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A useful guide to help you easily become a Medical Secretary

The field of medicine and healthcare is home to many professions. You know about the doctors, nurses, dentists, and a long line of specialists. What you may not know about are the jobs that help support and sustain the industry. For the responsibility, we have medical secretaries to thank.

What is a Medical Secretary?

A medical secretary is a medical professional who does most of the documentary and clerical work inside a medical facility. In layman terms, they are the middlemen between the hospital and its clients and business partners. They help support the facility through their line of work.

Some of the responsibilities of a medical secretary include contacting and interacting with patients, managing appointments for doctors, overseeing paper and digital files, managing the payments from vendors and insurers, and most importantly, handling sensitive medical information with care.

This line of work requires processing a lot of documents and working in front of a computer. Simple as it may sound, there’s no room for error when you become a medical secretary. A single error can result in hours of progress being lost or ruined.

You also have to consider that a patient’s medical records need to be kept private as per HIPAA. That means you also need to ensure that the medical facility’s database and documents are safe no matter what. Amidst all these challenges, though, is a rewarding job. 

Does this line of work interest you? Here’s how you can become a medical secretary.

Becoming a Medical Secretary

There are a few prerequisites before you can become qualified to be a medical secretary. First off, you’ll need to finish a college course that can teach you the skills and knowledge you need for the job. Ideally, a level 2 or 3 diploma in Medical Administration is more than suitable for the job.

Medical secretary filing cabinet

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To increase your chances of being hired, you might want to involve yourself in courses and classes that can help make your application smoother. There are various courses for a future medical secretary to choose from. For this particular field, focus on the field of medicine and administration. 

Experience isn’t always necessary as there are entry-level secretary jobs in the field. If you are going to undergo an internship as a way to build experience, however, choose a secretarial role in an office. However, if you can secure one in a clinic or any medical facility, that would be even better.

Administrative jobs are also going to be good for your repertoire. You can expand your experience by taking up online courses on digital safety and security. Many hospitals value this type of experience and credential as it ensures that their data is safe.

Hospitals that use digital systems fall under the HIPAA law. This act has created standards for digital security and data privacy. Failure to commit to these standards results in major legal and financial repercussions for the company. Medical secretaries are a company’s first line of defense against breaches and attacks that compromise this.

There are other skills that are important for medical secretaries to have. For one, they need to have good administrative skills as well. They should also be well-versed in using computers, as well as documentation software like the Microsoft Office suite.

Last but not least, medical secretaries need to have good communication skills. They’ll be in front of people most of the time, so it’s important that they be well-mannered and patient in front of other medical staff and patients.

Benefits and salary of Medical Secretaries

Medical secretaries are entitled to all of the basic benefits of a regular employee. Of course, medical institutions may also offer more than these standard benefits. Expect good healthcare, retirement planning, and life insurance. As a job, the salary of medical secretaries is good as well.

Entry-level medical secretary salaries start at $12.21 per hour or $25,390 annually. However, the average across all professionals is $17,19 per hour or $35 760 annually. The top 10% annual salary of medical secretaries is at $24.95 per hour or a total of $51 890 per year.

Becoming a medical secretary is a noble and rewarding job. Aside from the decent salary, you’ll probably feel good knowing that you are one of the immediate supporting pillars of the healthcare sector. If you want to become a part of this line of profession, then you need to prepare as soon as you can.

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