15 Things People Who Work In A Medical Office Want You To Know

This is my experience from working in a Chiropractic office as a Licensed Chiropractic Assistant. I speak mostly for myself and my co-workers but some of my friends are Dental Assistants, Medical Assistants and Physical Therapy Technicians who tell me their experience and it seems pretty universal.

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  1. We’re mostly cleaning up after Doctors all day so we really don’t want to clean up after you too – flush the toilet, put your used tissues in the trash, don’t leave your empty coffee cups on the counters, etc. 
  2. Your kids are welcome in the exam rooms but please for the love god don’t let them touch anything. Opening cabinets or snooping through drawers seems like innocent exploring until your kid finds a needle or accidentally pushes a button on some machine. (WE HAVE A LASER IN OUR OFFICE – yes, a freaking laser) 
  3. Please don’t leave your children unattended in our lobby. I’m a licensed assistant not a babysitter, I can’t promise that I won’t take my eyes off of them – I’m busy running in and out of exam rooms. 
  4. Get off the damn phone or step outside. Having a phone conversation while being hooked up to something like a Neuromuscular Electric Stimulation Unit is a very poor decision. I need to you tell me when to stop turning the machine up or I might shock the shit out of you. 
  5. We’ve seen it all before. I have to look at a buttcrack, stomach or sideboob while doing my job on a daily basis. You don’t need to be embarrassed or shy when you’re partially undressed in front of me because I don’t care, I am focused on how I can help you – not how you look. 
  6. Please wear deodorant and wash your body parts. I don’t really care about excessive body hair, moles or any other superficial abnormalities but I really can’t stand body odor. It’s almost offensive to be in a small, hot room with someone who smells like onions and earring backs. 
  7. No we don’t talk about you after you leave. We might crack a joke or two when a person is extremely difficult or disrespectful to our staff but we’re usually only thinking about getting the next patient in and out then going home to our families. 
  8. Secretly, we’re glad when you reschedule your appointments. Less patients means we might be able to move the late appointments earlier and try to scoot out the door at a damn reasonable time for once. 
  9. Not showing up to your appointment without at least calling is an asshole thing to do. We have patients who could have been seen in your place if we had sufficient time to contact them – now we’re waiting around until our next patient shows up. 
  10. WE ARE NOT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY. Some billing errors may be our fault and we have no problem owning up to them. However, it is your responsibility to know what your eligibility and benefits are. When your insurance is denying payment you should probably get in touch with your insurance, the member services number is on the back of your card and it will only take you a few minutes. 
  11. An assistant’s job is to get your vitals and help the Doctor treat you. Do not begin to list off your entire medical history to me because I won’t hear you. Tell the Doctor, they’re the ones with the PhD. 
  12. Don’t ask for our opinions either. “Can you tell me what my MRI report means?”, “What do you think this bump could be?”, “Do you think I should take 800mg of ibuprofen?”, I am not allowed to give you my personal opinion, I am not allowed to prescribe medication and I’m not allowed to diagnose you. Please do not put anyone other than a Doctor in this position. That includes radiological technicians, sonographers, nurses or dental assistants and anyone else without sufficient credentials. 
  13. We understand that you’re sick or in pain but damn it, we’re people too. Being nasty to us is a bad idea considering you want us to help you. 
  14. We enjoy our jobs and enjoy working with people. In my experience, some Doctors avoid social interaction and prefer to only talk about your condition and treatment. It’s up to us to make you feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed – I personally make an effort to remember names, faces and little things people tell me about their lives. 
  15. Our lunch hour is a privilege. If you’re employed by a workaholic doctor, you might find that they’ve got patients scheduled through lunch and patients shouldn’t have to see you consume your food huddled in an office chair – someone will surely call the Department of Labor and Employment.

 

At the end of the day, we do love what we do. If we’re wellpaid and appreciated, we will bend over backwards. That’s about all I can think of for now. What are your experiences?

Thanks for reading,

Until nect time

Kiana (2)

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