Physical Therapy Practice: An Employee Perspective

I have always known that I wanted to help people and it is for that reason I have spent the better part of my career working in some shape or form for medical offices. There is a wide range in which offices are operated and in which employees are expected to perform daily functions and to think both inside and outside the box. I wanted to share a few of my experiences from an employee point of view.

There is a saying that people do not quit the job, they quit the boss and or manager. In my experience, I have found this statement to be profoundly truthful. It has never been the extra duties added on or the multiple job titles I seemed to accumulate. Ultimately, it boiled down to how my boss treated me.

Before coming to my current employer, I had been a part of a startup company where it was a husband and wife team. The husband being the Medical Professional and his wife, who was the office manager/ biller and lacked any experience in the medical industry. It did not take long before problems began compounding.  At the time, the wife thought she could be self- taught to bill. (I am not saying there is anything wrong with trying to learn different facets of the business but before taking on such a crucial role, one should be open to taking the necessary measures to eliminate any snags in the process. Even if this means having an employee teach you the process.) Not only did this delay claims and processing but it delayed payments to the practice, creating a highly inefficient revolving door. This limited not only reimbursements for the office but it effected payroll as well. This was the erosion on which things quickly began to avalanche.

For many months at this office I ran the Front Desk, Authorizations, I would sometimes work as the Medical Assistant, Marketed, and occasionally would assist with billing. Being short staffed is something all offices deal with from time to time and as an employee we are prepared to accept some of the backlash from being short staffed.  (I.E. Longer than average waiting times, lack of returned phone calls, and slightly disgruntled patients due to the aforementioned.)  After some time, being a one-woman show did pose some issues for me on personal level. I felt as though the patients were not getting the individual attention needed from specific job titles in the office. How could I tend to each need and still be where I needed to be when I needed to be there?

As the complaints began mounting up from patients I decided to take matters into my own hands and approach the Office Manager. I arranged a meeting to go over some of my concerns and to address the issues at hand for patients. This was one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever had to do. From start to finish this conversation was positively brutal and it was evident we did not see eye to eye.

But I learned from this situation!  Sometimes it is not just the employee that must be interviewed, but in some cases the managing supervisor or boss. You need to make sure you are a good fit for the culture of the company and you need to asses not only what and how your position will benefit the company and its growth, but what can you expect from your employment. Are you going to be satisfied with your work? Are you going to have the chance for advancement? Is this a company that you would be willing to advocate for?  When searching for a job make sure to research and look into  the background for the company. Ask yourself this one questions: Is it just a job, or is this a “Forever Home” you could see yourself dedicating time and energy into?  –Jeaunae Pearson, Receptionist and Community Liaison

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