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February 2, 2011 | dentalproductsreport.com Web exclusive Improve your dental assistant skills In these still uncertain economic times, it is wise to increase your value to your
February 2, 2011 | dentalproductsreport.com
Improve your dental assistant skills
In these still uncertain economic times, it is wise to increase your value to your employer and patients.
by Callie Haynes, Pride Institute Consultant
Photo: Image Source/Getty Images
In these still uncertain economic times, it is wise to increase your value to your employer and patients. Nobody can take their job for granted any more. Let’s just assume that you are highly skilled at your clinical duties. What else can you do to support the team and the practice and become a star in the process?
1. Consider yourself a business associate of the practice. Constantly be on the lookout for ways to increase production, save time, and save money-take these ideas to your employer or supervisor
2. Be consistently tuned in and respond to your patient’s physical comfort and emotional well-being-watch their facial expressions and body language for clues as to how they are doing-they may not be able to tell you what they need-have a good supply of comfort items on hand-neck pillows, blankets, sunglasses, lip balm and protein shakes or juice boxes for patients who have been in the chair for a long time
3. Know your patients’ preferences and “wow” them by having them ready and waiting-their favorite CD or television channel for example
4. Do a pre-brief of what procedure/s will be done today and give the patient a time estimate-invite questions-reinforce the need for the procedures
5. Keep the patient informed during the procedures-if you will run past the appointed time, offer to have business staff make any needed calls for the patient
6. Do a focused, thorough patient debrief-what was done today; what the patients needs to do as far as post-op care; what is next and who the patient will see-remember to reinforce the importance of the patient’s next hygiene appointment; when the next appointment should take place; why this next appointment is important (RFR-reason for return-document this in the patient’s chart as well); and what questions does the patient have? Don’t rush this important part of the appointment and don’t multi task when you are having this meeting with the patient
7. Escort the patient to the front desk and do a thorough hand-off to the business team-don’t leave the patient standing alone-if necessary, seat the patient in the reception room & pass a note to the business assistant who may be on the phone with a patient or who is with another patient at the desk
8. If the dentist doesn’t make care calls, YOU make care calls to check on the patient-either before you leave the office or the next morning
9. When a patient comes to mind, take a minute to write a note-patients will love this and will feel like VIPs!
10. Always look outside your individual duties to see if you can assist a co-worker-volunteer for projects or help organize staff meetings
By expanding your perspective on your job and viewing it through new eyes, you will discover how you can help patients, your co-workers and the practice while building your skill set and value. Go for it and become a star!
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