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Become A Clinical Secretary

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Working As A Clinical Secretary

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Processing Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Secretary Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become A Clinical Secretary

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Clinical Secretary Career Paths

Clinical Secretary
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Clerk Medical Coder Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Clerk Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Records Clerk Billing Specialist Team Leader
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Executive Assistant Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Executive Assistant Office Manager
Billing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Executive Assistant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Access Representative Billing Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Access Representative Coordinator Therapist
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Patient Access Representative Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Patient Care Coordinator Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Patient Care Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Accounts Receivable Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Unit Secretary Medical Coder
Billing Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Respiratory Therapist Service Supervisor
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Transcriptionist Medical Coder Billing Supervisor
Patient Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Scheduler Project Scheduler
Scheduler Lead
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Ward Secretary 4.2 years
Unit Secretary 3.9 years
Unit Coordinator 3.7 years
Hospital Secretary 3.3 years
Clinical Secretary 3.0 years
Secretary 3.0 years
Dental Secretary 2.9 years
Medical Clerk 2.7 years
Scheduler 2.5 years
Clinical Assistant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Clinical Secretary
Secretary 8.0%
Cashier 7.2%
Internship 2.4%
Volunteer 1.9%
Registrar 1.7%
Top Careers After Clinical Secretary
Secretary 7.3%
Cashier 2.9%
Scheduler 2.5%
Internship 2.5%

Do you work as a Clinical Secretary?

Clinical Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

79.9%

Unknown

12.0%

Male

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

67.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

French

8.9%

Portuguese

6.7%

Hawaiian

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Bosnian

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Polish

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Afrikaans

2.2%

Thai

2.2%

Armenian

2.2%
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Clinical Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.9%

Wake Technical Community College

7.8%

Ashford University

7.1%

Tulsa Community College

6.5%

Massasoit Community College

6.5%

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

5.2%

Community College of Vermont

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

Boise State University

3.9%

Community College of Philadelphia

3.2%

Washburn University of Topeka

3.2%

Saint John's University - New York

3.2%

Northeastern State University

3.2%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.2%

El Centro College

3.2%

Finger Lakes Community College

3.2%

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

2.6%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

2.6%
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Majors

Business

23.0%

Health Care Administration

17.0%

Nursing

10.0%

Medical Assisting Services

6.1%

Psychology

5.6%

Liberal Arts

4.0%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

3.6%

Medical Technician

3.4%

Accounting

3.4%

General Studies

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Social Work

2.5%

Management

2.3%

Nursing Assistants

2.2%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.1%

Education

2.1%

Human Services

2.1%

Human Resources Management

1.9%

Legal Support Services

1.8%

Biology

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

32.8%

Bachelors

25.0%

Associate

20.1%

Certificate

8.9%

Masters

8.6%

Diploma

3.4%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Clinical Secretary

  1. Patient Care
  2. Medical Records
  3. Clinical Staff
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured focus on quality patient care by consistently managing all aspects of administrative processes efficiently and effectively.
  • Provided administrative support for outpatient registration and medical records management.
  • Relay messages accurately and efficiently to clinical staff, maintain inventory of departmental supplies.
  • Answered high volume of inbound telephone calls; mailed instructions to patients regarding procedure preparations; also responsible for patient billing.
  • Worked hand in hand with all affiliated and secondary insurance companies for verification of eligibility.

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