Medical Receptionist Degrees and Courses

To begin a career as a medical receptionist, formal training is typically required. Degrees in this field are available at the associate's degree level; however, certificates are also commonly offered. Read on to discover the training that can build your skills to keep a medical office running smoothly. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Medical receptionists will be working closely with patients by checking them in, helping them fill out paperwork, filing insurance claims, and taking phone calls. You will benefit from taking courses in medical terminology as well as office management and administration. Certificate programs are available along with programs that will earn you an associate's degree.

Degrees Associate's degrees and certificates in healthcare management and medical administration
Courses Database management, word processing, medical terminology, office procedures
Responsibilities Help patients with paperwork, schedule appointments, carry messages from patient to medical staff, process insurance claims

What Degree and Certificate Programs Are Available?

Medical receptionist programs are typically available as an associate's degree. You might also enroll in a certificate program. Some options include a Medical Receptionist Certificate of Completion, or a medical office assistant/administrative assistant associate's degree program. An Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Support Technology with a specialization in medical administrative assisting may also be available.

What Courses Might I Take?

Your curriculum will typically include basic anatomy or physiology courses. To gain some practical experience, you might be able to observe professionals or assist in a medical office environment as part of your program. Here are some of the major courses you'll be taking in a medical receptionist degree or certificate program:

  • Word processing
  • Database management
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical office procedures
  • Medical transcription
  • Electronic records of patients
  • Medical laws and ethics
  • Medical communications

Are Alternative Learning Options Available?

Some schools offer certificate programs that can be completed in a single semester either fully or partially online, during the evenings and on weekends. Online associate's degree programs that train you to become a medical receptionist could include healthcare management or medical administration programs. Most distance learning opportunities allow you to enroll at any time and complete your classes at your convenience. You could access all of your course materials online, or the school might send you the required textbooks used for the classes. Some online programs are designed to prepare you for professional certification, such as the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant credential offered through the National Healthcareer Association.

What Are the Prerequisites for Admission Into a Program?

If you don't already know how to type using the touch system, you might want to take a typing course prior to applying if one isn't offered as part of the curriculum. In addition, a GED or high school diploma is usually required for admission. While you'll be trained on specific software, you should have the basic computer skills to be able to navigate around the system and applications.

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Medical Receptionist?

As a medical receptionist, you'd greet patients and assist them in completing paperwork that could include medical histories and insurance information. You might also schedule appointments and direct patient inquiries to medical staff. This usually involves processing patient paperwork for insurance claims, so an understanding of medical terminology is required for this position. Working as a medical receptionist, you'll also need to have the people skills to assuage anxious patients and keep up in a fast-paced environment. Depending on the size of the office, your responsibilities can vary.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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  • The George Washington University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Keiser University

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