3 Great Benefits of Becoming a Medical Receptionist
People who go into this area of healthcare tend to feel a sense of pride and assurance about what they do. Here are three of the most common reasons why:
1. Stability and a Promising Outlook on the Future
The Canadian health and social assistance sector, in general, is growing larger every year. As the nation's baby boomers reach retirement age, more and more seniors are making use of both public and private medical and wellness services. So, in many cases, that means the number of workers has to rise to match the increasing demand.
Look at the stats: In 2011, over 1.6 million Canadians were employed in this sector. But by 2015, that number rose to over 1.8 million.*
When it comes to being a medical office receptionist, the prospects look just as bright. For one thing, a lot of existing workers in this vocation are expected to retire soon. For another thing, the number of healthcare offices and facilities (i.e., potential employers) may be expanding due to trends such as:
- An increasing number of doctors in Canada—In one year from 2014 to 2015, the physician population grew five times more quickly than the general population.* For example, there were about 82,000 doctors in 2015, which was 2.9 percent more than in 2014.**
- Hospital expansions—As cities grow and more of the public seeks medical service, new hospitals or additions to existing hospitals need to be built. They all employ people like admitting clerks and department receptionists. And Canada already has a total of well over 900 public and private hospitals.***
- A growing number of dentists—Over half of Canada's dentists run their own solo practices, which means they also need people skilled at reception duties and related tasks. In 2010, the country had about 19,500 licensed dentists. But in 2013, it had over 21,100.****
And here's another interesting fact: Close to 38 percent of all receptionists in Canada work in healthcare or social assistance.† The opportunities are simply extensive.
2. Good Pay With Few Training Requirements
Getting into a career as a medical office receptionist is usually a pretty fast process. Specialized schooling for this field typically takes only one or two years at the very most. And some programs last only a few months. It's just long enough to give you a practical understanding of areas like healthcare terminology, office procedures, and commonly used computer applications (e.g., Microsoft Office).
Then you can start enjoying a good income relative to the short amount of training needed. For example, receptionists and switchboard operators in Canada can earn hourly wages as high as $24.28 or more. And with a little schooling in an area like medical office administration, that amount can go up to $26.08 or more.† Of course, starting wages tend to be a little lower, but many employers will bump up your salary as they see how well you contribute to their teams.
Plus, a lot of employers in the health and medical sector provide extra benefits to their staff, such as vacation and supplementary insurance for things like vision, dental, and prescription coverage.
Once you have multiple years of experience, you might even get opportunities to become a supervisor of office support staff. And that could mean earning a median wage of $25.00 per hour (about $52,000 annually) or as much as $44.00 or more per hour (about $91,520 yearly for full-time work).†
3. The Chance to Make a Meaningful Difference Every Day
When they're at their best, medical receptionists provide a cheerful and reassuring point of contact for patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. The work they do can go a long way toward ensuring that people get the best possible care in a timely and supportive fashion.
Whether handling phone calls and deliveries, updating medical records, or welcoming office visitors, they help give doctors, dentists, or other practitioners the freedom to focus on caring for their patients. And that contributes—in a significant way—toward the ultimate goal of reaching good outcomes for those being treated.
* Statistics Canada, website last visited on September 9, 2016.
** Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), website last visited on September 9, 2016.
*** The Canadian Encyclopedia, website last visited on November 8, 2016.
**** Canadian Dental Association, website last visited on September 9, 2016.
† Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on January 17, 2017.