Most chiropractors run small practices. However, if a chiropractor decides to hire someone as an employee, it's likely going to be a chiropractic assistant. CAs can play a number of different roles in a practice (and this can vary from practice to practice, depending on what's needed), from receptionist and scheduler to patient educator and even patient care provider.
If you planning to hire a chiropractic assistant, the first step is to decide what role you want the CA to play and to write a job description so that both you and your new hire understand what's expected. At the same time, some flexibility is expected. Plan on having a quarterly or yearly review to evaluate the position and see if some duties should change in order to better meet the needs of the practice, your needs or your CA's needs.
Many other resources are available, including suggested salaries and job requirements, but in the final tally, it all comes back to the job description and your expectations. While you should expect your CA to do what you have outlined, make sure that you're also not expecting too much.
The CA’s role is often a combination of receptionist, office manager, billing and collections clerk, scheduler, and HIPAA compliance officer. The duties of a CA vary from office-to-office and depend largely on the type of practice and the interests and skills of the DC being assisted.
If the DC puts a high value on patient interaction, then he or she may choose to do new patient intakes, take vital signs, and educate patients. But if the practice is especially busy, or the DC is more interested in performing adjustments, those things may be part of the CA’s job.
What you can expect from a CA is largely based on what you’ve asked for when you hired the CA. When you consider hiring someone, think carefully about what you need. Do you need someone to answer the phone and greet patients? Are you looking for help with insurance and billing? How many hours should the duties take to complete? Even if you don’t plan to advertise the position, write out a job description. List the duties and requirements so you and your new hire know exactly what to expect. When estimating the time required for tasks, how long they would take you to complete them yourself may not be salient. You are most likely overworked and you may well have designed the systems in place, therefore those tasks are second nature to you.
This article excerpt, by Dava Stewart, for chiroeco.com originally appeared here.