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Perfecting Your Staffing

By: Susie Naficy
Posted: March 4, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of
Group of medical staffers

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In a well-run practice, staff members should also double as active referral sources for new patients. When a staff member gets regular Botox injections, IPL treatments for broken capillaries or has had a surgical procedure, this is an instant conversation starter for each potential patient your staff member meets.

Last, and just as important, each staff member should truly believe in the value and benefit of the services provided at your office. And there is no better way to establish this than to have them experience the treatments first-hand.

Q: What is better as far as staff is concerned: new and impressionable, or older and experienced?

A: This is a difficult question to answer, because many times, the answer is both. Naturally, finding a staff member who is highly experienced in treatments and techniques is an invaluable find, because they can hit the ground running, avoiding a lengthy training process.

On the other hand, the training of new staff has as much to do with assimilating your new addition to the specific culture and values of your office as it does with teaching technical skills. Sometimes there is a significant downside to hiring a staff member who has a lengthy history with a competitor or who has leapfrogged among many offices. In many cases, those staff members—albeit well-experienced—are accompanied by years’ worth of bad habits, complaints or pre-determined methods of how things should be done. In many cases, the trade-off for experience is the hard work of training your new staff members to de-program from their previous employers and adjust methods to your company’s culture and values.

Hiring staff who do not have a specific history in the industry can be rewarding as well, especially for certain positions. A good example is the receptionist position, where, in an elective, cosmetic-based practice, a candidate who has superior customer service skills far outweighs any medical office experience.