Help your chiropractic assistants make your practice the best it can be
While it is true that going through the hiring and training process for chiropractic assistants can be frustrating, tedious and even sometimes overwhelming, you will need to be patient and take the time to make sure you have chiropractic assistants who are a good fit for your practice.
After all, your chiropractic assistants represent your brand, so they must reflect the same high standard to which you hold yourself and your chiropractic skills. Are there things to look for in your CAs that might tell you where they will best fit in your office? How can you guide them so that both your practice and your CAs will grow?
The right CA for the right job
Do you have a CA who has that knack to strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger and instantly put them at ease? If so, that is the CA you want at your front desk to greet patients as they first come through the door.
Nothing will put patients at ease faster than a warm, friendly receptionist. On the other hand, a CA with a gift for numbers and the patience to deal with bureaucracy will probably be the perfect billing manager and insurance coordinator for you. Somebody who can successfully wrangle with insurance companies and Medicare is an absolute godsend for making sure you are on top of getting all the reimbursements you are due.
The point is that you need to evaluate each CA’s skill sets to see where they excel and then assign them roles that allow them to shine. While your receptionist may do well at billing, why not have your billing superstar in that role? Of course, the same is true for possibly not wanting your billing person handling the front desk or the phones.
The importance of cross-training
Now that you have your chiropractic assistants in the roles that best suit their skills, you should be set, right? While you may think this is the case, what happens if your receptionist goes out on family leave? You still need somebody to check in your patients and answer the phone. This is when the importance of cross-training your staff becomes vital.
While you cannot necessarily expect your billing manager to do as good a job at the front desk as your receptionist, there must be a certain level of professionalism and ability that you should insist upon for all of your staff. Cross-training your staff has the added bonus of making each of your chiropractic assistants feel as though they are an integrated part of your team.
Keep your options flexible
For many people, today’s work/life balance is very different than it was 10, or even five years ago. Many more couples are starting families later in life, juggling freelance work on the side or opting to work remotely. The upshot of this for your practice is that you would be well-served to be flexible with your own staff in terms of hours, leave or work location. Some ideas might be, as mentioned above, cross-training to allow a team member to have longer family leave time or letting some staff work remotely on certain days.
Think of it this way — if you tell your patients they need to have a better work/life balance, the same is probably also true for both you and your staff. If you want chiropractic assistants to give their best to your practice, you need to invest time and resources to give them the opportunity to be their best.
TINA BEYCHOK is an editor and writer with expertise in technical, academic and scientific materials. She is a regular contributor to Chiropractic Economics and resides in Long Beach, Calif. Her online portfolio can be viewed at thatwordgrrl.com, and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.