Training to be a hospital receptionist typically involves enrolling in a medical receptionist certification program. Most receptionists receive on-the-job training, although a certificate helps increase the chances of finding employment.
A hospital receptionist is typically required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Community and vocational colleges offer medical receptionist certificate programs. The program prepares students to work in a variety of medical settings, including physician’s offices, medical clinics and hospitals, and it typically lasts one or two semesters.
Courses covered include medical billing and insurance, medical terminology, patient care and admission, health care processes and medical computer use. Some programs provide internship opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience prior to finding employment.
Many employers require the medical receptionist to have at least six months of clerical experience, preferably in the medical field. A receptionist's responsibilities may include organizing medical information, providing visitors and patients with information and admitting patients. Receptionists with no professional experience are more suitable for entry-level positions because many employers provide on-the-job training.
Medical receptionists are not required to be certified or licensed. Job opportunities largely depend on familiarity with medical terminology, educational background and medical office experience. An experienced hospital receptionist can move up to a related administrative position, such as hospital office supervisor or manager. Receptionists who stay current on office software programs and hospital computer systems are more likely to develop professionally.