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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Secretaries in Elgin, Illinois

If you want to be a medical secretary, the Elgin, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 14,330 people work as medical secretaries in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 25% to 17,860 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical secretaries are expected to grow by about 26.6%. In general, medical secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures.

A person working as a medical secretary can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $31,820 yearly on average in Illinois and about $14 per hour or $29,680 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Medical secretaries earn less than people working in the category of Secretarial generally in Illinois and less than people in the Secretarial category nationally.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a medical secretary. Medical secretaries usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a medical secretary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Secretary

Medical Secretary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical secretaries perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. They also duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.

Medical secretaries answer telephones, and direct calls to appropriate staff. They also greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff. Equally important, medical secretaries have to transmit correspondence and medical archives by mail, e-mail, or fax. They are often called upon to operate office equipment such as voice mail messaging systems, and use word processing and other software applications to ready reports, invoices, financial statements, letters, case histories and medical archives. They are expected to receive and route messages and documents such as laboratory results to appropriate staff. Finally, medical secretaries schedule and confirm patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries and medical consultations.

Every day, medical secretaries are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for medical secretaries to interview patients to finish documents and forms such as intake and insurance forms. They are often called upon to perform various clerical and administrative functions. They also maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files. They are sometimes expected to compile and record medical charts and correspondence, using typewriter or personal computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical secretaries are also expected to maintain medical archives, technical library and correspondence files.

and arrange hospital admissions for patients. And finally, they sometimes have to complete insurance and other claim forms.

Like many other jobs, medical secretaries must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Administrative Assistant. Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
  • Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
  • File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
  • Library Clerk. Compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
  • Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Production Proofreader. Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
  • Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Secretary Training

Everest College-North Aurora - North Aurora, IL

Everest College-North Aurora, 150 S Lincolnway #100, North Aurora, IL 60542. Everest College-North Aurora is a small college located in North Aurora, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 396 students and an admission rate of 57%. Everest College-North Aurora has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 27 students in 2008.
  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

First Institute Inc - Crystal Lake, IL

First Institute Inc, 790 McHenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. First Institute Inc is a small school located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 65 students. First Institute Inc has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

Everest College-Burr Ridge, 6880 N Frontage Rd-Ste 400, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. Everest College-Burr Ridge is a small college located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 446 students and an admission rate of 46%. Everest College-Burr Ridge has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated 258 students in 2008.

Westwood College-Dupage - Woodridge, IL

Westwood College-Dupage, 7155 Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL 60517. Westwood College-Dupage is a small college located in Woodridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 659 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Dupage has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Secretary. They are:

  • Medical Office Assistant/Specialist, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Medical Insurance Specialist/Medical Biller, less than one year which graduated 18 students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Medical Office Assistant/Specialist which graduated nine students in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Patient Account Manager: American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) CPAM certification is available only to National AAHAM members who are in good standing and have a minimum of four years health care experience, or two years health care experience and a two-year college or university associates degree.

For more information, see the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website.

Certified Coding Specialist: Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Registered Health Information Technician: With experience, the RHIT credential holds solid potential for advancement to management positions, especially when combined with a bachelor's degree.

For more information, see the American Health Information Management Association website.

Certified Medical Administrative Specialist: This certification is for medical administrative specialists who serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.