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Wanting to change career and progress further into medical secretary work

10 replies

Housingcraze · 18/07/2017 14:01

I want to slowly do a medical secretary diploma, but having doubts

Has anyone done courses with Pitman Training are they as good as they make out to be???

They're medical secretary course is a level 2 not a level 3, and has AMSPAR medical terminology course and city guilds weighting.
But its costing £2800.00

AMSPAR has a distant course at 1000 for level 3 diploma which sounds amazing but i want flexibility to be able to work elsewhere than medical and possible starting A degree in september so would use this as a holiday job in between as a temp, bank, agency work. to save up.I dont like the idea of distant learning so chose Pitman but its 3-4 times more expensive. I hope to be studying Pharmaceutical sciences at university.

So was going to do the Medical office award as s starting place -
I will study 3 modules Medical audio Transcription, Medical Word processing, and Medical terminology and typaz professional (touch typing) for in total £1100.00 - my concern is its only 55 CPD and diploma 240 CPD ( no idea what the CPD is for)
even if it just gets me into NHS on a medical reception job - ive applied for 60-150 nhs admin jobs - and had no luck at even being interviewed.

AIBU spending this not knowing whether this company Pitman training are any good? can anyone else who done the courses give me a heads up, or anyone who see this courses on a CV, more likely to hire them than someone without???

Is pitman reconised throughout Administration Business in general?

OP posts:

ReinettePompadour · 18/07/2017 14:07

If youre going to University then your University should have a 'job shop' available via student services/welfare.

Approach them and ask them to help you find a medical secretary/admin role part time while you study. It will save you thousands and give you more useful experience than just another course.

However, I know several medical secretaries and not one did AMSPAR or Pitman. They just had general secretarial experience and got a post via NHS jobs on the bank secretarial staff. Medical Secretary qualifications, like Legal Secretary qualifications, really only get recognised in their own industry and its not really considered a recognisable qualification in general administrative roles.


rabbitcakes · 18/07/2017 14:15

I wouldn't bother with that qualification. A foot in the door with the NHS is much better. Once you're in you can move about.


wheredoesallthetimego · 18/07/2017 14:19

The NHS is outsourcing much of his work to India. It's poorly paid and thankless unless you're considering private sector.


Housingcraze · 18/07/2017 14:19

This is the issue i cant get a foot in the door, even with apprenticeships!
I cant even get a admin job, all i get is call centre work.

My course will be too intense to be able to work part time unless nhs starts wanting medical secretaries to work saturday and sundays. My course is 9-5 Monday to Friday

My local hospital actually now requests certain courses before they even look at your CV or application.

OP posts:

Polarbearflavour · 18/07/2017 16:32

Have you tried NHS bank work? They are always short of audio typists/ward clerks/data entry clerks/medical secretaries. Each Trust should have it's own internal staff bank. There are odd weekend shifts going and it's flexible if you want to pick up shifts in uni holidays. You can look at private hospitals and GP surgeries too.

I really wouldn't bother paying for training!

As someone else has said, most NHS audio typing is outsourced to India or the Philippines now or it will all be automated dictation in the next few years anyway.

I really wouldn't bother with the NHS! Most Trusts have downgraded their medical secs to band 3s - that's 16-18k a year outside London. I used to be a band 4 but now they are making band 4s into senior med secs (line managers) which used to be a band 5 job.

With respect - if you have applied for over 60 NHS admin jobs with no luck, can you get somebody to look over your application form and assist you to make it stronger? You need to work through the job description as they will list the essential and desirable skills, qualifications and attributes for the role.


notreallythere · 18/07/2017 19:42

I'm in two minds about this. While I did start as a filing clerk with no experience 5 years ago and worked my way up to medical secretary, I know my managers now claim to be unable to hire junior administrators as 'no-one has the qualifications'. It doesn't take long to learn the skills on the job, but they don't seem willing to invest the time on new starters without experience. So you're in a bit of a bind. If you can convince them at interview that your existing skills will transfer well then that will help.


Polarbearflavour · 18/07/2017 20:32

Why not do a free course? Vision2Learn do a Business Admin Level 2 course via distance learning - which I have done!

There's also an IT one, customer service and a working in the health sector one.

At one time the NHS used to pay for courses - not any more.

You could always do a medical terminology course (£49.50) and see if that helps you to get a job without forking out £2000!

I've had a quick look on Reed courses. I can't vouch for them and you will have to investigate but they have ones like this:

Audio typing is pretty easy if you can type well, I was doing some temping work filing in an NHS office when I was handed the headphones and a tape and asked to help out with the huge backlog of typing!


wizzywig · 18/07/2017 20:35

My husbands a gp. None of his medical secretaries have that qualification. But most admin people have gotten their job based on knowing the right people.


indigox · 18/07/2017 20:47

Is there an issue with your CV?

There's little point spending £3k on a course for a job you won't be doing that often once you start uni.


Musicaltheatremum · 18/07/2017 20:48

I'm a GP too we have trained up our own secretaries. Have you ever thought of applying to be a receptionist (you don't have to be a tiger to be one) and then getting in that way. We have one secretary only who works part time but is brilliant. She came from another surgery and has trained up another of our receptionists to cover her in her absence. Once you get your foot in the door you can be sent on courses.

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