Fourteen Things To Look Out For When Hiring A Dental Assistant

Fourteen Things To Look Out For When Hiring A Dental Assistant

There are a number of things that you need to ensure upon when hiring new team members to work at your Dental Practice as part of your back-office team.

Some people consider the role of the dental assistant to be one of the “lesser” roles in the dental office.

However, the dental assistant plays an integral role in the total functionality of a dental office offering World Class Customer Service and an Ultimate Patient Experience.

Here are a few things you need to consider when interviewing for a Dental Assistant to join your team:

Can they look after your patients?

Are they the kind of person who prides themselves on the care that they show for another human being?

Some Dental Assistants behave as if the patient is disposable, and easily replaceable. These dental assistants are the ones who leave patients alone in treatment rooms, and they also fail to engage in conversations with the patients.

Patients need to always be made to feel welcomed, comfortable, important and understood.

A great dental assistant needs to manage these four expectations for their patients.

Work Within Systems

Is this dental assistant able to work within well-constructed systems and protocols?

Are they comfortable conforming to new systems that they may not be familiar with?

A new employee’s ability to be able to adapt and settle in to a new way of doing things is an important consideration. After all, your systems have been developed for a reason.

Treatment room set-ups and tear-downs, including instrument flow.

The ability of a team member to efficiently and correctly set up a treatment room for the next patient, to the standards expected, is an inherent part of the success of the dental practice.

The understanding of the purpose of what needs to be where, and when, is very important.

Time wasted in gathering things and in time taken in excess, can never be recaptured. It is lost forever.

And that time is money.

Conducting perfect handovers.

The ability to understand the purpose of the perfect patient handover, and the importance of the congruity of each and every step, is paramount.

Poor handover protocols result in confused patients who lack clarity about what their next step needs to be.

These patients then tend to fail to make their next appointment or they cancel their next appointment.

And this is neither good for the patient or for the dental practice.

Talking treatment with patients.

A great dental assistant knows how to talk treatment with patients. They know what to say to patients at which moments that will put the patient at ease about their decision to have the treatment completed.

A good dental assistant understands what will happen to the patient if they fail to complete their treatment.

A great dental assistant sees herself as an integral member of the dental team when it comes to helping patients understand their next appointments.

Preparing for, and participating in daily huddles.

The daily huddle is an integral part of the successful dental practice.

The purpose of the huddle is to introduce each guest to the team and discuss the service we intend to provide to that guest based upon who they are, what they are having done, and what we have done for them in the past.

Our knowledge of each guest as a person is paramount. It is more important than what treatment they are having done.

Stock control.

A great Dental Assistant knows the importance of a well-maintained stock of trade.

They never over-order supplies.

And they never run short.

Laboratory work flow and audits.

The flow of dental laboratory work is important in the day to day and week to week functionality of the patient.

Dental laboratory work needs to be well and truly in our practice before the patient arrives. Preferably days before.

Last minute rushing is never a good look, and is to be avoided.

Working with a templated appointment book.

A templated appointment book provides for a well-structured day that produces a handsome collection goal with minimal fuss and disruption.

On the other hand, an appointment book without structure produces stressful days of variable results.

A great dental assistant knows the difference and helps to work towards the well-balanced structure.

Conducting social conversations with people from a variety of ages and occupations.

The ability to be able to hold conversation with a variety of people of different ages, genders, occupations, religions, and ethnicities is a very important asset.

Knowing what to say, and to whom, as a conversation starter and as a conversation continuer, is a learnt skill.

It is easy to master for those willing to learn.

Following up on any comments or tasks given by the dentist.

Sometimes the dental assistant is asked to help the dentist to remember an upcoming task or event or action that the dentist needs to perform.

A great dental assistant is attuned to this role, and performs the role well.

Keeping essential statistics for end of day.

A great dental assistant knows the targets and goals that the practice sets itself, and performs her duties with the intention of helping the practice achieve its goals.

Maintaining a tidy and clean environment in the treatment rooms as well as in the steri area and stock areas.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Our patients will judge our dentistry on how clean, and how neat and tidy our dental treatment rooms and dental facility are kept.

There is no silver medal for dental cleanliness.

Planning the next day, week, month and year.

 A great dental assistant knows what next week and next month and next year need to look like for the dentist and for the dental practice.

And she goes about her day with these purposes in mind.

**

There’s a whole lot more to being a dental assistant, and a great dental assistant, than most people think.

Ultimately, a great dental assistant is a team player.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Service Is Our Business

Service Is Our Business

One of the most important things to remember in a service business is to follow up.

And not to leave loose or open ends.

Communication is the key.

And it’s especially important when dealing with communications from customers who pay you significant amounts of money.

If your customer contacts your office, and leaves a message, it is paramount that whatever that message is, that some form of communication is returned.

Your business cannot hope for telepathy to magically appear and start a discourse with your customer.

Your customer has opened a line of communication for a reason.

