Thank your Dental Assistant this week!

From the American Dental Association news.

It’s that time of year to thank the assistants who help your practice succeed.

Dental offices throughout the world will celebrate Dental Assistants Recognition Week March 4–10.    The theme for this year’s event is “Key to Productivity: The Professional Dental Assistant.

 Each year, dentists take a week to honor dental assistants for their role on the dental team, recognizing their broad spectrum of duties and highlighting their often unheralded contribution to quality dental care. The American Dental Assistants Association, American Dental Association, Canadian Dental Assistants Association and Canadian Dental Association jointly recognize the observance. Dental assistant associations, dental assisting schools, and U.S. Army and Air Force dental clinics all join dental offices in honoring dental assistants during this designated week.

“Dental assistants are valued members of the dental team. The role of assistants has become even more important in recent years with the advent of expanded functions,” said Dr. Mark Zust, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. “More than ever, assistants achieve professional growth by studying and receiving advanced training. Dentists delegate more procedures and assistants take pride in their accomplishments.”

Dental assistants will celebrate their contributions to the profession by participating in educational and charity events and other team activities. Dentists typically show their respect for dental assistants’ diverse contributions to the dental profession and the public by providing perks such as luncheons, flowers or treats.

“Dental assistants show their value by providing everything from supportive procedures to direct patient care through expanded functions, which boosts productivity. The assistant provides a valuable connection with the patient; it is often the assistant that the patient turns to when they have questions, the assistant who explains the finances and the assistant who keeps the patient calm during treatment,” said Claudia Pohl, president of the American Dental Assistants Association.

“Are there any dedicated employees out there?”

 

“STAFFING WOES?” Sorry to hear that.
 
 Some of the most frequently heard complaints from dentists are concerning their staff:
“Why can’t I find a smart receptionist?”
“She’s only been here three months and she’s asking for a raise.”
“Aren’t there any dedicated people out there?” 
 John McKay was a very successful college footballl head coach with UCLA. He was hired to be head coach of the 1976 NFL expansion team Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After starting their first 26 games without a win, head coach John McKay was asked what he thought of his team’s “execution.” He replied, “I’m all for it.
DON’T GET FRUSTRATED, GET A BETTER GAME PLAN
Here’s an OUTLINE OF A PROCESS that assures a more successful and longer lasting relationship with employees. It will foster a mutually rewarding future for the doctor and the whole team. 
By the way, McKay’s team improved by the end of the 1970s, making the playoffs three times including an appearance in the NFC Championship Game in 1979

The solution starts at the beginning and lies in your Process of Recruiting, Inducting, and Managing.

 1. Locate your “Prospects” through your ad in the media. 

2. Have applicants e-mail you their resumes with cover letters. 

3. Call back the few “promising applicants” to make preliminary phone judgements.
4. Set up “working interviews” of undetermined length with “the finalists”. This will help you determine the prospect’s value and  thus, her/his starting pay.
5. Carefully review the job description and your expectations. 
6. Hire on a probationary three month basis with all recommended written safeguards. (Employment Practice Liability, etc., See footnote and link at bottom.)
 
7. Get on-going feedback from trusted team members. 
8. Conduct scheduled, periodic, one-on-one, quarterly employee evaluation meetings.
 
Remember that “experience” does not always = “skill”.
 ….. that “trainability” and having an open mind (growth potential) is crucial, because YOUR practice and YOUR expectations are much different from those of her prior employers.
…… that the “chemistry” between you, your other teammates, and the prospect is necessary. You will be spending more time with the new employee than with your spouse.
…….that you are the President and CEO of this team. Be a benevolent but firm, empowering, hands-on Leader.  Employee management is part of YOUR job.
 
Footnote:
I want to share this article by Ike Devji, JD, an attorney specializing in Employee relations:
 

Advance! Consulting