Do you desperately need someone to take care of administrative tasks in your plastic surgery office?
Are you ready to let someone else take over some of the responsibilities so that you can have more time to spend with your patients?
Then it might be time to hire a plastic surgery medical assistant.
This article will explain what a plastic surgery assistant is, the benefits of hiring one for your practice, how much you can expect to pay for this kind of help, and more so that you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
What is a plastic surgery medical assistant?
A plastic surgery medical assistant works with a plastic surgeon to provide excellent patient care. People in this role will assist surgeons during different cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, examinations, and treatments.
These procedures include breast augmentations, facelifts, and scar treatments.
Plastic surgery is getting more popular every year. In 2020, 15.6 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in the U.S. alone.
As a result, more plastic surgeons are hiring assistants. They hire either in-office surgeon assistants or virtual medical assistants (VAs) since the latter can perform many of the same tasks as the former at a fraction of the cost.
Hire a virtual plastic surgeon assistant from Hello Rache.
Common duties of a plastic surgeon assistant
Here are the five most common tasks that plastic surgeon assistants perform.
1. Prep patients and equipment
Plastic surgeon assistants are responsible for preparing equipment, supplies, and patients for surgical procedures and examinations. Based on the surgeon’s instructions, the assistant needs to make sure that the right equipment is laid out and everything is clean.
They also give patients their hospital gowns and may need to help calm their nerves by offering them encouragement.
2. Order supplies
Plastic surgeon assistants have to make sure that the practice doesn’t run out of supplies. This includes surgical supplies, aftercare supplies, and general office supplies.
When stock is running low, they need to talk to suppliers, order stock, and make sure that new supplies arrive on time.
3. Monitor patients after surgery
Plastic surgeon assistants have to monitor patients after surgery and note any changes in their progress in a report. This report is then sent to the surgeon, who’ll determine whether any additional treatments are needed to improve the patient’s results.
4. Educate patients about aftercare
After surgery, plastic surgery assistants need to educate patients on what they should do during the recovery period. This includes giving them detailed instructions on how to move their bodies, what not to do, and how to take medication.
5. Answer phone calls and emails
Plastic surgery medical assistants need to answer phone calls and emails and may also be required to make outbound phone calls to patients and suppliers.
They need to answer any questions that patients, potential clients, and other businesses may have. If they don’t have the answer to a specific question, they can either consult the person who does and get back to the caller or forward the call to the appropriate staff member.
In addition to the above-mentioned duties, many assistants may be required to perform various desk duties, such as booking appointments, helping with travel arrangements, and providing online client support.
Plastic surgery medical assistant education and training
The following training and education are needed to become a plastic surgery medical assistant:
- Education: Most assistants need a bachelor’s degree in the healthcare field from an accredited university or medical school.
- Experience: Most plastic surgeon assistants need between two and four years of undergraduate work experience to work at top practices.
- Training: Many assistants are required to have undergone HIPAA training.
Some medical assistants also need to undergo other formal or informal training, such as learning how to work with particular systems, software, and tools.
Benefits of hiring a plastic surgeon assistant
Here are some of the main benefits of hiring a medical assistant to help your business.
Reduced admin workload
Having an assistant to take care of customer service and time-consuming administrative duties means a reduced workload for you and your other staff.
As a result, you’ll have more time to focus on high-impact tasks that’ll lead to faster growth for your practice.
Furthermore, your staff will likely not feel as overworked or stressed — creating a far healthier and happier work environment for them.
More time for patients
With a reduced workload, you’ll finally have the chance to spend more quality time with your patients.
You’ll have more time for them in all areas, including their physical exams, treatments, surgeries, aftercare, and general queries.
All of this will lead to exceptional customer experiences — showing your patients that you truly care about their well-being and happiness.
Better customer service
According to Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 Report, 61% of customers will switch to a company’s competitor after one bad customer experience.
Thus, providing customers with exceptional service means that they’ll be more likely to stick with your practice and come back time and again when they want cosmetic surgery.
Their loyalty to your brand could also lead to more referrals — which means more clients and higher profits.
Since staff members will have more time to take care of their own job responsibilities instead of focusing on heaps of administrative duties, their productivity will increase.
You and your staff members will also be more likely to complete your tasks on time. This will lead to a better business flow and smoother processes.
