Ward Clerks', Receptionists', and Administrative Assistants' Conference

A Timely Opportunity for Formal Education


Frontline administrative staff who work in hospitals, general practice, and community health settings are essential members of the interprofessional healthcare team. You – as a Ward Clerk, Receptionist, or Administrative Assistant – are vital to the effective running of a unit in any healthcare setting. So, isn’t it about time you were supported with education to help you perform this crucial role? Attend this conference and learn about:

  • The KPIs of frontline administrative staff
  • Mandatory reporting and your responsibilities
  • Ethical dilemmas in the workplace – everyone’s business
  • How to work with difficult and unpredictable colleagues
  • A career planning workshop and much, much more …

Ward Clerks', Receptionists' and Administrative Assistants' Conference - Adelaide 2018
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Day One

8:30AM Registration for Day One

Michelle Girdler

Setting the Scene – Frontline Administrative Staff in 2018

This introductory session will look at the big issues confronting you as a frontline administrative staff member who works in a multidisciplinary healthcare team in 2018. You will be invited to consider your future career and discuss:

  • On a “good” day – what do you love about your job?
  • What makes a “bad” day – when and how do you say no?
Michelle Girdler

The Role of Frontline Administrative Staff in Health Care

How familiar are you with your job description? Is it up-to-date? Are you confident that you are meeting your KPI’s? Role clarity is essential. Understanding what success looks like is empowering, motivating, and can assist you to feel a sense of achievement and fulfilment. This workshop session will assist you to understand how you can exceed the expectations associated with your role. It includes:

  • How has the role of a frontline administrative staff member changed?
  • What are your KPI’s?
  • Is it time to update your job description?
  • Do you have clarity on who you report to?
  • How do you create value and become invaluable?
10:30 Morning Tea

Norah Bostock

Communicating Within an Interprofessional Team

It is well-known that the best work gets done by teams. In hospitals and community settings, teams of interprofessionals work together to achieve patient outcomes. Although much “lip service” is paid to the success of teamwork – effective teams are hard to find. This session will focus on a cornerstone of interprofessional collaboration – communication in teams. It includes:

  • Why must you use a range of communication styles if you are to be really understood?
  • The power within your mind – how to improve your listening skills
  • Understanding others and where they’re coming from
Dr Linda Starr

Privacy and Confidentiality – No Shades of Grey

There are legal boundaries concerning privacy and confidentiality in health care. Transgressing these boundaries may cause unnecessary exposure to risk. This session will inform you clearly of the law in regard to privacy and confidentiality. It will consider:

  • What are the legal principles governing privacy and confidentiality?
  • What constitutes confidential client information?
  • What can be shared on social media?
1:00PM Lunch and Networking

Dr Linda Starr

Mandatory Reporting – Your Responsibility

There are several mandatory reporting requirements that affect all members of the healthcare team. This session will encourage you to consider the implications of this for your role as a frontline administrator. It includes:

  • What is mandatory reporting?
  • Do you know what your responsibilities are?
  • What should you do if you suspect abuse or neglect within the workplace, including with patients/clients and colleagues?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Dr Linda Starr

Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace

All of us that work in health care will be confronted by a wide range of ethical issues during our day-to-day work. There is a need to make rapid decisions, yet this can be complicated by high workloads, complex systems, and human factors. This session provides an opportunity for you to professionally engage and discuss the ethical issues that arise in health care as a frontline administrative staff member. It includes questions and debate around:

  • Is your behaviour ethical?
  • What are the underlying principles of ethics?
  • What are common ethical challenges facing non-clinical staff?
  • How can we navigate these?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00AM Commencement of Day Two

Norah Bostock

How Effective are Performance Reviews?

