11h CPDSeminar

Ward Clerks, Receptionists and Admin Assistants – Front of Desk and on the Front Line Seminar

Two-Day Seminar


24 - 25 Aug 2020
Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills NSW2010

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Why Attend

If you work as a ward clerk, receptionist or administrative assistant in hospitals, general practice or community health settings – you are likely to be on the frontline of care. Come to this event and learn about:

  • Sharpening interpersonal communication with everyone
  • When workers are masters of all things, but are recognised for little
  • Chatty staff or just plain gossip
  • All alone together? Working semi-independently
  • Why “being authentic” makes a real difference to the way you communicate
  • Best ways to deal with passive aggression
  • Understanding open disclosure
  • When and how to apologise

Need for Program

Frontline administrative staff have a central role in ensuring a clinic, ward or even a practice is functioning well. The challenges of this role are ever-present, due to a complex range of reasons, including the fast turn around of patients, the rapid turnover of staff, the constant changes to policies and procedures and the vigilance required to keep abreast of all that is happening. All of these changes result in a need for high-level communication and interpersonal skills.

Purpose of Program

This seminar provides frontline administrative staff who work in healthcare with essential interpersonal skills to enhance and confidently perform their roles.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate with ease during complex situations with patients, team members and others
  2. Develop clear personal and professional boundaries so that role confusion will be prevented
  3. Apply the principles of open disclosure and apologise appropriately
  4. Use a range of techniques to manage and prevent work-related conflict


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Welcome and Introduction


The Glue in Healthcare Environments – The Importance of Administrative Staff

Ward clerks and administrative healthcare staff members are critical in a healthcare environment. They are the glue that keeps the hospital or clinic together. This session will explore frontline administration staff and their impact on a healthcare environment. It includes:

  • How do ward clerks/admin staff provide organisational support?
  • How does the role impact patient-care time, discharge, and patient safety?
  • What are the responsibilities and scope of practice in this position?


Master of All Things?

In this session, we will explore your various roles. We will look at your areas of concern and the emerging challenges you face on a day-to-day basis. It includes:

  • What are the most challenging interpersonal aspects of your work?
  • Which type of interpersonal skills are you likely to require in the near and distant future to adequately fulfil your role?

10:30am - Morning Tea


All Alone Together? Working Semi-Independently in a Complex Healthcare Environment

Many work environments are becoming increasingly demanding and complex, leading to increased reliance on the ability of team members to self-manage. In this session, we will look at some of the challenges you face when working in this semi-independent position. Discussion group includes:

  • What are the most important aspects of self-management in your role?
  • Are there common themes across the group?


Chatty Staff or Workplace Gossip?

Gossiping is bad news and creates a situation where no one wins. Sometimes rumours grow to lies and small, even inadvertent, comments and opinions can create disunity or a lack of trust that may leave people feeling isolated and unhappy. This session will discuss the importance of staying out of workplace drama and how to maintain and set high standards when you believe people are splitting the team. In this session, you will discuss:

  • Is gossip ever good?
  • If you are the target of hostility and workplace gossip, what should you do?
  • How can you easily manage a gossip situation?
  • How can you not take home the stresses of workplace drama or issues?

1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


Emotional Intelligence – How to Make It Work for You!

Having the capacity to recognise your own emotions as you switch between moods is a great skill. Being able to use this awareness to guide your behaviour is even better. This session looks at the power of emotional intelligence and how you can make it work for you. It includes:

  • Getting in touch with your emotional triggers
  • How to draw on your emotional intelligence in a tough situation


Open Disclosure and When and How to Apologise

Apologising and open disclosure in healthcare settings is fraught with myths and problems about what you should, can and cannot say. This session discusses:

  • What to do if a patient asks you about an untoward event caused by a health intervention

3:15pm - Afternoon Tea


Five Minutes Is All It Takes … Quickly Wind Down at the End of a Busy Day

Your health matters. Being highly stressed or anxious can have all sorts of untoward effects physically, emotionally, cognitively and in our relationships. Preen your immune system by learning how to rapidly unwind. This final session of day one will teach you useful techniques to calm yourself. It includes:

  • Not just breathing in and breathing out … What is the formula that gives you maximum relaxation?


Review of Key Learning Outcomes

4:15pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Refresh and Recharge: Key Learning Outcomes of Day One


Cutting Through – Effective Workplace Communications and Assertiveness

Without a doubt, one of the key competencies of a ward clerk, receptionist or admin assistant is the ability to communicate. Indeed, your job is likely to turn on this ability. You may already be a good communicator, but there is always more to consider and understand. This fun session workshops your different communication styles and looks at:

  • How good at communicating are you … really?
  • Do you hear or do you listen?
  • What should you know about body language?
  • Why is perception a wild card and what’s the importance of realising this fact?
  • Why is unconditional positive regard so important?
  • What is the difference between being passive, assertive or aggressive?

10:30am - Morning Tea


Customer Service and Authenticity

Organisations are increasingly concerned about how staff members respond to patients’ needs and enquiries. Our clients are, by the very nature of healthcare, in a vulnerable situation. When humans feel vulnerable, frightened or unwell, the slightest sense of being disregarded, unheard or undervalued can exacerbate the situation. Of course, it also reflects poorly on the reputation of the organisation, which might be the only organisation the person can access with their condition or the one on which the community relies. This session includes:

  • How can you ensure that you come across as a concerned representative of your service?
  • Which standards should guide you?
  • Which types of communication are most helpful when dealing with patients and relatives, and why?
  • Is it a good thing to always keep cool around demanding people?
  • Does zero tolerance work in regard to unacceptable behaviours?
  • What should you do when unreasonable expectations are expressed by staff or patients?

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


“Ohhhh … Just Go Away!” Dealing with Conflict at Work

This session explores conflict and why disruptive behaviours should be quickly dealt with. It will provide you with language to use that can diminish awkward situations. Topics include:

  • Understanding conflict – is a conflict-free workplace a realistic goal?
  • Why is an understanding of your motivations, attitudes and response patterns important?
  • How can you identify unhelpful conflict that interferes with service activities, staff morale and work conditions?
  • How can you deal with unreasonable expectations and manipulative behaviours?
  • What are the key negotiating tactics for achieving conflict resolution?


Sulking, Moodiness and How to Deal with Passive Aggression

Passive aggression is one of the most challenging behaviours you may come across at work. It is connected to safety, service reliability, team performance and customer experience, and as such it is an organisational issue. In this session, we will talk about some of the reasons it arises and discuss possible ways to manage it.

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Taking Your Improvements Back to Your Workplace

This final session reviews your learning experience. It is now time to make a plan for improvement that can be immediately deployed in your workplace. It includes:

  • Is there one thing you could put in place that would enhance your interpersonal skills?
  • What three changes will you make that will strengthen the way you work?
  • Do you have a personal plan for your next independent learning experience?

4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

educator image

Vivien Lane

Dr Vivien Lane is a nurse clinician who specialises in oncology and palliative care, with over three decades’ experience in education, research, and policy-making. Vivien's doctorate (2001) developed a "nursical" perspective on women's experiences of pap smears. Her research findings predicted the paradigm shift towards vaccinating both sexes against human papillomavirus (HPV). Vivien has held academic appointments at the University of Technology (UTS) and the University of Sydney, and she was a member of the inaugural Board of the Cancer Institute, NSW. Read More
Ward Clerks, Receptionists and Admin Assistants – Front of Desk and on the Front Line Seminar
Surry Hills