Designated Medical’s Liliana Scott reflects on the skills a medical secretary needs, and gives tips on how to realise your potential.

When I started writing this blog I asked myself, what tips could I give to the fellow colleagues that might read this article to make their everyday work easier? I reflected on all the work we do and found myself surprised of all our talents…

Medical terminology, IT and administration

Not only we need to have excellent administrative and organisational skills, we need to possess good knowledge of medical terminology and be familiar with medical procedures. In addition to this, we also need to have an in-depth knowledge of a doctor’s diary and workload, medical practice management software and business practices.

Discretion, sensitivity and integrity

As well as hard skills, we need to have certain soft skills. A high level of discretion to maintain confidentiality in relation to sensitive information is key. A friendly attitude and the ability to work with minimal supervision is also crucial. Add to this the ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines, have people skills to handle patients, colleagues and other members of the public. We also need to understand the habits and personality of the doctors we work for and help them have confidence that any problem that arises during the day will be fully dealt with.

Top tips

Based on the above I have 3 tips to share to make your day go smoother:

  1. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF – For eight hours a day you focus on looking after other people. Regular self-care keeps us going. Most of us spend the majority of our day at our desks, so make sure you take a proper break from your workspace and take a breather. Taking breaks is extremely beneficial, both physically and mentally.
  2. REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE – There’s no doubt of the impact you make on patients’ lives every time you get to the office. People might not say how much you do for them but without you the place will be chaotic.
  3. MAKE AN HONEST ASSESSMENT OF YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES – Remind yourself of your own talents. The idea that secretaries are there to type letters suggests a lack of awareness of what medical secretaries really do. We do a lot! However, we can become complacent and do things in autopilot forgetting the importance of working to high standards. For example, soft skills are a big factor in the success of medical secretaries especially because of the frequent communication with members of the public. If you try to improve your interpersonal and listening skills at work, there’s a good chance it will pay off in advancement opportunities for you.

Our team here at Designated Medical are all highly experienced in the private medical sector, and can bring all these skills and more to your medical practice. For more information contact us on 020 7952 1008, or visit our website at designatedmedical.com.

Author – Liliana Scott – Medical Secretary