Leading from the Sidelines

Posted on May 23, 2024 by Holly Jensen

This original article was featured in the May 2024 issue of The American Chiropractor

How Chiropractic Assistants Find Power in Following Leaders

While I was scrolling on social media one evening, I came across a picture of a coffee mug that displayed the definition of a chiropractic assistant. The definition was: 1. Someone who solves problems you never knew existed in ways that will blow your mind. 2. See also: wizard, badass, legend.

This description resonated with me, so I “liked” the post, and as I continued to scroll, my mind wondered why I just reacted to that post when normally I’m a “scroller.” It dawned on me that I felt passionate enough to like it because I have worked very hard to meet the definition printed on that mug. I also reflected on how I got to where I am today. I recalled certain moments, books, lessons, and people in my career that have influenced me.

Thinking about the individuals who have shaped my career fills me with joy and a deep sense of gratitude. These people have inspired my passion for chiropractic and motivated me to aspire to work alongside the admirable doctor I am fortunate to have as my leader. It is remarkable that many of these individuals have unknowingly played the role of leaders in my life, despite their humble nature.

The role of the chiropractic assistant (CA) requires one to wear many hats and carry diverse responsibilities. It has an understated significance. While the chiropractor holds the helm, navigating adjustments and treatment plans, the CA operates silently alongside (well, maybe not too silent!), orchestrating a well-oiled symphony of support. Embedded within this supportive position is a concealed source of empowerment that thrives from observing and acquiring wisdom from industry peers. The chiropractor’s duty is to foster the development of empowered leaders, while the CA’s responsibility is to absorb knowledge, eagerly acquire new expertise, and empower and inspire others.

The empowered CA is not merely a passive follower but an active co-pilot. Their journey of growth begins with observing leaders in action. Witnessing skilled chiropractic professionals interact with patients, crafting treatment plans, and communicating health and wellness concept offers invaluable insights.

Not only that, but a leader encourages the CA to further their knowledge in the chiropractic profession and encourages an environment of self-improvement. CAs learn by osmosis, absorbing the nuances of bedside manner, patient engagement, and effective communication. These observations become building blocks for their own professional development, shaping their approach to patient care and administrative duties.

Following leadership extends beyond mere observation. Mentorship relationships play a crucial role in empowering assistants. Finding a chiropractor willing to share their expertise and offer guidance and mentorship opens a world of opportunity.

Mentors provide feedback on their CA’s skills, offering constructive criticism and fostering personal and professional growth. They equip CAs with the tools and strategies needed to navigate administrative tasks, handle patient inquiries, and anticipate the chiropractor’s needs. This guidance empowers CAs to become indispensable members of the team, confidently contributing to the smooth functioning of the practice.

Empowerment also emerges from collaboration and knowledge sharing. Leading chiropractors recognize the value of their CA’s contributions and create environments where open communication and collaboration thrive. Regular team meetings, case discussions, and joint patient consultations give assistants a platform to voice their perspectives and insights. This exchange of knowledge fosters a sense of shared responsibility and empowers CAs to take ownership of their role in patient care.

Furthermore, following leaders inspires continued learning and professional development. Observing chiropractors actively engage in professional development through seminars, webinars, and online courses motivates CAs to do the same. This pursuit of knowledge equips them with the latest advances in chiropractic care, patient communication, and practice management, further increasing their value within the team. Having a chiropractor who is excited to invest in their teams by investing in their education is imperative.

The empowered chiropractic assistant is not simply someone who follows orders; they are a proactive agent of change. By observing, engaging with, and learning from leaders, they develop the skills and confidence to identify areas for improvement within the practice. They may suggest streamlining administrative processes, implementing new patient education tools, or even proposing adjustments to treatment protocols. This proactiveness not only benefits the practice but also fuels the CA’s personal growth, demonstrating their ability to contribute beyond their defined role.

The impact of empowered CAs extends beyond the walls of the practice. By showcasing the value of teamwork, collaboration, and continuous learning, they pave the way for a more holistic healthcare experience. Patients perceive the seamless coordination between the chiropractor and CA, fostering trust and confidence in the team’s expertise. This trust translates into improved patient outcomes and a thriving practice, demonstrating the ripple effect of empowering CAs.

In conclusion, the chiropractic assistant’s role, while often understated, holds immense potential for empowerment. By following and learning from leaders, CAs transform from mere observers into active contributors, shaping the patient experience and contributing to the practice’s success. This act of following becomes a catalyst for growth, equipping CAs with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to lead from the sidelines.

As chiropractic continues to evolve, the empowered CA will emerge as a driving force, ensuring the profession’s continued excellence and impact on patient well-being. We often hear the joke that the chiropractic assistant is the real boss in the office, but that is only possible if they have a leader who takes the time to empower and create other leaders within their practice.

About the Author

Holly Jensen, the esteemed Chief Operations Officer of Cash Practice Systems, oversees a pioneering platform highly regarded in the chiropractic community for its unparalleled ability to boost revenue and retention rates. At its core are innovative tools like The Wellness Score, Care Plan Calculator, Auto-Debit, and Drip-Education Systems, meticulously crafted to aid doctors in enhancing patient retention and revenue. With unwavering commitment, Holly has been instrumental in solidifying Cash Practice Systems as the premier choice for chiropractors seeking practice optimization. Prior to her COO role, Holly collaborated with Dr. Miles Bodzin, CEO of Cash Practice Systems, in leading a highly successful wellness practice in San Diego, showcasing dedication to patient care. Together, they've dedicated over two decades to advancing chiropractic care, inspiring practitioners worldwide. Explore CashPractice.com for transformative tools.

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