Working in Practice Management can be very rewarding. It’s a busy industry, but you’ll be able to assist patients during difficult times. If you’re organised and enjoy managing a small team of staff, this could be a great career for you. Practice Managers often work in a doctor’s office, but you might also manage a dental practice or work in a health clinic or for a specialist health care provider. You’ll coordinate the daily running of a practice and deal with any problems that arise.

Practice Managers should have strong leadership skills and enjoy working as part of a team. Communication skills are essential because you’ll need to liaise with patients, staff and medical personnel. A career in Practice Management requires strong organisational and multitasking skills and you may have to use your problem solving abilities when required. It’s important that you can focus on customer service and be flexible to meet the needs of a range of patients.

If you’re interested in a career in Practice Management, the following courses can help you get started:

Diploma of Practice Management

A Diploma of Practice Management will give you the skills to work in a supervisory role at a range of health clinics and practices. You’ll learn to manage health administration systems and cover topics relevant to the health industry such as infection control and understanding medical terminology. This course will also develop your management skills with subjects such as budgeting, finance and human resource management.

Certificate IV in Health Administration

A Certificate IV in Health Administration will prepare you for work in a senior medical administration role. This course will give you the skills to manage health administration services with topics including managing teams, human resources and recruitment. You’ll also develop your industry-specific skills with subjects covering the use of medical terminology and communicating with clients in a medical environment.

Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting

A Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting will develop your administration skills and give you the knowledge to work effectively in a health care environment. This course focuses on practical skills you may need in a medical setting such as handling medical specimens and taking clinical measurements. You’ll also learn to perform electrocardiography (ECG) and maintain stocks of medical supplies.

A Practice Management qualification could lead to a range of careers including the following job roles:

Practice Manager

A Practice Manager oversees the daily operations of a medical centre, dental practice or health care clinic. You’ll supervise a team of staff and ensure systems are running effectively. A Practice Manager may deal with patient enquiries, process accounts and manage a clinic’s finances. You might ensure staff are fully trained and liaise with other health care providers when required.

Dental Office Manager

A Dental Office Manager coordinates the running of a dental practice or specialist dental services provider. You’ll supervise administration systems and manage other office staff. You might oversee financial issues such as processing payments, paying invoices and managing a budget. Dental Office Managers may liaise with patients, answer enquiries and schedule appointments.

Ward Clerk

A Ward Clerk manages administrative tasks in a hospital ward. You might ensure patient paperwork is complete and process patient records. You might liaise with ward staff and order necessary supplies. Ward Clerks may deal with patient enquiries or liaise with family members and carers. Ward Clerks answer telephone calls and deal with issues or problems affecting the ward.

Getting started

If you’re planning to study a course in Practice Management, it’s important you find out information from a range of course providers. Providers often vary in the way they deliver study programs so you’ll need to find the course that best meets your needs. Make sure you collect information about course duration, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover. Once you have all the information you can compare details and work out which qualification suits you best.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.