• Deborah Casey

Hints and tips for the new start receptionist in a therapy clinic

Your first day, in a new post, as a receptions stir up a sense of anxiety and nervousness. Meeting new people, learning the systems that are in operation and how to manage your own emotions can feel overwhelming. More so if this is your very first employment since leaving school or a return to work post.

You may have a fairly clear idea of what is expected of you but taking a moment to ponder how you manage yourself, handle telephone calls and clients is something that can help establish your strengths, identify possible weakness and playing up your strengths whilst addressing weakness’; for too long and too often the focus has been upon weakness in order to skill up in an identified area. This has a potential for a person to become focussed upon weakness and can eat at self-esteem.

In knowing how to manage yourself, handle telephone calls and your clients is something to recognise in order to offer outstanding service to your colleagues and customers as you move forward and there are many hints and tips you can learn that will support you as you commence on your new post from the first day in your new role.

Feeling confident on your first day when you walk into your new workplace is essential especially when you may have a lot to learn about your role in full, who your colleagues are, what their role is, how clients are booked in and where records are stored etc.

Some basics

Breathe; anxiety can cause shallow, rapid breathing and this can lead to tension in muscles. Learning breathing methods will help to slow things down, reduce anxiety and lessen the risk of tension building up. Using essential oils from the ‘generally regarded safe list’ could also be very helpful - lavender, chamomile, rose essential oils can soothe the mind and bring ease to the body. Combine breathing with inhaling essential oils can reduce you to a peaceful state and people feel at ease around you.

Smiling; an easy, warm smile is a great welcome to those who greet you and who you meet at reception or speak to on a telephone. An easy, winning smile puts people at ease, gives a great first impression and the people you meet will remember feeling that it was really pleasant to speak with you.

Posture; a nice straight spine and shoulders back and relaxed, rather than rounded and slumped gives the mind a reminder of feeling confident. Good posture also portrays good health and well-being but also confidence and good self-esteem.

Practice; some business’s have a script they like to be used when reception answer phones or meet and greet clients. If this is the case for you take the time to sit and learn the script until it is flowing easily. This can take a lot of practice and you may use the recording device on your mobile phone, with your employers agreement, to practice reading it over and playing back to hear how you sound - dull or bright etc.

Answering calls; answer telephone calls within 3 rings if you can, begin with a common salutation such as ‘hello, followed with the business name, then follow with your name. Alternatively you may say ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good evening’, followed by the business name and your own name. You will ask how you can help the person and then take details of a booking or query; with a query you may need additional information and so need to locate this, if the query is outside your remit then take the details and have the appropriate person call them back.

Transferring calls; in most therapy clinics transferring calls are seldom necessary however if this is a part of your role then you will need to ask to be shown how to do this as part of initial, first day training, unless you already are aware of how to do this already. Always ask the persons’ name before transferring the call, and as you put through a call do so using the persons’ name. Make sure you have transfer numbers available. Try to make the transfer as seamless as possible and apologise for any delays. If you need to put the person on hold, ask permission and always thank them.


Keep your work area tidy; damp dust the desk or reception work station, keep computer key boards clean through damp dust method, and wipe down telephones to maintain hygiene. Have a notepad and pen at hand. When clients or visitors arrive stand up to greet them. However if the telephone requires answering simultaneously remain seated and tell them you will be with them shortly, handle the call you were on and then revert back to them.

Get into the habit of standing up to greet clients when they walk through the door, while this is not always a practical solution because your phone is ringing off the hook, it is a professional step that can make a lasting impression moving forward. Stand up, greet them, tell them you will be with them shortly, handle the call you were on and then revert back to them.

Are there any hints and tips you can add to those above to help a new worker in their role in reception or to help yourself? Share them in the platform if you do think of any.

So I hope these basics supports you with your course of study, I will post again next week with another supportive blog, till then take care, keep well, stay strong :)

Kind regards


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