What Do Medical Secretaries Do?
As the job title suggests, taking a job in this area involves performing secretarial duties much like in any typical office setting. However, this field demands that secretaries have knowledge of laboratory, clinical or hospital processes as well as medical terminology. Much of the job has to do with filling out and organizing information and paperwork as well as facilitating communication between other medical workers.
Medical Secretary Skills and Abilities
Since this is a position that so heavily involves communication, you need solid people skills in order to succeed. While in an objective sense the paperwork dealt with by medical secretaries is more directly correlated with the day-to-day operations of a medical facility, the ability to detect the needs of patients as well as assess how well the facility is meeting those needs is one of the best ways to gauge where there is room for improvement. Working as a medical secretary in a modern context means coupling traditional clerical skills, such as stenography and file management, with proficiency in computer operation. Time management is the glue that makes this all stick together, since few things are more important where peoples’ health is involved.
Medical Secretary Duties
As far as computers are concerned, you will not be using them simply for communication. As you receive medical information from others working in the same facility, you will occasionally need to input this information into a database or transcribe it for record-keeping purposes. A medical facility cannot run effectively without someone doing the scheduling. Since time is always of the essence, you need to be able to prioritize and complete your work assignments as well as those of other people so that nothing crucial is left unattended for too long.
Medical Secretary Tools and Technology
As you might imagine, working as a medical secretary requires that your employing facility surround you with reliable office equipment. Desktop and laptop computers, a clear intercom system, dictation machines and fax machines are all items for which you should try to insist on a high level of quality in order to perform your duties to the best of your ability. As far as computer programs are concerned, you will need access to word processing, scheduling, medical, database and accounting software to best keep all of your information organized.
Education and Training for Medical Secretaries
At minimum, most facilities require at least a high school diploma to work as a medical secretary. That being said, many applicants have some time in a college setting, if not a degree. There are classes you can take that specifically train you for the responsibilities of a medical secretary as well as provide instruction on the workings of medical insurance. Then, once you actually get a job, you will be able to hit the ground running, simplifying any on-the-job training.
Medical Secretary Salary
Though not necessarily the most lucrative of jobs, the medical secretary position is reliable and one that often comes with sturdy benefits. The United States’ median figure for those with this job is just over $32,000, while the bottom ten percent earn around $22,000. Those in the top ten percent typically bring in close to $50,000 per year.
Medical Secretary Jobs by Geography
If you are open to considering the possibility of moving for work, the highest concentration of medical secretary jobs are in Texas, California and Ohio. The highest median wage numbers, on the other hand, are in Washington, Minnesota and New Jersey. With a constantly growing population comes increasing need for medical personnel. As such, growth in the profession is projected to be strong in the coming years. With the majority of states expected to experience over 25% growth, it is a great time to get started.