In any medical practice, effective communication is vital to patient care and business success. As a receptionist, you’re on the front line, as you often are the first contact a patient has with your company. Remember, at this point, a patient may not feel well and is likely anxious or stressed about their health issues, so they may be highly sensitive to how they’re treated.
It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it – and how you act as you respond to that caller on the phone. Even if it’s a frantic Monday morning, it’s your job to make them “feel welcome” and at ease. And the same rule applies to patients you encounter face to face in the waiting room.
Strike the Right Tone
Telephone callers experience only your voice. Whatever emotions you may be feeling when you answer a call – including your own stress or frustration – will be conveyed to the person at the other end of the line. A caller – or patient or family member right there in your office – should never be given the impression that you’re too busy or flustered to meet their needs.
- Answer as promptly and courteously as possible.
- On the phone, give your name and the name of your practice.
- Establish the caller’s identity and do whatever it takes to respond and assist them.
- If you need more time or have to consult with someone else, propose calling the person back. This frees up the phone line for other callers and saves the person having to hold on.
- Never eat or drink while sitting at the reception desk.
- Never hold two conversations at the same time.
- If you do keep a caller on hold, return to them at regular intervals, with the same level of patience and courtesy.
Proper etiquette is a key factor contributing to your successful healthcare career. Being kind, professional and empathetic goes a long way. A visit to a doctor can be stressful enough for a person without having to deal with unfriendly, inattentive or impatient staff.
For additional tips or ideas on how to take your career to the next level, contact the MedicalPros Recruiting + Staffing team today. With more than two decades of proven industry experience, we are the Northwest’s leader in healthcare career development.