“Oh you poor thing! I have some Advil in my purse if you want some?” said the well meaning but highly misguided CA behind the desk. 


Yup, the doc will see you now,” said another. 


Yuck. I’m feeling so crappy right now, I can totally relate to how you’re feeling!” said a third CA. 


Remarkably these are comments I’ve heard in chiro offices in my travels over the years…

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Having come from a few wellness based chiropractic offices where I’ve been well trained in office practices and procedures and spent countless hours role playing different scenarios that can happen with patients, it makes my brain crunch to a halt when I hear sentences like the above come out of CA’s mouths.


It’s a habit to say and do most everything we say and do and while everything above is said with the best of intentions there are some very different ways to handle those scenarios.


And to achieve that you must have a CA that is:


1.  Willing to learn. 

Most people who are born and raised in North America are generally born into the western medical model. Your MD manages your care from birth and vaccines and medication are the go-to therapies. You need a CA who is capable of seeing beyond this model and embraces it. 


Personally, I think people who can think outside the box are pretty rock star and the ability to do so and have a penchant for learning are going to be part of what you’re looking for in a CA. 

2.  Under care and have the knowledge!

Sometimes the best CA’s come from the best group of people you know. (See “how to attract the perfect team”)


Your patients!


Of course there are always exceptions to this idea but it’s always great to have someone who is or was (and wants to be again) under care. Having someone who has even a basic understanding of chiropractic is key to avoid the “advil statement” above.


You need to know your CA’s aren’t going to be medicating your patients before you even have a chance to see them! 


For myself, I was hired because I was waiting 12 tables at a time. Which brings up my next point. 


3. The ability to deal and prioritize a number of situations all at once. 

Multitasking is a phrase that has been thrown around over the years as a marker of fantastic employability. I would say, however, that the ability to do multiple things all at once and do it well is a complete and utter fallacy.


Instead what you want is someone who has the ability to quickly evaluate and prioritize what needs to be done first and completed before moving as seamlessly as possible into the next task. Someone who can manage a waiting room full of children while mom and dad are getting their adjustments, and can still pull off answering the phone and processing a patient is a treasure to behold. 


4. A Team Player

Dr. DC if you are running a high volume practice then you need someone who recognizes and is confident in their value as to what they provide in the front of the office for you and for the patients.


Unless your CA is only a seat warmer, you should have a well-trained Rock Star CA who is managing just about everything outside of actually adjusting the patients.


A confident team player is going to bring their “A” game to the office every day and enjoy every moment of their time doing what they do. They are going to be excited to backup and support every element of chiro office life.


After you’ve given your report to the patient, the CA should be backing it up by repeating the recommendations and reinforcing the Schedule of Care.


This is third party endorsement and helps patients to understand that these are important elements that must be followed and adhered to as much as possible.


5. Someone into Self-Care

Face it, if you are running a high volume practice, no matter how much you love it, it can bring about a fair amount of stress into the mind and body.


As discussed above your CA should want to be adjusted and adjusted with regularity to cope with the subluxations that comes with a busy brain that’s firing on all synapses and dealing with a myriad of people who have wide range of moods and needs.


On top of that, your CA should embrace other healthy life models that will help them present themselves as the healthy beautiful people they are.


Ask the questions that will show what it is they do to help them be the best people they can be on a day to day basis.


Exercise, meditation, healthy eating are all excellent clues that your CA makes a healthy effort to remain as low stress as possible and will be an incredible example to your patients. 


6. Can leave their cares on the worry tree outside the office.

I was once told a story of a man who would come home from work and every day his little boy would watch him pretend to hang something on the tree before he walked into the house.


When the father was pressed for the reason behind this seemingly odd action, his response was that he was hanging up his worries from work on the worry tree, so that he could come in the house and fully engage with his family without the cares of the day holding him back.


Conversely, the opposite is true as well. The cares of the outside world and home life should be left on the worry tree outside of the office so that the patients have the full benefit of the mindful presence of the CA (and the doctor if truth be told).


The patients coming into your office are all in a different place on their healing journeys. A CA with the right attitude, a willingness to partner with the patients, to hold their hand when needed and love them through it is a CA with a heart of gold.


7. Someone with initiative and creativity.

There is always a way to make something that’s good, better.  


A CA with initiative is going to dig into your procedures and policies and come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things that may be better and serve the patients better.


Fresh eyes and a creative perspective can put a new spin on something that’s been stagnant and maybe needing a boost. And someone who is creative is going to have fun coming up with new wellness based ways to relate to your patients in a language that is still sympathetic and connective, without falling into that medical model perspective.


“You know, while so many come here to get relief from pain, isn’t it wonderful that chiropractic has such an impact on your overall health and wellness! Let’s get you taken care of!”


“Yes! Doctor Jill can see you now! She’s been looking forward to taking care of you today!”


“I’m very much excited to get my own adjustment later today, but let’s get you taken care of first!”


Good luck DC’s in finding your Rock- Star- Gold- Hearted- Creative CA’s!

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