Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Practicing MA's Advice for Patients Visiting a Physician

This post is from Linda Shaw Vitzhum, a CMA (AAMA) in Melbourne, Florida. She posted this originally on Facebook, and it is reprinted here with permission.

She offers great advice for MAs and their patients. Thanks, Linda!

"I had a friend post on things about the doctor's office that are annoying, and I thought it brought up some great points. Conversely, I would like to bring up the things that patients should do to make their experience a better one.

1. Before having labs drawn/tests performed, ask when you can expect results. Some tests take a while for the results to come in. The staff should have a general idea, hopefully of when these should be made available. If the tests are going to determine what course of treatment you will receive, the office should offer to make you a return appointment to discuss with the physician.

2. If you're like me, you will forget all of the wonderful questions you meant to ask the physician. Good medical assistants like me will never complain if you write stuff down. Write down some questions, bring in a log of what's applicable for that doctor (i.e. blood pressure for the internist, temperature logs for the infectious disease doctor) and for the love of all that is holy WRITE DOWN WHAT MEDICATIONS YOU'RE TAKING and include strength and dosing information!!!!

3. If your physician's office has a way for you to communicate electronically with them, sign up for it. The patients I can communicate with this way are generally very happy with the speed that I can get back to them.

4. Show up on time or call the office if you're going to be late. It's hard for me not to "lose" a person if he/she is very late and I've already roomed 4-5 patients that were scheduled after that person.

5. Ask what the qualifications are of the person who is rooming/discharging you. I can explain to you what a certified medical assistant is, the type of education I have, and what I do to maintain my certification. Because I'm good at what I do."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Double Space After a Period? NOOOOOO!

He writes, "Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong."

Came across a blog this morning by Farhad Manjoo at Slate about the use of two spaces after a period:

He goes on to explain the history of this practice and urges everyone to get a clue and stop using two spaces!

Farhad explains how many typographers react to double spaces:
Type professionals can get amusingly—if justifiably—overworked about spaces. "Forget about tolerating differences of opinion: typographically speaking, typing two spaces before the start of a new sentence is absolutely, unequivocally wrong," Ilene Strizver, who runs a typographic consulting firm The Type Studio, once wrote. "When I see two spaces I shake my head and I go, Aye yay yay," she told me. "I talk about 'type crimes' often, and in terms of what you can do wrong, this one deserves life imprisonment. It's a pure sign of amateur typography." "A space signals a pause," says David Jury, the author of About Face: Reviving The Rules of Typography. "If you get a really big pause—a big hole—in the middle of a line, the reader pauses. And you don't want people to pause all the time. You want the text to flow."

So please, tell your students, your friends, your neighbors, your manicurist, for cryin' out loud: STOP USING TWO SPACES!

I thank you, and I'm sure Farhad would thank you too.