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BD7 – Lesson 1 – How to Mail Merge (Medical)

A Mail Merge can be performed by opening Word and going to the MAILINGS tab on the ribbon.  To complete a successful merge, there are 5 basic steps.  Lets run through them before you put them into practice in the assignments.

Step 1 – Setup the Basic Main Document

All mail merges require 2 files – a main document and a data source. The main document contains the text that is the same in all the merged documents.

By clicking on the Start Mail Merge button on the Mailings tab, you will see the list of different main documents you can choose from.

Select the main document you wish to use.

If it is a letter, you can open an existing document or you can create a new document, ensuring all the text is thoroughly proof read.

Ensure the document is saved before moving onto the next step.

Step 2 – Select or Create a Data Source

The data source provides the information that is unique in each individual document e.g. name and address.

On the Mailings tab click on the Select Recipients button.

If you do not have the data source set up, you will need to create this document as well.  In which case select the option to Type a New List.

If you do have a data source document setup, select Use an Existing List and navigate to the data source file in the File Explorer window that appears.

The third and final option is to use contacts direct from Outlook by selecting Choose from Outlook Contacts.

Further instructions for each of these options, as well as editing your data course, will be covered in more detail in the next lesson.

Step 3 – Insert the Data Source Fields

After the main document is set and the recipient list is connected and edited, including matching only certain records, you are ready to insert the merge fields in the main document.

These are placeholders in the main document for the unique information from the recipients list data source.  Therefore, when you put a merge field in the main document, information from that field will appear in the document that is unique to that recipient.

With the main document open, place the cursor where you wish to insert the first merge field.

There are 3 buttons you can use to insert merge fields, Address BlockGreeting Line and Insert Merge Fields.  They are all self-explanatory but worth noting that the Insert Merge Fields option is a drop-down menu where you can choose from the range of merge fields to insert, so will probably be your first port of call in most instances.

When you insert a merge field into the main document, you will see chevrons appear either side of the field name e.g. <First Name> which helps you to distinguish between ordinary text and fields.

Continue to add the different merge fields to your main document until you have all the fields in the right places.  Make sure there is a space after the field name where necessary so the text is inserted correctly.

If using the Address Block feature, you may need to help Word by matching fields with your data list.  For example, your data list may have a column titled Office Address, and Word may not pick up that this is the same as Address 1 which it refers to.  In which case, you can simply use the Match Fields button to tell Word how you want your data to be linked.  The same applied for the Greeting Line feature, although is of course less-likely to run into such problems.

Step 4- Previewing the Mail Merge

It is helpful to see what the data will look like once it has been inserted into a document. You can use the preview option to check that all is well before you finish the merge.

Use the Preview Results button on the Mailings tab – and you will see the data from the first record is merged into the document.

You can browse through the different records to see how several merged documents will appear.

You can also simulate the mail merge process to make sure it will run smoothly before performing the final merge.

If you click on the Auto Check for Errors button and then the Simulate the merge and report errors in a new document button.

Step 5 – Completing the Mail Merge

Once you have previewed how the main document and data source merge and everything looks fine, you are ready to complete the mail merge.

Click on the Finish & Merge button and then choose from one of the three options;

  • Edit Individual Documents
  • Print Documents
  • Send Email Documents

You will have the option to select which records you wish to merge before the merge is carried out.

Let’s have a look at a basic mail merge in action. The video below shows how to use Mail Merge to add addresses and names to a letter using a data source that has already been created in Excel.

As mentioned, you will get a chance to run through this procedure on the assignments in this unit. Move on to Lesson 2 – Creating & Editing Data Sources when ready.

BD7 – Mail Merge (Medical)

Your Tutor for this unit is;

Rebecca Harvey

In Unit BD7 you will be learning how to create a Mail Merge in Word.

Mail merge letters are used to send the same or similar documents to many different people or organisations.

As you can add the recipients’ name, address, salutation etc., the letters feel more personal than circular letters that are not addressed to anyone in particular.

