The employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 18% in the next decade, and podiatry is no exception.
With an aging baby boomer population, podiatrists will need more assistance treating foot-related injuries and complications from ongoing conditions, such as obesity and diabetes.
Podiatrist assistants are there to help you do just that. From scheduling appointments to ordering supplies, they make sure the clinic runs smoothly so that you and your staff can focus on patient care.
Having a podiatrist assistant is a worthwhile investment. In this article, we’ll show you why, and we’ll also cover the skills to look for when hiring one.
What is a podiatrist assistant?
A podiatrist assistant is a medical assistant that specializes in helping doctors who work in podiatry — a branch of medicine dedicated to diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
Hiring a podiatrist assistant can benefit your practice in many ways, helping it run more efficiently. Many podiatrist assistants have the skills and knowledge to help you with administrative and clinical tasks.
For example, your assistant can provide clerical support by maintaining accurate patient forms and medical records.
Having someone take over these essential yet repetitive tasks frees up your schedule so that you can see more patients and focus on more significant issues.
Most podiatrist assistants typically work in a private podiatry office or a clinic that specializes in a specific area, like podiatry sports medicine. However, medical centers and hospitals can also employ them.
Today, podiatrist assistants can work remotely, as many of their duties can be done virtually.
Virtual assistants can take tedious, day-to-day responsibilities off your hands, help you save time, and relieve the burden of performing administrative tasks.
Learn more about how a Hello Rache Healthcare Virtual Assistant (HVA) can work from anywhere in the world to offer your practice the support it needs.
What does a podiatrist assistant do?
Podiatrist assistants have the skills to perform many administrative, clinical, and even surgical duties.
Podiatrist assistants take on daily administrative tasks in the office, including:
- Answering phones and greeting patients
- Scheduling and sending out reminders for appointments
- Ordering and restocking supplies
- Performing data entry, such as EMR updates
- Processing insurance claims
- Collecting patients’ information and updating medical records
- Cleaning and sterilizing equipment
- Cleaning and restocking exam rooms
Virtual assistants are trained to handle a variety of administrative duties and support healthcare professionals. Outsourcing these tasks frees up your staff’s time for duties that require in-person support.
Many podiatrist assistants are trained to provide clinical support and assist in routine patient care. They can offer hands-on assistance by preparing patients for procedures, taking vital signs, administering medications, and applying casts.
Depending on their qualifications, podiatrist assistants can also help out with other duties, like taking x-rays or helping doctors conduct foot exams.
Other important aspects of a podiatrist assistant’s job include communicating with patients and answering any questions they may have, explaining treatment procedures, and providing post-surgical care instructions.
Depending on their level of education and qualifications, some podiatrist assistants are allowed to assist with minor surgical procedures, like applying sutures.
What is the average podiatrist assistant salary?
According to data from ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a podiatrist assistant in the US as of August 2022 is $28,414, which is $14 per hour.
ZipRecruiter reports that most podiatrist assistants’ salaries range between $23,000 and $31,000, with top earners making up to $41,500 annually.
The salary range for a podiatrist assistant depends on several factors, including their level of education, qualifications, years of experience, and location.
For example, a podiatric medical assistant certified by the American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants (ASPMA) may require a higher salary than an assistant without this certification.
Location is also a factor that determines how much an assistant earns. According to ZipRecruiter, in an active job market like New York City, a podiatrist assistant makes an average of $30,815 per year — 8% more than the national average.
If you’re looking for a highly trained yet affordable assistant, Hello Rache has you covered. All our Healthcare Virtual Assistants are HIPAA trained, have a medical professional background, and cost just $9.50 an hour.
To find out how Hello Rache can save you money, get in touch with us today.
The benefits of hiring a podiatrist assistant
There are countless reasons to enlist the help of a podiatrist assistant. Let’s take a look at four major benefits.
1. They reduce your workload
According to a recent UK study, doctors spend 44% of their time on administrative tasks.
Taking on tedious administrative duties can be burdensome and not a good use of your time or your staff’s time.
Outsourcing these tasks to a virtual podiatrist assistant reduces your workload, frees up your schedule, and takes the pressure off of in-house staff.
Virtual healthcare assistants provide excellent administrative support, allowing you and your team to focus on more productive tasks that bring value to your practice.
This backup solution gives you time to catch up on work in between patients and avoid spending long hours and evenings at the clinic. Meanwhile, your staff has time to focus on more pressing issues and provide better service.
The same UK study mentioned earlier found that administrative assistance increases doctors’ productivity by 16%.
2. They act as a patient liaison
A podiatrist assistant is a bridge between you and your patients.
One of their main responsibilities is to ensure that patients are well looked after and receive high-quality service. They’re often the first point of contact, extending a warm welcome to patients and creating a supportive environment.
Over time, podiatrist assistants build rapport and trust with patients, making the latter feel at ease whenever they come to the clinic.
While patients value excellent customer service and personal attention, they may feel anxious speaking about their medical problems in the presence of other people.
