Today we will address the main requirements that a receptionist for clinics needs to have. Do you own a clinic and want to hire someone to perform this role? Or are you the person who wants to work as a receptionist in a clinic? In this article, we will help you define the ideal profile to occupy this position.

To help to improve the service at the reception of clinics and offices, we will emphasize the qualities that are necessary for the profile of a good receptionist. By the way, although we usually refer profession in the feminine, By the way, although we usually refer to the profession in feminine, the receptionist position can be occupied by both men and women, after all, the important thing is to know how to execute it in the best way. Therefore, here you will find preparatory information.

Before we continue, we need to know: do you already use medical software to perform your consultations at the clinic? We invite you to get to know Ninsaúde Apolo, online software that can be used on a tablet, smartphone, or in the traditional way, on computers. Learn more on our website

To start, we will address a subject that many people have doubts about: is a receptionist the same as a secretary? Cut to the chase, the answer is no. Although they may have features in common, the secretary and receptionist play different roles in the professional context, and this must be clear so that their competencies are respected and there is no reversal of roles in the performance of their functions.

In some small clinics or even in offices, the secretary often ends up playing the role of receptionist. The difference is that the secretary works directly with the doctor and is usually responsible for resolving administrative issues. The receptionist works directly with the patient, and as the name suggests, is responsible for welcoming the patient. Therefore, it is with the receptionist that the patient has his first contact when arriving at the clinic.

The client of a company is always the judge of the situation, and in clinics and offices it is no different: if the service is satisfactory, he may be loyal to the clinic, otherwise, he will not come back. We know that concerning care involving health, the main point is to leave satisfied with the doctor's care, but we also know that if the reception service is not adequate, the patient may not feel comfortable coming back.

What is the ideal profile of a receptionist?

A receptionist's responsibilities vary depending on the clinic in which she will work, but in general, its functions are: to inform, lead, guide, annotate, forward, serve, organize, log, file, schedule, and filter calls.  It is important that the receptionist is always attentive to the company's daily planning and is committed to her tasks. It must perform its activities dynamically, increasing the effectiveness of the work performed.

In the presence of customers, the receptionist must pay attention to them dedicating herself to service. When there are no appointments, he must dedicate himself to organizing the environment and keeping his other activities up to date.


To be an excellent receptionist, it is necessary to have a good perception of the skills and competencies that the position requires. The main characteristics and skills desirable in a receptionist are usually:

  • Digital skills – Gone are the days when medical appointments were written down in a diary, as well as other activities that used the power of paper and pen. In today's world, the technology always comes first, which is why it's important to stay digitally up to date. The computer is one of the main work tools in many places, and clinics are no different. Even if you receive training to use software (as is the case with Ninsaúde Apolo), it is still necessary to know how to use the machine's operating system and deal with printers, among other things in the technological world.
  • Responsibility - In addition to consisting of the obligation to answer for their actions, responsibility is linked to the act of behaving sensibly or responsibly. For example, not being late or missing work, but when necessary, at least give notice so that the other people on the team can organize themselves in your absence.
  • Dynamism – Being able to manage all your activities wisely and with agility so that they do not accumulate is a characteristic of dynamism. Quick and intelligent actions characterize a dynamic individual.
  • Discretion – Being discreet is essential for anyone who will work with public service, with rare exceptions. In clinics and offices, being a discreet person also represents maturity in experiences and processes.
  • Organization – The organization needs to be aligned with dynamism because not all organized people can be dynamic, and not all those who work dynamically have the power of the organization. Being organized is also linked to planning, and both can be observed in the work environment.
  • Attention – When working at the reception of a clinic you will deal with the care of other people who seek to improve their health, therefore, keeping the focus on your activities with maximum attention and concentration is essential so that your mistakes do not affect others people's lives.
  • Proactivity – People with initiative are likely to be more successful in the corporate world because this action is linked to proactivity. Being proactive means not waiting for orders when something needs to be done, therefore, this is a characteristic of the person who is the first to propose or undertake something in the work environment, or certain situations.
  • Flexibility – Flexibility is highly linked to availability. And when it comes to serving the public, not only availability of spirit (understanding and dedication to work in the profession) but also the availability of schedules can be demanded.
  • Communicability – Good communication is the basis of all service, and for that, it is also necessary to have a good oratory, that is, communicate clearly and appropriately, with well-articulated ideas and sentences. For good communication, it is also necessary to put yourself in the position of the other and understand that differing opinions must be respected. Sympathy and empathy are also strengths of good communication.
  • Education – It seems obvious, but it's always good to reinforce that education is paramount in the service of a receptionist. Greetings like "good morning" and "good afternoon" are part of the basics, but many people forget this detail. Manifest civility, delicacy, Politeness, and courtesy are essential for anyone wishing to work in this position.
  • Sympathy – Bringing more lightness to interpersonal relationships is also linked to sympathy. A smile can often break the ice and reassure people who are going through a problem, even more in an environment that refers to health. Carrying out care with sympathy also makes the existing relationships between people intensify and allow them to instinctively feel attracted to each other.
  • Confidence – Having confidence in what you are doing and giving confidence to those around you is essential. Trust is security, and through it, you will earn credit with the people you live with and the company.
  • Secrecy – By law, only doctors and other health professionals (nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, etc.) may have access to the patient's chart, so receptionists will not have access to such information. However, even if for some reason there is a gap, you must follow the rules and ethical duty that prevent the disclosure of confidential matters related to the health of patients.
  • Posture – At the reception, the first contact between the patient and the clinic takes place, and for this reason, the receptionist must maintain good posture and also look good (which is not linked to the beauty standards imposed by society, but to other aspects of the image, such as wearing clothes suitable for the environment if there is no uniform). Posture is also linked to the way you think and act, which directly reflects on your attitudes.
  • Empathy – Having empathy is knowing how to listen, being open to the stories that the other has to tell, not judging, and when necessary, giving the necessary support. Demonstrating trust and treating people around them well are characteristics that are part of the profile of an empathetic person, something important for those who are about to work welcoming clients in a clinic.

The importance of planning and control

Planning avoids unpleasant surprises and possible frustrations throughout the day, and for this reason, it is the indispensable starting point of any activity. When planning, in addition to being able to manage your time better, you can redirect everyday activities with greater dexterity.

It is desirable that the clinic has management software, because, in addition to facilitating activities such as scheduling and finances, you can still save time due to the agility with which the processes will be carried out. The Ninsaúde Apolo software, for example, has the Events functionality. Whenever you need to enter a reminder or an appointment that should lock the agenda, you can activate this option and choose not only the date but also the time when the event will take place, making it easier to plan the day.

Planning is directly linked to controlling your actions, so it is interesting that you create priority lists, thus doing what is most urgent first. Control also includes the evaluation of the results achieved. For this reason, planning is so important, because only then will the results be positive, and regardless of that, control is important so that there is no decline in such results.

This is another good reason to use management software: the results can be monitored and controlled through graphs and reports that generate automatic information. This information is produced as customer and supplier data are added to the system, hence the importance of knowing how to use it correctly and improve your digital skills.

Given all these characteristics mentioned above, for entrepreneurs and health professionals who wish to hire a receptionist, We recommend taking these attributes into account and evaluating them through interviews and tests even before starting a job. And for anyone looking for an opportunity in the job market in such a field, first, check if you fit the profile you are looking for, and if you find any characteristic that doesn't match your personality, try to improve it.

Did you like the tips? Keep following the blog for more content that will help you and your clinic. Still don't use software to manage your clinic or office? Meet Ninsaúde Apolo. Go to and request a demo.