You can link up with data which has already been created to perform the mail merge e.g. a table.

Different data sources can be selected to merge with the same document if necessary.

This unit has plenty of assignments to help you build your Mail Merge skills in preparation for the mocks and exam.

You may begin Lesson 1 – How to Mail Merge when ready.

Medical Terminology Introduction

Your Tutor for the Medical Terminology is;

Rebecca Harvey


For the Medical Terminology section of your course, you will cover 17 units  which will build your knowledge of medical terminology covering the whole body.

You will learn the theory behind the medical terms before working on key concepts and then the practical construction in each section.

You will then build on solid ground as your level of understanding develops from one exercise to the next.

As you are learning how to spell medical terms correctly, checking your work is a key aspect of learning medical terminology.

It is good practice to complete the exercise and then leave it for another day to check through again before submitting.  Get into the habit of checking your work referring to any guides and information documents provided as well as your medical terminology text book.

As you complete exercises for each unit and send them to your tutor for marking, it is a good idea to create folders on your computer for each individual unit, for example Unit MT1 – Basic Term Construction, Unit MT2 – the Digestive System etc.

Your tutor will return your completed exercises with notes and annotations, so we advise you to save these annotated, marked exercises in the unit folders for later use.

Medical Terminology Exam

After you have completed all 17 units, your tutor will be in touch to provide access to our Medical Terminology Revision Quizzes on the Hub as well as to provide additional support and advice for carrying out revision.

Once you have carried out some revision, you will start to complete mock/practice exam papers in preparation for the final Medical Terminology exam. These will be sent to you via email from your tutor who will individually mark each and provide feedback as well as your mark for that mock/practice exam paper.

You will continue to complete mock/practice exam papers until you are at a sufficient standard and ready to sit the exam.

Ready to make a start then on your first unit when ready – enjoy!

Time Management: Tips for Executive Assistants

As an Executive Assistant, your time management skills are essential in order to successfully manage your Director’s/CEO’s schedule and ensure that all of their priorities are taken care of. Juggling a million different tasks at once can be overwhelming, but if you use the right time management best practices, you can organise your time more efficiently and reduce your stress levels. Here are some tips and best practices that will help you:

Prioritising Tasks

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

There are always more things to do than there is time to do them. To be productive, it’s important to learn how to prioritise tasks.

  • Make a list of everything that needs to be done.
  • Rank the items on the list according to importance.
  • Also consider how much time they need for you to complete them as well and if you need to liaise with others on anything before you can proceed.
  • Contact others at the beginning of the day for anything you need so hopefully you will have their feedback/information you may need before you get to the relevant task later in the day making sure you provide guidance as to when you need the information by.
  • Start with the most important tasks and work your way down.
  • By using importance as your marker, you will reduce your stress as the day moves on as you will know the most important tasks have been dealt with.
  • The tasks may also get easier to complete as you progress through your list so your day gets lighter.


Scheduling Meetings Effectively

“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” – Henry Kissinger

There are a few key things to remember when scheduling a meeting. The first is to make sure the time works for everyone involved. The second is to pick a location that is convenient for everyone. And the third is to send out an agenda in advance of the meeting. But that’s not all! Here is a handy list of best practices that will help you:

  • Always send a meeting invite with an agenda. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect from the meeting.
  • Make sure to schedule enough time for the meeting. Meetings can often go off track, so it’s important to allow for some flexibility.  People need time before and after as well.
  • Choose a time that is convenient for all attendees. If possible, try to avoid scheduling meetings during peak hours.
  • If someone is unable to attend, be sure to reschedule the meeting if that person’s attendance is essential

If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to scheduling effective meetings!


“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

Email can be hugely time-consuming; however, it is an important communication tool for both personal and professional use. Here are some ways to minimise the time you spend on it.

  • Use filters and folders to organise your email. This will help you quickly find the messages you need.
  • Delete unimportant emails immediately.
  • Respond to emails by order of importance – an email asking if you would like to subscribe to another newsletter is not as important as an email confirming travel arrangements from your manager!
  • Set aside time each day to deal with email.