As a result, you won’t have to worry about the following issues:
- Making patients wait in the waiting room
- Making late payments
- Running out of supplies
- Getting behind on customer calls
Plastic surgery medical assistant salary
The average salary of a medical assistant is $17.88 per hour or $37,190 per year. However, salaries can differ based on location and years of experience.
Medical assistants (including plastic surgery medical assistants) can earn higher salaries based on different countries and states. For example, those who live in the U.S. states of North Dakota, Washington, Kansas, Missouri, and Alaska can earn between 15% and 25%+ more than average.
Those who live in Chelsea, Sutton, London, and Guildford in the United Kingdom can earn between £1,500 and £4,000+ more per year.
A medical assistant’s level of experience can also have a major impact on their salary. For example, those in the U.S. who have more than 20 years of experience earn around $4.20 more per hour than those with less than a year’s experience.
This may not seem like a lot. But if you do the math, this equates to around $34 more per day and close to $750 more per month.
Some skills may result in higher hourly wages for medical assistants. These include:
- Clinical supervision: 36% more
- Emergency room (ER): 23% more
- Leadership: 23% more
- Medicare: 18% more
- Training: 12% more
- SQribe: 11% more
- Bariatrics: 10% more
- Office management: 9% more
- Patient counseling: 9% more
When you need a medical assistant who specializes in plastic surgery, the hourly rate goes up significantly. According to Comparably, the average salary of an in-house plastic surgeon assistant is $131,806 per year.
Salary of a virtual plastic surgeon assistant
You also have the option of hiring a virtual medical assistant. A person in this position can help you with numerous duties, including customer service, ordering supplies, and answering calls.
This option will cost you considerably less than an in-person employee. At Hello Rache, you can hire a virtual assistant for just $9.50 per hour. This fee includes a dedicated account manager, a 100% flat rate with no overtime, no contracts, access to time tracking and monitoring, and more.
How much do similar positions get paid?
Here are some similar positions to plastic surgery medical assistants and what they get paid:
- Clinical assistants: Earn an average of $19.07 per hour or $43,529 per year.
- Back office medical assistants: Earn an average of $17.90 per hour or $41,753 per year.
- Medical receptionists: Earn an average of $16.79 per hour or $39,080 per year. Learn more about medical receptionists.
- Front desk agents: Earn an average of $15.22 per hour or $43,402 per year.
Skills to look for when hiring a plastic surgeon assistant
When hiring an assistant for your practice, keep in mind the key skills that’ll help your practice achieve more success. Some skills that your plastic surgeon assistant will need are as follows:
Customer service skills
A plastic surgery medical assistant needs to have exceptional customer service skills to ensure happy and loyal customers.
This means they need to be willing to help existing patients and prospective clients with their questions, concerns, requests, and more.
It also means helping with patient bookings and providing continuous patient education.
Plastic surgery practices often deal with people who’ve been in accidents and require reconstructive surgery.
This means your medical assistant needs to have great people skills and be able to communicate well, show empathy, and provide a listening ear so that patients feel welcome.
Other interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, assertiveness, and negotiation, will benefit your practice in other ways. For instance, they’ll lead to increased productivity, lower purchasing costs, and more.
Your assistant needs to have knowledge of the medical industry and understand medical terminology. They should also have formal qualifications or experience in the healthcare field if you’d like to keep the amount of money and time you’ll need to spend on their training to a minimum.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail in the medical industry is vital since small mistakes can have catastrophic consequences.
For example, the wrong amount of medication, ineffective treatments, and inaccurate medical advice can lead to patient injuries or worse.
This means that your assistant will need to pay close attention to everything that comes out of your practice. They’ll need to double-check medications, aftercare instructions, and more.
Time management skills
Your assistant will have multiple duties to fulfill every day. This means they’ll need to have excellent time-management and organizational skills.
- Time-management skills to make sure that all tasks are done on time.
- Organizational skills so that they’re able to prioritize their tasks.
Having these skills will not only help them complete their tasks and increase their overall productivity, but it’ll also enable them to provide great customer care since they’ll answer questions and provide assistance on time.
Hire a plastic surgery assistant to help your practice
After seeing all the benefits that hiring an assistant for your medical practice has to offer, it’s up to you to choose whether you want to hire an in-office or virtual assistant.
If you’re looking for someone to assist you during surgery and with physical treatments, then an in-office assistant is best.
However, if you’re simply tired of your overflowing workload and would like someone to handle all those tasks while offering excellent customer support, then a virtual medical assistant is ideal.
Considering the virtual route? Book a call with our team to start the hiring process today.