Are you looking for a dental office where you feel like part of a family? One where you can grow with through the years?
Let’s face it... We all want to be part of a great working environment especially because we spend most of our time on the job. Few get lucky enough to find that on their first go around. It may take several bad choices to find that perfect, right choice; a dental office that you belong in. If you are a dental hygienist, dental assistant, floater, front desk worker, or dental lab technician, this article could save you a lot of time and grief.
Imagine this scenario...
You are excited to get back to work and you have submitted your resume to a dental office from a local ad. One of those ads had a phrase that caught your attention: “Come join our dental family and become a part of our fun team. We provide benefits, great pay, time off, and a great team that helps one another.” That’s what you want, right? You want to be a part of a fun family that works together, don’t you?
Your first day comes and you show up 30 minutes early, but no one else was there. The rest of the office gets there, opens with five minutes till the hour, and by this time the first patient is waiting at the door with you. You let them know you’re the new assistant. The staff brings you back to briskly let you know; ‘you can put your purse there, here’s today’s schedule, you will be working out of these two operatories, and your first patient is waiting.’ You feel like you were just thrown to the wolves, left there, all alone but you’re a trooper, you know your stuff, you got this.
You set up for the procedure and, by looking through the drawers, find most everything you need. Halfway through the procedure the doctor needs a special instrument. You stop, leave the room, ask someone where it is, re-glove, start again just to once again have to fetch something else, same drill all over again. Running an hour behind, with no help from anyone, you feel incompetent. It was just day one.. things will get better you tell yourself but, unfortunately, similar scenarios continue to play out through the week.
This lack of support plus you discovered the "time off" mentioned in the ads was just five holidays and one week vacation after you’ve been there for two years. Your pay is $2.00 less than you thought and you get 25% off your dental work. WOW.
Does this sound familiar to you? Has this scenario happened to you or a friend?
If so, here are some tips and tricks to avoid this situation and to ensure you make the right choice in finding the right dental family.
1. Find a reputable staffing company that cares about their clients and candidate’s needs.
This takes the majority of the hassle of finding a job away from you. They know the offices, the people, their philosophies, and they have feedback from others that went before you. They have already built relationships with the dental families and can act, on your behalf, to find the right fit. This eliminates all the time, energy, and cost you would have to print resumes, drive out to twenty different offices, awkwardly talk to staff about current positions in the hope that you will stand out, and finally getting a call back. If you temp through a quality staffing company, they will know you, your preferences and strengths, and be able to place you to maximize synergy for all parties involved.
2. Have a working interview for a minimum of two weeks to minimize negative surprises.
We all have been through a honeymoon period in a relationship – everyone puts on their smiles, isn’t bothered by little things, and generally meshes well. If you only know someone in a honeymoon period, you will think everything will always go well and we all know it’s better to know how people work under stress. By having a longer working interview, it puts everyone involved in several different scenarios over time, which gives all parties time to see if the relationship will even have a chance.
3. Get everything in writing.
Require that everything, such as start date, rate of pay, all benefits (uniform allowance, dental work, holidays, vacations, time off, continuing education, etc.), over time, time off, duties, and expectations all be enumerated before you start. This should be in the form of a contract with all parties’ signatures to assure that there is no confusion and that all parties are certain of expectations.
4. Get a copy of the contract, the office manual, and policy & procedures.
By having a copy of all pertinent documents, you can help prevent any future manipulation and unreasonable demands. Knowledge is power and having all of the information at your disposal will help keep you operating to your potential and help prevent any legal issues.
5. Ask to be assigned a lead/mentor to be there for you until you’re comfortable on your own.
Having someone to help guild you around a new space makes the transition much easier as well as helping to build camaraderie. What could take you twenty minutes to find on your own takes less than one minute when someone else already knows where it is. Learning through someone who has already experienced the pitfalls exponentially decreases your training time.
If you ensure all of the previous pertinent steps are taken, the right office will come sooner, and you will be in a space you enjoy going to everyday where you, and your dental family, will grow for years to come. 😊
A Passion for the Dental Community
Shannon started her dental career in Miami, Florida in 1981. It has always given her great pleasure to see her patients walk out with a smile. Throughout her career she has worked with, and for, some of the best dentists in the industry. Shannon has participated in courses at the prestigious Pankey Institute in South Florida as well as The Nash Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.
After finishing her Bachelors of Science in Health Administration/Health Management, Shannon understood the dental industries staffing needs and decided to act by developing a company that could do it all. Shannon excels in staffing offices with the right people to grow with the team. Shannon belongs to the American Dental Assistants Association and the National Association of Professional Women. Shannon actively supports the research for the cure to cancer as well as other diseases. Shannon is also involved with a nonprofit that loves and helps the homeless.
Outside of the office, Shannon enjoys spending time in the outdoors, traveling, and being with her family.
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