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Hospital Receptionist Duties

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The duties of hospital receptionists involve dealing with patients and other customers. Receptionists are typically stationed at the front desk, serving as the first point of contact for incoming patients and visitors. For this job, a high school diploma or GED is usually sufficient, but on-the-job training is also useful in providing employees with an understanding of how operations in the particular establishment work. Below are a few of the common duties hospital receptionists perform.

Greet and Assist Patients/Visitors

Because the receptionist is often the first person patients or visitors will see when they arrive at the hospital, the receptionist will have to sign in incoming patients and inform a nurse of their arrival so they can be taken to an examination room. Receptionists will also provide the required paperwork to be completed by patients. If a patient is severely injured and needs urgent attention, the receptionist must get them to a room or nurse immediately and provide the required paperwork to accompanying friends or family to be completed. The receptionist must also direct a patient's visitors to the relevant room.

Schedule Appointments

Receptionists are also in charge of answering phones and assisting callers with any information they need. Most calls will be related to appointment scheduling, so the receptionist must be able to navigate a database of open appointment times to record the patient information and details regarding the reason for the appointment. Additionally, receptionists will provide courtesy calls to patients to remind them of an upcoming appointment.

Maintain an Organized Environment

Receptionists must also provide an organized environment, keeping paperwork updated and prepared so all of a patient's relevant information is readily available to the doctors and nurses. Office organization is key to maximizing patient flow and providing a hospital visit that is free of long waits or crowded waiting rooms. Receptionists should also be able to respond quickly to any requests made by the doctors or nurses.


Ginger Emme is a full-time freelance writer and blogger from Detroit, Mich. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and communications. She has been writing online professionally since 2008 and in late 2009 decided to take the plunge into a career of full-time freelance writing.

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