We spend more time at work than with family, friends and hobbies combined. We have only one life and a third of it is work. You may or may not like your present job and you may or may not believe you can find something to love.Take a look at your skills and interests and find something that you love about your work. You are the person with the most to gain.
Recently, a CA complained to me that she wanted to change jobs because her doctor was not doing enough to help her professionally. I asked her whom she thought was the person most interested in her development. Of course, the answer was her. Take charge of your own growth.
Work should be fun. A job can give you success, victories and both personal and professional growth. It can allow you to contribute to something important and be the source of meaningful and positive relationships. If you are doing something that you love every day, you can only be productive. Passion equals productivity! As a CA, if you love the patients who come into your practice, then you look forward to seeing them. If you love (or at least like a lot) your co-workers and boss, you enjoy going to work each day. If you are passionate about chiropractic, then you want to tell everyone you know about it.
Let's dissect the chiropractic practice and see how each team member can help create a positive, productive environment that will contribute to a more profitable practice.
The Doctor: Is the doctor(s) happy and excited to come to the office every day? Do they set a good example by doing what they tell patients to do; e.g., work out, eat well, think positively and have healthy relationships with family, friends and patients? Does the doctor train themselves and the staff regularly? Spend time each week going over goals and statistics, read, participate in seminars or masterminds, learn new techniques and build relationships with others in the community on a consistent basis.
Front-Desk CA: I prefer to call this position Patient Coordinator. Let's update the wording, since the patient coordinator is the backbone of the office. Without them, patients would not be held accountable for appointments, exams, referrals, and many other responsibilities of the person who really does know the most about the patients. The patient coordinator must be caring, organized, motivated, attentive, dependable, and disciplined and have an excellent attitude, for they are the glue that holds the team together.
Another important aspect of this position is knowledge of chiropractic and making patients feel comfortable that your doctor is knowledgeable about chiropractic. Whenever someone calls the office, the front-desk CA makes the first impression. And remember, you don't usually get a second chance to make a first impression! An example of this recently occurred when a patient coordinator from a practice that I consult had a potential new patient call and ask if the doctor does applied kinesiology. Although the patient coordinator did not really know what A.K. was, she told the potential new patient that "Dr. _______ knows many different types of techniques, including A.K., and uses them accordingly."
It turned out that the new patient came in and did not even know what A.K. was, but had been told by her former chiropractor that if a chiropractor knew A.K., then they were a good chiropractor. She also stated that she had called six other offices and none of the girls who answered the phone knew of A.K. (I have worked with chiropractors for 30 years and had never heard of anyone looking for a chiropractor in this way!)
The patient coordinator has other important responsibilities; they are usually the one who knows everything about all of the patients: when they are on vacation, when something happens in their lives, good or bad, why they miss an appointment, and in general some of the things that go on in their lives. It is up to the patient coordinator to report to the doctor all that they know and keep the doctor and team current in the lives of our patients.
Back-Office CA or Patient Liaison: This individual should be someone with a very upbeat personality, high energy level, good communication skills and an ability to multi-task well. This person also must be dependable; in a practice that sees a decent number of patients each week, this person must be always ready to assist with exams, administer therapies (if your practice does therapies), educate patients, develop X-rays and keep the flow of patients moving. The patient liaison has to set an excellent example for the patients as well; believe it or not, patients know if the team practices what it preaches!
Community Relations Director: This position used to be called PR CA; it is a growing position in many practices across the country. New patients are essential to the growth of a practice and must be consistently cultivated. The community relations director is charged with opening doors in the community to build relationships with businesses and other health care professionals, and helping to solidify existing relationships with patients and maintain internal events. The CRD must have excellent communication skills and enjoy working with people, love chiropractic and truly have a vested interest in the practice. This person must be creative and be able to get the doctor out in their community, creating avenues for new patients. This is a position designed to make the doctor the most well-known chiropractor in town!
Workers who love their jobs are more efficient and innovative, and the practice makes more money with less effort. Some businesses/practices get it; that's why companies like Disney and Google are intent on making their employees happy. They allow their employees to be creative, have regular meetings where employees share their opinions and work on projects; they focus on growing their teams so happiness at work happens. Studies show that people who pursue careers that they like make happy, motivated, productive innovative and engaged employees; and in turn, happy businesses make more money.
Click here for previous articles by Michelle Geller-Vino, CA.