WA: $51,751 per year

  • Parramatta NSW: $51,655 per year

  • Brisbane QLD: $50,555 per year



11. Medical Receptionist Future Job Outlook


According to the government Job Outlook website, the number of Medical Receptionists increased over the past decades. It will continue to rise in the coming years.


The robust demand for medical receptionists will lead to more job openings with many shift-based or part-time work opportunities.


Also, with numerous paid and government-funded online courses, it has become easier for job seekers to build the necessary skills to become qualified medical receptionists.


Many medical receptionists work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry in many regions of Australia. With only 33% of workers working full-time, there is scope for part-time work in this profession.


The average age of employed workers is 46 years, with many 45 years old and above. Considering 98% of workers are female, the profession presents good opportunities for female aspirants.



12. Conclusion


A career as a medical receptionist might be a high-pressure yet rewarding career path. By becoming experienced, you earn transferable skills enabling you to move into different roles. 


Suppose you are interested in working in this role. In that case, a Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical) is the ideal course to kick-start your professional journey as a medical receptionist.


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