Some people believe that the best way to improve behaviour is in real time. This means performance reviews that may only occur once a year are potentially ineffective because they are not addressing problems as they occur. This session looks at:

  • What are the best ways to assist staff to perform at their highest level?
  • How can performance genuinely be improved?
  • Tips on how to conduct a performance conversation…
Norah Bostock

Career Planning for Frontline Administrative Staff

Do you have ideas about what you want to achieve in your job (and in your life!)? Have you ever thought about your next career move? In this session, we will look at ways that you can develop a career plan that is realistic, in line with your personal and home commitments, and assists you to reach your full potential in your workplace. It includes:

  • Imagining what your future could look like
  • Recognising and consolidating your current achievements
  • Planning a step-by-step strategy to achieve your career dreams
  • Finding educational courses for up-skilling to meet your needs
10:30 Morning Tea

Dr Jill Beattie

Listen Up – How to Deal with Complaints

No matter how good the provision of care or service, there will always be someone who is not satisfied. Conversely, if health care is under par, complaints are justified and will give a health provider an opportunity to address a problem of which they were not previously aware. In your position, you may be the first person to receive the complaint. How you respond at this early stage has important ramifications. This session arms you with insights into the appropriate management of complaints, including:

  • First line response – what do you say and do initially?
  • How to know when to offer support – should you apologise?
  • Reading the signs – when do you listen? When do you speak?
  • How do you remain calm – What’s the appropriate use of language?
  • How do you follow up on documentation and the other actions required?
Dr Jill Beattie

Time Management and Interruptions – Go Away!

The pressure is on to get more done, but those pesky emails just keep on coming – not to mention the incessant interruptions. This session looks at principles of time management and how not managing your time is not an option. It includes:

  • Tips on managing a diary, how to prioritise and complete documentation
  • What to do when people are always interrupting you
  • How to say no!
1:00PM Lunch and Networking

Dr Jill Beattie

Debriefing after Critical Incidents

Occasionally, you may be involved in a stressful or unexpectedly traumatic event whilst at work. This may not be easy to deal with and may require a critical incidence debriefing. This session will discuss what such a debrief entails and when it is effective. As well, these principles of debriefing after a crisis can be adapted to small everyday stresses to prevent them from building up into big ones! This session includes:

  • Recognising and acknowledging that critical incidents may result in stress and/or trauma
  • Preventing undue stress following a critical incident
  • Knowing when you need debriefing support
  • When to debrief and when it may not be useful
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Dr Jill Beattie

A Mindfulness Approach to Reducing Stress

Let's face it! Within busy healthcare settings, stress and job pressures can be unavoidable. However, practical strategies can keep “stressful” situations from stressing you out. Mindfulness is increasingly used as a powerful therapeutic intervention. It is a simple and effective way to deal with daily stressors. It may even add years to your life! This final session takes you through a mindful meditation workshop and includes:

  • An explanation of mindfulness
  • How to use mindfulness to lower stress in your work life
  • The link between mind, body, and stress
  • How to become more focused at work – a look at breathing
  • How to recognise the early signs of stress – what your body is trying to tell you
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Frontline administrative staff play a central role in ensuring a unit, ward, and even a practice is functioning well. The challenges of this role are ever-present, due to a complex range of reasons, which include: the fast turnaround of acutely unwell patients, the rapid turnover of staff, the constant changes to policies and procedures, and the vigilance required to keep abreast of risk management practices. All of these changes result in a need for formal educational support that is ongoing. A conference that provides such support will fill an important gap in the knowledge and skills required to perform this role confidently.

Purpose of Program

This conference provides frontline administrative staff, such as wards clerks, reception staff, and other administrative or clerical assistants who work in healthcare settings, with the essential knowledge and skills to better perform the increasing duties and responsibilities required of their roles.

Your learning outcomes:

Communicate with ease during complex situations with patients, colleagues, and members of the public
Develop clear personal and professional boundaries so that role confusion will be prevented
Work safely within appropriate standards to minimise risk
Use a range of techniques to manage and prevent work-related conflict


Ward Clerks', Receptionists', and Administrative Assistants' Conference



Ward Clerks', Receptionists', and Administrative Assistants' Conference
11 Hours | 0 Mins



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