Handling Calls

“Just in a professional world, sometimes a phone call is definitely more meaningful than a text.” – Kevin Harvick

There are a few key things to keep in mind when answering the phone as an Executive Assistant:

  • Be prepared. If it’s a call you are expecting, have all of the necessary information readily available, including the callers’ name and any other pertinent data.
  • Greet the caller by name. This will help to personalise the interaction and show that you’re taking the time to listen.
  • Listen actively. Repeat back what you’ve heard the caller say, and ask questions if you need clarification. This will help ensure that you’re presenting the best possible impression to the caller.
  • Stay positive. No matter how challenging a call may be!



“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.” – Frank Zappa

We’ve all been there… Drowning in paperwork with no system in place to make heads or tails of it. Well, fear not, dear reader as here are some tips to help with your paperwork woes:

  • Keep your desk clean and organised.
  • Have specific places for things like pens, paper, folders, etc. This will help you save time when looking for something specific.
  • Create a filing system that works for you. This can be anything from alphabetical order to colour coding. Just make sure it’s easy for you to follow!
  • Label everything! This may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to forget what everything is when you’re in a rush


Working with Teams

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek

No one works in a vacuum. Even the most independent Executive Assistant has to work with teams at some point – whether it’s a team of contractors, colleagues, or employees. When it comes to working with teams, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities. This will help ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and avoid confusion.
  • Communicate effectively. Make sure you are clear and concise in your communications and take the time to listen to what others have to say. Check things with the team on a regular basis to make sure nothing is missing or misunderstood.  Very easy to do.
  • Be patient. Teams are not always going to work perfectly right from the start – give them time to develop and grow.


Travelling as an Executive Assistant

“Running to the departure gate is my cardio” – Unknown

As an Executive Assistant, you may be asked to travel with your boss for work-related reasons. Whether it’s a quick trip to a nearby city or a long journey overseas, being prepared will make the experience easier for both you and your boss. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your travels:

  • Pack light. You don’t want to be lugging heavy suitcases around airports and train stations. Try to pack only what you need, and remember that you can always buy things once you’re there.
  • Make copies of important documents. In case you lose your passport or tickets, having copies will make life a lot easier.
  • Stay organised. Keep a folder with all of your travel documents (passport, tickets, etc.) and make sure to put everything back in its place when you’re done with it. This will help avoid any confusion down the road.
  • Pack snacks and drinks. Airports and train stations can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to pack some snacks and drinks to keep you going.
  • Be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to adapt if necessary.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport/train station.  You may also need to work on the way and keep in touch with both your boss and the office so make sure the technology you are taking with you is set up for this.


Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Courtney Milender

There is no magic formula for maintaining a perfect work-life balance, but there are certain tips that can help make the balancing act a little bit easier.

  • Make a list of priorities and try to stick to them as closely as possible.
  • Set realistic goals for both work and home life and try not to overcommit yourself.
  • Take some time for yourself every day to relax and rejuvenate.
  • Communicate openly with your boss and colleagues about the hours you are available to work.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t have the time or energy to take on another task.
  • Take advantage of technology and tools that can help you stay organised and efficient.
  • Try to maintain a positive attitude and be patient with yourself – it takes time to find the perfect balance.


In Conclusion

As an Executive Assistant you are responsible for a lot of tasks, and managing your time is essential. We hope this article provides you with some tips for effective time management. By following these tips, you, in your role as an Executive Assistant should get more done in less time.

If you are looking to become an Executive Assistant, we offer industry-recognised and NCFE CQ certified qualifications that can help you on your way to becoming a qualified EA.

View our courses page here.

Please also don’t forget to like and follow us on our social media channels, and comment on this article to share your own time management tips!

Team Management: 9 Tips for Executive Assistants.

