The Silent Force of the Office: What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?

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female administrative assistant wearing a leopard scarf types on her computer

Every morning, I step into the familiar hustle and bustle of the Mountainside Chappaqua office. 9 am clients are about to head out the door and the 10 am group clients are making their way in for another valuable therapy session with one of our clinicians. As soon as I take a seat at the front desk, I know I am in for another day of challenges and accomplishments as an administrative assistant.

It is a role that requires juggling multiple tasks, staying organized, and being the go-to person for everything from managing schedules to solving unexpected problems.

A Look at the Typical Administrative Assistant Routine

The very first task I do is to check my inbox. The morning rush is all about sorting through emails, prioritizing tasks, and making a to-do list that helps me get ready to tackle anything that comes my way. As the day progresses, multiple Post-it notes appear on my desk with quick reminders.

I am the first point of contact for the office. As clients come in, I offer them a bottle of water or a cup of coffee, something that makes them feel welcome. Our Chappaqua clients know me by name. I genuinely enjoy the life updates clients give me when checking in and waiting for their appointments.

Collaborating with Clients and Clinicians

If a client comes in or calls with a question, I quickly determine how to most efficiently help the client. They might ask for information about support groups, virtual therapy, and our treatment programs. Many people have insurance questions, so I connect them with our billing team to help them get their questions answered.

Additionally, I coordinate with our clinical staff to ensure that appointments are confirmed and rescheduled if needed. As we get initial intake emails for new clients, I coordinate with our Program Manager and the client to find the best availability that works with everyone’s schedule.

What to Expect as an Administrative Assistant

Ensuring that the day is optimized for productivity is a daily puzzle. The constant shuffle of appointments and last-minute changes keeps me on my toes, but I embrace it all with a sense of purpose. No two days are alike in the life of an administrative assistant. Unexpected challenges are part of the gig, and the ability to adapt and problem-solve is one of my superpowers.

Navigating through a sea of reports is another one of my responsibilities. I meticulously review all reports that come across my desk to ensure that all information is accurate and accessible to the relevant clinical and medical staff.

Scheduling meetings are a significant part of an administrative assistant’s role. They allow team members to share wins and collaborate to find solutions. Meetings with the other administrative assistants are my favorite because we can catch up and bounce ideas off one another and share what works best in each office.

From emailing virtual Psych appointment invites, preparing agendas, or even running down to the mail room to gather the mail, the administrative assistant is the silent force that keeps everything running smoothly.

Reflecting on the Rewards and Joys of my Job

As 5 pm approaches, I take a moment to reflect on my accomplishments and areas of improvement for tomorrow. I tidy up my desk and toss the scribbled-up Post-it notes in the garbage. I look to the rest of the week and make a mini checklist to prepare for the following day.

Each day brings new experiences, and the satisfaction of contributing to the office’s efficiency keeps me motivated. Being an administrative assistant is not just a job; it is a dynamic and essential role that requires adaptability, organization, and a knack for problem-solving.

You need to be personable and kind to each person who walks through Mountainside’s doors. One experience that sticks out in my head is a client whom I regularly talked to in the lobby came out of their coaching session and said that I was in their “circle of trust.” This was unexpected and I was grateful that I was able to form a strong connection with that person.

Every answered call, scheduled appointment, and greeting is a small but important piece of the puzzle. I’m grateful to be part of each client’s recovery journey, cheering them on from when they first walk into the Chappaqua office to when they are ready to leave treatment.

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