Career Development

What Does a Hospital Receptionist Do?

Find out what a hospital receptionist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a hospital receptionist.

Hospital receptionists are the face of a hospital’s front desk. They greet patients and visitors, answer phones, schedule appointments, and provide general information about the hospital or medical practice.

Hospital receptionists must be able to juggle multiple tasks at once while maintaining a calm demeanor. They often have to multitask between answering phones, greeting people in person, scheduling appointments, filing paperwork, etc.

Hospital Receptionist Job Duties

A hospital receptionist typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Notifying staff members of patients’ arrival times, dates of birth, social security numbers, and other pertinent information
  • Providing administrative support to the hospital staff, including scheduling meetings and making travel arrangements
  • Coordinating with other departments within the hospital to ensure that patients are able to receive the care they need
  • Answering phones and responding to incoming calls from patients, family members, physicians, nurses, and other staff members
  • Receiving, screening, and processing patients who are requesting appointments or treatment
  • Recording medical information about patients, such as their medical history, insurance information, current medications, allergies, and past surgeries
  • Scheduling appointments for patients based on the needs of the facility or department where they are being seen
  • Communicating with insurance companies to verify coverage for services provided by the hospital or clinic
  • Providing administrative support to doctors and other health care professionals by handling tasks such as scheduling appointments and answering phones

Hospital Receptionist Salary & Outlook

Hospital receptionists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the hospital, and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $57,500 ($27.64/hour)

The employment of hospital receptionists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As healthcare providers continue to consolidate, hospitals are becoming larger and more complex. As a result, more receptionists will be needed to answer phones and direct patients to the appropriate departments or specialists.

Related: Hospital Receptionist Interview Questions and Answers

Hospital Receptionist Job Requirements

A hospital receptionist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Hospital receptionists are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some hospitals may prefer candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in health care administration or a related field. Receptionists who have a background in health care or another related field may have an advantage when applying for hospital receptionist positions.

Training & Experience: Hospital receptionists typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the hospital’s policies and procedures, computer programs and patient registration procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications for hospital receptionists are not common but not unheard of. If you feel you need a certification to improve your chances of getting a job or a promotion, then seek one out.

Hospital Receptionist Skills

Hospital receptionists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Hospital receptionists communicate with patients, doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and the public. Effective communication skills are necessary to ensure that all parties understand each other. Hospital receptionists should be able to communicate clearly and concisely in both written and verbal forms.

Attention to detail: Hospital receptionists are responsible for maintaining the organization of patient files, appointment schedules and other important documents. Attention to detail is an important skill for hospital receptionists to have as it ensures that all information is accurate and accessible when needed.

Customer service: Hospital receptionists interact with patients, visitors and other hospital staff on a daily basis. Customer service skills, including active listening, empathy and patience, are important for this role. You should be able to answer questions, direct patients to the correct departments and provide information about hospital policies.

Multitasking: Hospital receptionists often have many tasks to complete at the same time. They may answer phones, greet patients, fill out paperwork, answer questions, direct patients to the right location and more. This job requires excellent multitasking skills to ensure all tasks are completed in a timely manner.

Computer skills: Hospital receptionists use computers to perform a variety of tasks, including scheduling appointments, entering patient information and data, sending emails and filling out forms. Having strong computer skills can help you be more efficient at your job and perform a variety of tasks.

Hospital Receptionist Work Environment

Hospital receptionists work in the main lobby or reception area of a hospital. They greet and direct patients and visitors, answer phones, schedule appointments, and perform other clerical duties. They may also provide information about the hospital’s services and facilities and give directions to patients and visitors. Hospital receptionists typically work the standard 40-hour workweek, although they may occasionally work evenings or weekends to cover for absent colleagues or to meet the needs of the hospital.

Hospital Receptionist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how hospital receptionists work. Hospital receptionists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Virtual Receptionist

The rise of the virtual receptionist is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity in the business world. This is due to the many benefits that it offers, such as cost savings and increased productivity.

As more and more businesses adopt this trend, hospital receptionists will need to learn how to work with virtual receptionists. This includes training them on the company’s policies and procedures, as well as how to handle customer inquiries.

More Use of Technology

Technology is being used more and more in hospitals to improve patient care and reduce costs. One example of this is the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) to track patient information.

As technology becomes more prevalent in hospitals, receptionists will need to be familiar with its use. This includes learning how to use EMRs and other computer systems. In addition, they will need to be able to provide customer support for these systems, which can be challenging if they are not familiar with them.

Greater Focus on Patient Experience

Hospital administrators are increasingly focusing on the patient experience as a way to improve overall satisfaction. This means that receptionists are now responsible for more than just answering phones and directing visitors.

Receptionists need to be prepared to handle a wide range of tasks, including providing hospitality, answering questions, and helping patients find what they need. They also need to be able to handle difficult situations, such as dealing with angry or upset patients.

How to Become a Hospital Receptionist

A career as a hospital receptionist can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s important to consider all the factors that will affect your success, including the size of the hospital, its location, and the hours you are willing to work.

One of the most important things you can do is to build relationships with the people who work in the hospital. This means getting to know the staff members who work in different departments, such as nursing, radiology, and pharmacy. You should also get to know the patients who come to the hospital for treatment. This will help you provide better service when they call or visit the hospital.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a hospital receptionist. One way is to get more education. With more education, you could move into a position as a medical records clerk, a medical office manager, or even a hospital administrator. Another way to advance your career is to move into a larger hospital. Larger hospitals tend to have more opportunities for advancement than smaller ones. You could also move into a position as a patient advocate or a patient liaison. These positions often involve working with patients and their families to ensure that they are receiving the best possible care.

Hospital Receptionist Job Description Example

The first point of contact for anyone visiting [CompanyX] is the hospital receptionist. As such, we’re looking for an individual with a warm, welcoming personality and excellent customer service skills. He or she will be responsible for greeting visitors, answering phone calls, and directing patients and visitors to the appropriate areas. Additionally, the receptionist will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and organization of the lobby and public areas. The ideal candidate will have prior experience working in a hospital or medical office setting and will be able to remain calm and efficient in a fast-paced environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer all incoming calls in a professional and courteous manner, using proper telephone etiquette
  • Greet patients/visitors in person or on the telephone, providing assistance and directing them to the appropriate individual or department
  • Schedule patient appointments, verifying insurance eligibility and coverage
  • Update patient demographic information as needed
  • Collect co-pays and other payments due at time of service
  • Prepare and maintain various reports as requested by management
  • Process mail and faxes received for the department
  • Perform general office duties such as typing, filing, and maintaining supplies
  • Adhere to all HIPAA regulations and confidentiality policies
  • Assist with special projects as needed
  • Attend required meetings and trainings
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a receptionist or similar role
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Solid interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle confidential information

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Previous experience working in a hospital or medical office
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) ability
  • Familiarity with medical terminology
  • Exceptional customer service skills


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