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    What team members need to know when concerned about the financial health of the practice

    One of our most popular authors deals with a subject that is rarely talked about but so important to discuss when needed.

    This is taboo. I know I am not supposed to address “the elephant” in the dental practice, but here goes … we are losing patients. On top of that, I think we are having financial problems … and I am scared. Will my job be eliminated? I’ve lived that nightmare before, but this time, it’s different.

    In the last dental practice I worked, the dentist had a very small staff. He was a solo practitioner and there were only three of us working for him. He was a great guy … then I got a phone call on a Sunday that he had committed suicide. I was numb. How could this happen? He seemed like such a nice, calm, relaxed person. It was fun working there, but something must have happened that led him to end his life. At first, I felt that I had missed the signals but hindsight is always 20/20. He was going through a divorce and had a son incarcerated. I was out of work the very next day. His wife gave us all two weeks worth of severance as she started figuring out what to do next.

    For more from the author: The top 30 pet peeves you told us about coworkers

    I was out of work for a year when I landed this job through a dental hygienist friend of mine. It is a huge practice with lots of staff and great office space. It is 10 minutes from my home, and it feels like I joined a big, warm family … but rumors are running rampant around here. People are talking in hushed voices. People look around before they speak softly, then when someone approaches, they stop talking immediately. This is really not good for morale. What they need to do is have a staff meeting and let us know what is going on. A lot of times, management doesn’t want to do something as risky as that, but  we are all a part of this dental family. If the practice fails, we will ALL be out of a job.

    Read more on page two...

    Lisa Newburger, LISW-S
    Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" ...


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