General practitioner (GP) receptionists, also called medical receptionists, are important members of a surgery's healthcare team. Though they are not directly involved in treating patients, GP receptionists work to make a patient's healthcare experience as pleasant and efficient/organised as possible.
GP receptionists serve at the front line of the medical profession, greeting patients in person and on the telephone when they seek the services of a healthcare provider. GP receptionists also help with administrative duties for the office staff.
A medical receptionist's job duties are varied. A primary duty is to manage patients, from greeting them as they enter the office to checking them into the computer system to notifying the medical staff of any concerns or issues of which they need to be aware. Medical receptionists answer the phones, answering questions and directing calls to the appropriate person or department. A GP receptionist helps with office paperwork and scheduling appointments. The medical receptionist is usually responsible for preparing the office for the day ahead in the morning and for tidying up and locking the office at night.
Because of the nature of their jobs, medical receptionists should be comfortable sitting for long periods of time. Their work frequently requires heavy computer use. Since they spend a lot of work time communicating in person and on the phone, hearing in the normal range is generally a requirement. Most general practitioners prefer to hire someone with a friendly, outgoing personality who can make patients feel comfortable and welcome. GPs also choose receptionists who can handle a high-pressure work environment and heavy multi-tasking.
A GP receptionist usually reports to the practice manager. By taking on more administrative duties, a GP receptionist can increase her role and assume an office manager position. Alternatively, a GP receptionist could specialise in mastering specific skills.
Because a GP receptionist is a patient's first point of contact with the surgery, her behaviour and attitude set the tone for the patient's entire healthcare experience. For this reason, a GP receptionist's most important function is to ensure that the patient's experience is a positive one.