How Alphabet Soup Can Spell Success

Have you ever noticed the initials after someone’s name?

Jane Smith, PhD
John Smith, BSRN, CCM
Jeremiah Smith, BCPA
Jenny Smith, MD, FACS
… or hundreds of others!

What do those initials tell you?  They actually tell you much more than you might think.

They usually tell us what sort of education degree, licensing, or certification someone has EARNED. PhD = Doctor of Philosophy, BSRN = Bachelor of Science/Registered Nurse, etc.

I call the string of initials “alphabet soup.”  And to me, and to most, it is always impressive. Those initials tell me that someone has demonstrated at least a minimum competency in their profession, distinguishing them from others who may claim to be part of that profession, but have not demonstrated that competency.

Many new advocates and care managers jump in to our profession with alphabet soup after their names already. That is usually because they have completed medical or social work degrees, or have been certified by a body that certifies within their previous professions. For example, the FACS you might see after a doctor’s name indicates he or she has also completed certification by the American College of Surgeons (“Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.”)

I repeat, always impressive! And impressive to you, even if you don’t realize it. For example, I ask you, if you need to go to the doctor for strange symptoms, would you rather see John Smith?  Or John Smith, MD?

The key here, and the point to today’s tip, is that your potential clients are also impressed by the alphabet soup after someone’s name, even if they aren’t sure what those letters mean. In our world of advocacy, that alphabet soup represents a body of knowledge which sets creates a foundation for TRUST. Potential clients, meaning people who are scared and unsure of what is in front of them, crave that trust.

So what should you do if you don’t have your own alphabet soup to list on your business cards, or website, or directory listings?

Earn it!

The easiest way to do it is to earn certification in your chosen field, whether it’s care or case management, advocacy, or even accounting (for those of you who work in medical billing and negotiations). Patient advocates have their own certification (BCPA) which is becoming more broadly recognized. Other professions have their own, too

If you are interested in figuring out whether you really NEED that alphabet soup after your name, or if you are curious about patient advocate certification, you can take a FREE course right here at PracticeUP! to figure it out:

Is Certification Right for You?

Earn your own alphabet soup!  Make it easier for potential clients to trust you right out of the gate.


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