Optometric Management Tip # 46   -   Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Do you have a crab at the front desk?

If you have visited many medical offices, you probably know there are lots of unpleasant and rude receptionists out there. The important thing is to make sure you don't have any working for you. Some optometrists have a crabby person at the front desk and don't even know it because they are (a) too busy seeing patients and the behavior changes when the doctor is present or (b) the doctor has become complacent and doesn't notice it anymore. Whatever the reason, it is important to know that an unpleasant receptionist can do significant damage to a practice.

Rude behavior by a staff member could be due to

Job satisfaction refers to all the factors that make your practice a good place to work. This is one area that the practice owner does have control over and it is one way to indirectly affect behavior and attitude. Job satisfaction factors include salary, benefits, office environment, nature of the work, respect from peers and superiors on the job, self-actualization and more. The theory is that the nicer a company is to work for, the more you will value your job and the happier you will be. Look within your practice to see if there are ways you can make it a better place to work.

Here is how I would handle a crab at the front desk. It is never easy to fire a person, but given plenty of fair warning and after an effort to re-train, it is sometimes necessary.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management