I am curious which clinics out there presently have some form of office office staff, administrators, front desk volunteers or any sort of real live people helping the acupuncturists pull off this thing called CA?
If you don’t already have some sort of staff I highly suggest you consider it as one real easy way to make life at the clinc more enjoyable! There are just so many things we can do to support the efforts of the clinic but today I’ll just name a few:
We can make the all natural hand sanitizer (thanks Lumiel for the recipe) and keep it filled, we can get some artwork on the walls, we can answer the phone, return the calls, book the appointments, get some plants in here and water them. We can empty dehumidifiers, make tea for folks waiting in the hall, tell folks where the bathroom is, answer the tricky questions like ‘does it hurt?’, we can flyer the town with promotional material on our way to work (knowing that you must bring your own tape or push pins cause to recyle the gunk on the wall is gross and to consider stealing another’s push pin is very embarrassing) and then we can pick up the laundered blankets and get here on time to unlock the place, turn on the heat, unwrap some needles and be ready for the acupuncturist and the patients to arrive meanwhile answering the phone and booking patients. We can train volunteers, receive the delivery of needles and herbs form the UPS guy, sort them, put them away and keep booking people. We can have conversations with patients, welcome folks in with a smile and clarity of how things work here, send the new patient packets to those without email, we can answer the phone and book more people. We can have those ‘uncomfortable somewhat challenging conversations’ regarding the financial policy, boundaries, late cancels, and we can remain kind but clear. We can listen to the stories of the patients, laugh at good jokes, and when a new patient says ‘this isn’t working- i quit’ we can check their chart and say ‘Well, you’ve only come 3 times. Sometimes it takes much longer than that to see results.’ and then we can put a sticky note on their chart alerting the acupuncturist that this patient needs another brief conversation about expectations and the treatment plan. We can send thank you notes to all the people who have referred a patient to us, we can send birthday cards to regulars, and we can send a card to a patient whose partner just died and we can answer the phone and book more patients. We can type up receipts for taxes, insurance or records, we can attend to the trash, the toilet paper and the hand soap, we can establish a bulletin board culture at the clinic by posting interesting things, we can invite folks to share some of their offerings or needs on the board, we can introduce people to each other, get conversations going, create a welcoming atmosphere, and continue to answer the phone and book more people. We can become great advocates of CA and weave it into just about every conversation we have with people out the in big world, and when in the midst of dense and depressing political dialogues with leftist intellectuals who have soured a bit in a pesimistic stew, we can say ‘Hey, have you heard of Community Acupuncture- this very cool, affordable, accessible health care option that is happening just around the corner from here…’? We can expand the movement and give it some more depth and texture!
The list goes on and on, really. I work 12-14 hours per week here and my official title is so long and bizarre that I can’t remember what it is at the moment. I consider myself office staff. We also have one more office staff, Sandy, who works here and together we cover it- we back up, we support, we assist, we attend to, and take care of what we can.
P.S. If you do have an office staff person working with you, could you please send them to this website so we can get some other conversations going? Or if you are an office staff person would you please introduce youyrself? I am still searching for people who can and will speak the office staff story.
May all your clinics be full, healthy and happy,
office staff @ commuity acupuncture on cape cod