Team management is a critical skill for Executive Assistants. They are often the first line of defence when it comes to maintaining the smooth operations of their team. From handling conflicts among team members to ensuring deadlines are met, Executive Assistants shoulder a lot of responsibility in ensuring their team runs like a well-oiled machine.

Here are 9 tips for effective team management!

1. Establish a clear vision and communicate it effectively to your team.

When you establish a clear vision and communicate it effectively to your team, you are setting the tone for success. Your team needs to know where the company is going and what is expected of them. When everyone is on the same page, it makes it easier to achieve common goals.

Your vision should be specific and measurable. It should also be something that inspires your team and excites them about the future of the company. Once you have communicated your vision, it is important to follow up with regular updates so that everyone remains focused on the goal.

2. Set goals and priorities, and make sure everyone is aware of them.

A successful team sets and communicates goals and priorities. Without a clear idea of what the team is trying to achieve, it can be difficult to make decisions or know where to allocate resources.

A good way to start is by establishing short-term and long-term goals. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Once these are in place, it’s important to create a plan for how they will be achieved and share this with all members of the team. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together.

3. Delegate authority and responsibility wisely.

An Executive Assistant in the role of team leader should delegate authority and responsibility wisely. When this is done correctly, it can free up the EA to focus on more important tasks. It can also help team members feel more empowered and motivated.

There are a few key things to remember when delegating authority and responsibility:

– Delegate tasks that are within the employee’s skill set.

– Assign tasks that are challenging but still achievable.

– Make sure employees have the resources they need to complete their tasks.

– Clearly define the expectations for each task.

– Follow up with employees to ensure tasks are completed

4. Encourage creativity and innovation.

No matter what industry you’re in as an Executive Assistant, creativity and innovation are always going to be important factors in any successful team. Whether it’s coming up with new ideas to keep things fresh or finding new ways to solve problems, being able to think outside the box is essential for any team that wants to stay ahead of the competition.

There are a few ways you can encourage creativity and innovation in your employees. First, you need to create a positive and supportive environment. Team members need to feel like they can take risks without fear of retribution.

Second, you need to provide them with the tools they need to be creative and innovative. This includes things like brainstorming tools, software, and creative resources. Finally, you need to encourage and reward creativity and innovation. This can be done through things like competitions, awards, and recognition.

5. Reward hard work and success.

There are several ways you can reward your team for their good work. With a little creativity, you can come up with a system that perfectly suits your company culture and motivates your team to keep up the good work.

I’ve never met an employee who didn’t like getting a gift card for their favourite store! Whatever you do, make sure you show your appreciation for their efforts.

This not only builds morale within the company, but it also encourages employees to work harder and achieve greater success.

6. Address problems and issues as soon as they arise.

When a problem or issue arises in your team, address it as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to resolve. Not only will this show your team that you care about their wellbeing, but it will also help you keep track of any potential negative sentiment.

7. Maintain an open line of communication with your team members.

Team management is all about maintaining an open line of communication with your team members. This is key to a successful team. By communicating effectively, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what their responsibilities are. Additionally, by communicating openly you can build trust and respect within your team.

There are a number of different ways to communicate with your team. Some of the most common methods include email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. However, you should choose the method that works best for your team and use it regularly.

8. Stay up-to-date on changes in your industry.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on changes in your industry. As an Executive Assistant, you should always be learning and expanding your knowledge. Subscribe to industry newsletters, read trade publications, and attend industry events.

You should also keep an eye on the competition. What are they doing? What new products or services are they releasing? How are they marketing themselves? What can you learn from them?

By staying up-to-date on changes in your industry, you’ll be able to keep your team competitive and continue to grow.

9. Be a leader, not a dictator.

No one likes a dictator. We all know one or have worked for one at some point in our lives. As a leader, you need to be able to set the tone and direction for your team, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a dictator. In fact, being a dictator will only lead to resentment and a lack of creativity and innovation in your team.

A good leader understands that their team is their most valuable asset. They motivate their team by setting challenging goals, providing feedback, and recognizing their team’s accomplishments. Leaders also know how to manage difficult conversations and give constructive feedback to their teams.


