Archive for the ‘Every Word Counts’ Category

Online Educational Lecture: Every Word Count

wordsEvery Word Counts

We are proud to announce the addition of a third on-line lecture to the Sandra Lohrentz Educational & Resource Center, titled Every Word Counts, by Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC.

This on-line Educational and Resource center was created in honor of our late Executive Director Sandra Lohrentz, who believed in the importance of ongoing education for the podiatric medical assistant of today. Since there is no formal education for podiatric medical assistants, we carry on Sandra’s dream into the 21st century.

This lecture focuses on the importance our words have in helping improve medical care for every patient that walks through your door. Whether you work in podiatry or any other field of medicine, we are sure you will find some useful tips in elevating your communications skills, lending you the tools to improving patient care.

Check soon for we will continue to post more articles and lectures.

Click here to visit The Sandra Lohrentz Educational & Resource Center

Click here to view the online presentation tittled: Every Word Counts

We are looking for your feedback on topics of interest for the lectures. They can be submitted directly via email to:


Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC    ASPMA Director of Communications

Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC ASPMA Director of Communications

Every Word Counts: Titles, Names, Nicknames.

February 13, 2009 1 comment

When is it OK to call patients by their Short-names?

Today, while doing an intake I had a great conversation with one of our elderly patient. She was sweet like always, and as we started to talk she told me she had a frustrating encounter at the facility where she lives and is being cared for by a staff of assistants and caregivers.

She shared that her frustration was a result of staff calling her “Grandma”. She told me she is only grandma to certain people, her actual grandchildren. She absolutely wants to be addressed by her real name, and has made it known to the staff that cares for her. She told me that the end of the day she wants to be known for who she is, and that in her later years she is trying to finally make a name for herself. She is active in many activities and clubs, and as such she would like her real name to mean something, to stand for her character.

This encounter made me realize that often times we have good intentions when talking with our patients. Our words can have a great impact, and we must pay extra attention to ensure we honor and respect all of our patients. It is extremely important to formally great your patients by their complete name. It is only OK to call them by their short names when THEY tell you it is OK. 

Make a mental note, or a note on the chart of the desired name your patient likes to be addressed as. Always adress judges, and physicians by their title, even if retired, unless they tell you not to. Doing so ensures that you have comfortable encounters with your patients.

Remember at the end of the day one of the things we are proud owners of…       is our Name.

-Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC

Categories: Every Word Counts

Every Word Counts: Accepting Feedback

Every Word Counts “Thank you for bringing this up”


Dealing with complaints is highly uncomfortable and undesired for most individuals. By nature we would like to flee every time we know we’ll be dealing with a tough situation.


Instead, take note of the complain and assure your patient that the issue will be addressed and that you will get back to them with a resolution. Realize that helping solve a complain along side of your guest can further strengthen the relationship between all parties involved. It is when your patients feel welcomed to address any issues that they feel the desire to continue their care at your office. Besides, how is an office to improve when it knows not what it is doing wrong. However, do not forget to follow through with your promises.

I hope this helps you create an environment in which your guests will feel comfortable to provide with feedback. Remember a loyal patient will provide you with feedback, that you can use to improve the quality of your office, as well as help you retain your patients.

-Jesus C Vazquez, PMAC

Categories: Every Word Counts

Every Word Counts

Every Word Counts

“You are always on-time on our clock”

If you want to make a good impression, and acknowledge the importance of every individual walking in to your office, even if they are late, use this phrase. Often times tardy patients are acknowledged with a rushed look and a dissatisfied greeting. Make sure that you let your patients know their importance; and that being late for what-ever reason will not set the tone for their entire appointment.

Take for example what happens at the airport when someone misses their plane. The airline doesn’t simply send you home, they simply put them on the next plane.

So should your office allow your patient to be seen, be allowed to take the next available appointment. Realize that when you anxiously wait for a guest at home, you welcome them with excitement and a warm welcome no matter what the circumstances of their arrival.

-Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC

Categories: Every Word Counts