By Marilyn Gard
An assistant is someone who helps or assists another
person. In this case, the chiropractic assistant assists the chiropractor in the two
criteria for a successful office: patient management and office management. The C.A. may
be actively involved in patient care by performing such tasks as a new patient interview,
education of the patient, performing an exam, taking x-rays, etc. The chiropractic
assistant also aids with office management by using the telephone to make appointments,
collecting money, billing insurance companies and performing many other related tasks.
Since a new patients impression of the office is formed by the initial contact, the
role of the chiropractic assistant is extremely important in developing a good first
impression. There are five key ingredients that comprise a good FIRST impression. They
F = Friendly I = Intelligent R = Resourceful S =
Self-disciplined T = Trustworthy
To become first in the patients eyes, the C.A. must be friendly. Learn patient names quickly and greet each patient by name. Train yourself to remember previous
conversations with a patient and refer to them in your subsequent contacts. Show a sincere
and friendly interest in each patient as an individual.
Next, a C.A. must be intelligent. When a patient asks
questions about chiropractic, the C.A. should answer them with ease. Problems with
insurance should be handled with tact and understanding. An intelligent C.A. is able to
share knowledge in a clear, concise manner which encourages the patient to ask further
questions until the answer is fully understood.
A chiropractic assistant must be resourceful. According to
the definition, a resourceful person is able to deal promptly and effectively with
problems. Situations will arise when a patient has to wait an excessive length of time for
an appointment; the ability to empathize with the patient and deal with the wait is a key
Self-discipline is a necessary ingredient to achieving the
ultimate performance in any job. It often involves doing things when you dont feel
like doing them. There may be times when it is difficult to call patients with delinquent
accounts or patients who have missed appointments. Self-discipline distinguishes the
mediocre C.A. from the truly exceptional one.
Finally, a C.A. must be trustworthy. By choosing your
office for chiropractic care, the patient has entrusted his/her most valuable possession,
health, to your hands. In addition, the doctor is trusting you to protect and promote
his/her business. In both cases, the amount the trust involved is enormous. Your doctor
knows and understands the importance of a good FIRST impression or you would not be
reading this material.
Thanks to Marilyn Gard for the use of her files!