A virtual medical assistant eases that anxiety, maintaining the privacy that patients require during their medical appointments. Since they work remotely, they can offer high-quality support without being intrusive.
3. They improve patient flow
The practical support that podiatrist assistants offer allows doctors to offer treatment to patients more quickly.
Delegating basic clinical duties to an assistant means you can assess and treat your patients faster. Your clinic becomes much more efficient when you don’t have to worry about doing paperwork or filing insurance claims in between patients.
Removing these bottlenecks helps you take on additional patients and grow your business.
4. They have medical expertise
Most podiatrist assistants are trained and have a wealth of expertise in the medical field of podiatry.
Their medical background makes them a good source of knowledge for patients when you’re not around to speak to them and answer their questions.
Medical assistants can explain treatment plans, review prescriptions for accuracy, and educate patients.
At Hello Rache, all our Healthcare Virtual Assistants have medical backgrounds and extensive training in medical terminology. This foundational training enables virtual assistants to communicate effectively with patients without relying on you or your team.
Skills to look for in a podiatrist assistant
Podiatrist assistants play an important role in your clinic. They not only help you and your staff reduce your workload and save time, but they’re also a patient’s first point of contact.
To succeed in this role, the right candidate needs the right set of skills. Here are six qualities to consider when hiring a podiatrist assistant.
1. Communication skills
A successful healthcare assistant needs exceptional communication skills.
A podiatrist assistant is often the first point of contact for patients, patients’ families, staff members, and insurance companies.
They’ll need to communicate with clarity and accuracy to provide the best possible experience. This communication is often done over the phone.
Look for someone with good phone skills who can greet patients with a kind demeanor, use active listening to understand patients’ concerns, and respond appropriately.
Clear and effective communication is also necessary when podiatrist assistants explain procedures and treatment plans, answer questions, or encourage patients to speak openly.
A healthcare assistant should speak with honesty, use plain language, and avoid medical jargon. At the same time, they should make patients feel welcomed and comfortable from the moment they answer the phone to the moment you give them their consultation.
2. Organizational skills
Podiatrist assistants often juggle multiple responsibilities at once. They need strong organizational skills to maneuver through these tasks seamlessly and stay focused.
A podiatrist assistant may be responsible for various duties throughout the day. One moment they’re updating a patient’s medical record, and the next, they’re ordering office supplies.
Being organized ensures that they use their time productively and carry out each task efficiently.
If you want an organized workplace where everything runs smoothly, you need to hire an organized assistant.
Ask job candidates to tell you about their organizational skills during their interview.
3. Attention to detail
Attention to detail and accuracy are crucial skills in any healthcare profession.
Being detail-oriented means completing work tasks with accuracy and catching any mistakes.
Podiatrist assistants handle important patient information that needs to be carefully recorded and updated.
All data entered in patients’ health records needs to be precise and error-free to ensure that the best possible care is provided. Even one small error can affect a patient’s treatment and well-being.
Podiatrist assistants are in charge of other tasks that require attention to detail, like medical billing and recording prescriptions. Completing these tasks thoroughly will avoid costly mistakes that can affect your practice’s reputation.
4. Medical knowledge
Medical knowledge and experience is an asset in this role. An assistant with knowledge of the healthcare field — podiatry in particular — can assist medical professionals in providing care to patients.
Podiatrist assistants with medical knowledge can easily answer medical-related questions and confidently offer advice or discuss any concerns patients may have.
They’ll also have an easier time reading and interpreting medical terminology, enabling them to work autonomously and require little supervision.
Having a medical professional background also means that they’ll require less on-the-job training, which can save you time and money.
As a medical professional, you know how important it is to deliver compassionate care to your patients.
Naturally, you’ll want to hire someone who shares this mindset and leads with empathy.
Patients are often anxious and afraid when they are seeking medical help for an illness or injury.
As the first point of contact, a podiatrist assistant that treats patients with compassion, dignity, and respect helps ease the latter’s stress and makes them feel more comfortable.
While your assistant may not always be able to interact with patients face to face, they can show empathy over the phone. Communicating with empathy involves active listening and using language that acknowledges their emotions.
An empathetic approach builds trust and improves patients’ overall experience in your clinic.
Having an assistant you and your patients can count on is important, especially if the assistant works remotely.
A dependable virtual assistant doesn’t require a lot of oversight. They’re able to work independently and be available when needed.
When given a new task, they make sure that it’s completed on time and that nothing falls through the cracks.
Knowing that every appointment is confirmed and all referrals are being sent out on time gives you peace of mind.
How a podiatrist assistant can make a difference in your practice
Running a busy practice while you care for patients and look after your staff isn’t easy. Taking on too many responsibilities can leave you feeling burnt out and unable to provide quality care to your patients.
A podiatrist assistant can take a significant portion of daily tasks off your hands so that you can have a better work-life balance and focus on what really matters.
Hello Rache’s fully trained virtual assistants can help you run your practice more efficiently while saving you more than 50% in costs.
Could you benefit from a virtual podiatrist assistant? Learn about how Hello Rache can help you.