The Role of the
Chiropractic Assistant

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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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 patient’s 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 are:

F = Friendly   I = Intelligent   R = Resourceful   S = Self-disciplined   T = Trustworthy

To become first in the patient’s 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 to success.

Self-discipline is a necessary ingredient to achieving the ultimate performance in any job. It often involves doing things when you don’t 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!


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