Dynamic Chiropractic - August 2, 1991, Volume 09, Issue 16

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"The Chiropractic Assistant Training Course"

Presented by -- Patricia Munson, C.A.

Six audio cassettes

See pages XX, Part A-616 on how to order.

There's a CA in a doctor's office that I just don't like. It's not that she's rude or even abrupt, it's just that I don't like her. Have you ever met someone -- never spoken to them before and don't know anything about them -- and just not like them? Sure, that's happened to everyone. Maybe it's chemistry but whatever the reason, you can't stand to be around them. Looking back on my life I sometimes wonder how many potentially worthwhile relationships I may have ended before they ever had a chance to begin.

Now think of all the patients who might have felt the same about you and me. Some off-hand remark or gesture -- the way we part our hair or the color of the tie we wear may be enough to cause an instant dislike. Obviously we can't be, and shouldn't want to be, liked by everyone in our private lives, but it's pretty important to be as popular as possible in our practice if we are to be financially successful.

Whether we like it or not, the CA at the front desk is considered by many patients to be an extension of the doctor. Her demeanor on the phone or in person can make the difference between success and failure.

In my years of practice I've had many CAs and I can look back and almost tell the good times from the bad by the quality of the CA I had at the time. This doesn't mean that the entire load of professional success is on one person's shoulders. Sure -- I haven't been perfect myself -- but I think we often overlook the great value of the CA. For patients new to your office or to chiropractic, their first contact is usually that friendly voice on the phone, and this can sometimes set the level of everything that follows.

Once I had a CA who loved to leave early. She had little dedication to chiropractic, the welfare of my patients or the success of the office. It didn't take long for my patient load to begin to dwindle. When she left I hired someone who loved what I did and enjoyed working with people. Within weeks the practice began to flourish. During this time none of my practice habits or services changed. The difference had been strictly the impression the patients had of my CA.

All the proceeding is meant to impress you with the importance of a properly trained CA. Outside of your hands, the CA is your practice's most important asset.

Recognizing this, there has been a recent surge of programs designed to properly educate and train the prospective CA. There's been a plethora of seminars and video and audio tape programs, but one of the best I've ever heard is by a CA by the name of Patricia Munson.

The course is on six audio tapes and so well presented that I find them almost flawless. All through them, Mrs. Munson expresses the value of integrity and honesty as a prime requisite for a successful CA, and for me this is the most important facet in developing an ethical practice.

The six tapes cover in order:

  1. New patient procedure, booking patients, and telephone etiquette.

  2. Integrity, relationships, five stages of training, and professionalism.

  3. Structure of a chiropractic office; effective staff meetings.

  4. Insurance billing and collections.

  5. Behavior styles and working with others.

  6. Commitment to chiropractic.
By the time I'd finished listening to the program I was convinced that it should be required for all new CAs to take the tapes home on the weekend for study before their first day of work. A bonus is the manual that comes with the tapes. It adds muscle to an already important presentation.

Patricia Munson is to be congratulated for her enterprise and her obvious dedication to the chiropractic profession and for the quality of her course. The only bad thing is that she can't be cloned. Maybe, however, with these tapes that won't be necessary.

My advice is to get the tapes and listen to them carefully yourself. You'll find that you too can learn a lot from them. This production is strictly "G" rated for the entire office.