Hospital Receptionist: Job Description & Salary

Hospital receptionists are often the first point of contact when patients arrive at a hospital. If you're looking for a career in the healthcare industry that requires a high-school diploma, learn about the job role and salary to see if this career could be the right fit for you. Schools offering Medical Office Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Hospital receptionists fall in the category of medical receptionists, but work specifically in a hospital. They perform similar duties to most receptionists and also use their customer service and administrative skills to ensure that patients are given information directing them to receiving appropriate care. The table below provides the key details such as the requirements, skill set, salary and job outlook for this career.

Education Required High school diploma
Training on-the-job training
Key Skills Good written and verbal communication, eye for detail, customer service, typing, integrity
Median Salary (2019) $29,886 (medical receptionist)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% (receptionist)**

Sources: *Payscale.com; ** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do Hospital Receptionists Do?

A hospital receptionist's daily duties will vary depending on the size of the facility, but typically include answering the telephone, scheduling appointments, and sending emails or other correspondences. They must welcome and greet patients and their families to the facility and obtain the reason of their visit to direct them to where they need to go. Hospital receptionists typically advise patients on insurance accepted, collect the insurance coverage details and communicate with insurance companies to verify the patient's provisions. They must register patients, write reports and might maintain patient medical reports, as well.

How Do you Become a Hospital Receptionist?

A hospital receptionist is usually required to possess a high school diploma. You will undergo on-the-job training to learn how to perform daily activities. Classroom training with certain computer software can be preferred by employers, particularly courses in word processing and spreadsheet programs. Postsecondary education such as a medical receptionist diploma or certificate could help to improve employability. You might study medical ethics and law, basic medical terminology, billing documentation, and maintenance of patients' medical records. Some employers might look for experience from other medical facilities, such as a physician's office, outpatient care facility or nursing home.

How Much Does a Hospital Receptionist Earn?

According to Payscale.com, a medical receptionist earned a median annual salary of $29,886 in 2019. This is close to the BLS annual salary for the category of receptionist of $28,390, annually, in 2017. According to the BLS, receptionists working in healthcare settings generally earn more than other receptionists working in other industries. Receptionists in the healthcare and social assistance industries earned a median wage of $14.26 an hour, while the median earnings for receptionists in other settings were between $11.07 and $13.89 an hour. As hospitals are in operation at any time and any day of the week, as a hospital receptionist you may have to work weekends and nights.

What Skills and Attributes do you Need to be a Hospital Receptionist?

A hospital receptionist should possess customer service skills, actively find ways to help people and ensure patients, families and visitors feel welcomed to the facility. Being the first point of contact when someone enters a hospital, you will need to give a good impression and be able to converse easily. You will need to be trustworthy and honest to ensure that patients' details are correct and stored appropriately. You must also possess attention to detail, have the ability to multitask and also be able prioritize tasks effectively.

What is the Career Outlook and Career Progression for a Hospital Receptionist?

The BLS expects that between 2016 and 2026 there will be a 9% growth in employment for all receptionists. This translates to approximately 95,500 new jobs expected by 2026. During this time period the number of healthcare facilities is expected to grow and so will the number of employment opportunities for medical receptionists. Hospital receptionists often progress to other forms of medical administrative support roles, such as a secretary, which typically requires experience and further on-the-job training.

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