By following these tips, you can create a productive and effective team. To learn more about managing a team, visit our website and explore our Executive Assistant courses that include a unit on team management.

0% finance now avaialble on all our courses with our ethical funding partner, Knoma. Visit our course page.

Medical Secretary: The Ultimate Guide

A Medical Secretary is an important member of any medical office. They perform a variety of tasks that keep the office running smoothly.

Medical Secretaries must have good computer/IT skills and have excellent organisational skills. They need to be able to handle a lot of paperwork, stay organised in a busy office environment and be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. They also need to be good with people, as they often deal directly with patients, doctors, GPs and other medical staff and colleagues under stress.

Other tasks include handling patient records, scheduling appointments, and preparing reports. They also play an important role in patient communication by answering phones and responding to emails. Good communication skills are therefore essential, as is a willingness to learn new things.

Duties of a Medical Secretary

Medical Secretaries have a wide range of duties, which can be divided into three categories: clinical, administrative and secretarial.

Clinical duties include tasks such as preparing patients for examination and treatment, updating medical records, and ordering and stocking supplies.

Administrative duties involve managing the office budget, scheduling appointments, and handling correspondence.

Secretarial duties include typing letters and reports, formatting documents, and making travel arrangements.

Skills Needed

Organisational Skills – Medical Secretaries are responsible for managing a great deal of paperwork. They must be able to keep track of patient records, schedules, and appointment information. They also need to be able to stay organised in order to keep the office in good working order. Good organisational skills are essential for this position.

A good typing speed – The average medical secretary types at 45 words per minute with 80% accuracy or better. Medical secretarial duties include creating, editing, and formatting patient records and summary reports, scheduling appointments, writing correspondence and responding to email messages, generated by medical staff. Also, they create medical PowerPoint presentations, manage office spreadsheets and in general lift the administrative burden.

Courteous attitude – It is important that Medical Secretaries are friendly and have a courteous manner when interacting with patients. They are on the frontline working directly with patients so it is important that they are helpful and promote a positive image.

An effective communicator – Of course, it takes more than being able to answer the phone to communicate professionally with patients and the rest of the people outside the clinic. Medical Secretaries will also need to organise and coordinate so that the practice, clinic or hospital department runs smoothly.

Salary and Career Path

The average annual salary for a Medical Secretary is £23,025. However, this number can range from £20,801 for entry-level positions to £27,677 for more experienced Medical Secretaries. The career path of a Medical Secretary is relatively straightforward.

They usually start out as a receptionist or assistant and work their way up the ladder. There are many opportunities for advancement in this field. Medical Secretaries can become Managers, Trainers, or even owners of their own businesses.

How to Become a Medical Secretary

If you want to become a Medical Secretary, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. First, get some experience in the medical field by volunteering or working as a medical assistant.

Next, get certified by taking a course from an accredited training organisation to help teach and develop all the skills needed to become a Medical Secretary and so that you have formal recognition of these skills in the form of certificates.

Qualifications Needed

One of the most important qualifications is having excellent computer/IT skills. Most of the work in this field is done on computers. You will be required to use a variety of software programs such as Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint, to complete your tasks, so it is important to be comfortable with these as well.

Another important qualification is being able to type quickly and accurately. As a medical secretary, you will be responsible for entering patients’ details accurately.

Finally, it can be helpful to have a good understanding and knowledge of medical terminology as you will be dealing with medical terminology in all sorts of documents and situations when working as a Medical Secretary.

Here at Lewis College, we offer two Medical Secretary Diplomas – a full course and then a short course which purely focuses on the main skills needed to become a Medical Secretary.

Both are fully accredited by NCFE, a UK awarding body that provides nationally recognised qualifications and awards in vocational skills. NCFE is recognised as an awarding body by the qualification regulators, the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual).

0% finance available on all courses with our ethical funding partner, Knoma.

For more information on either course, you can visit our Medical Secretary course page.