Your business needs to continue that communication until the customer is totally satisfied.

This goes for communications involving questions as well as areas of concern, and also complaints.

You cannot have an unhappy customer out there “hanging” in the dark.

You all need closure.

It is important, in the dental office, that the team works together on this so that there is always closure.

It is paramount that every dental team member who is involved in the communication is then invested in ensuring a result.

The team member who takes the initial call and who passes on the first message must be just as invested in this line of communication as the team members who are meant to take subsequent actions.

The chain cannot be broken.

The action of passing on of a message should not be considered as sufficient participation.

Sometimes the dental team member who is meant to take action on this message sadly forgets to do so.

And so there needs to be a chain of accountability established for messages passed on in the dental office.

“I told you about that.”

is not a suitable response.

Every team member who participates in a communication within the office needs to be invested in the finality of that communication.

When there is total investment from all team members, it is then that we have a truly world class operation.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Lies. White Lies. Damned Lies. And Bull Dust [Black Lies].

Lies. White Lies. Damned Lies. And Bull Dust [Black Lies].

The quote we all know is this:

Lies, damned lies, and statistics 

The phrase was popularised by author Mark Twain, who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli:

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Interestingly, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli’s works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death.

Is this a lie or a damned lie?

Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself.

Another lie?

Or a white lie?

A White Lie.

A white lie can be categorised as information you have said that only includes things you want to say and excludes things that you do not want to say. Technically, in this case, while you have not said any lies you haven’t told the whole truth either.

A white lie could be considered a lie with good intentions. It could be a lie told to prevent an argument or bad feelings over something generally meaningless.

Bull Dust

Bull Dust, or Black Lies, are lies told to gain a personal benefit.

The deceiver communicates misleading or false information to another person or group in an effort to gain something at a cost to that person or group [the deceived].

It is an exploitation purely out of self-interest by the deceiver.

A factor that influences whether people deceive is whether they think that they will be caught.

These are blatant untruths propagated for personal gain at the expense of the deceived.

They are fabrications of blatant fantasy created to push an idea that is false, with harmful to the person who is deceived.

It is theft.

It is fraud.

It is larceny.

It is abhorrent behaviour.

Walk Away.

Walk away from those who seek to gain advantage by theft.

Those whose premise it is to deceive.

To not tell the truth.

To be blatantly false in their representations.

Life is too short to be tied up with bullies and charlatans whose whole premise in life is to gain advantage by putting others down by deceit and oppression.

Walk away.

You’re better than them.

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Who’s Your Next Patient?

Who’s Your Next Patient?

One of the things that really bugs me about most dental practices is their failure to recognise their next arriving patient by name when that patient walks through the front door.

In fact, the aim of the practice staff should always be to greet the patient by their name before that patient announces who they are.

I call this “Beat the Greet”.

It’s not that difficult to do.

After all, you have a list of names already of who is coming in to see the dentist, and at what time they are due.

It’s called an appointment schedule.

It’s not that difficult to look at the schedule and work out who is the next patient due to arrive.

Another thing that makes it quite simple is the fact that the majority of patients visiting your dental practice each day are repeat visitors to your office.

They’ve been there before.

It shouldn’t be that difficult to put a face to a name.

After all, you’ve probably taken an ID photo of them for your dental software?

And you have their gender and their date of birth?

And if your team is really good, they’ve also taken notes about the patient that can be used for “Secret Service” activities.

“Secret Service” activities are defined as the implementation of hidden systems that enable our staff to consistently exceed the client’s expectations and to make the client feel welcome, comfortable, important, and understood.

Secret Service Information is relevant and important matters relating to that patient that they the patient mention casually [that are unrelated to their dental needs] that when raised at a later visit or at a later point in their current visit, has the patient saying to themselves, “WOW!!”

What if….

What do we do when a new patient is due?

When a new patient is due, we already have their name in our schedule, we know their gender, and we know the time they are expected to arrive.

So when someone we do not know enters our office at about the time the new patient is due, we might greet them and say:

“Welcome to Active Dental. You must be Mr Smith. I’m Jayne, I spoke with you on the phone. How’s your day been?”

If it is Mr Smith he will be super impressed with the way we warmly greet him, mainly because he has never ever been greeted in that way at any other dentist or at any other facility for that matter.

And if by chance it is not Mr Smith, whoever it actually is will be impressed by the friendliness displayed by your staff.

This is because this behaviour is so different compared to how they are usually treated at other places. It is so different when you compare it to the “usual” manner of having to arrive and having to ding a bell to attract a staff member away from their computer. 

What if someone walks in the door and they are not on the schedule?

When someone arrives who is simply not on our schedule and they arrive at a time when nobody is due, then the greeting for them is simply:

“Hello. Welcome to Active Dental. My name is Jayne. How may I help you?”

Years ago I had the need to borrow some impression material from a neighbouring dentist.

I had phoned him in advance, and asked about the material, so that when I arrived to collect it they would have it ready and waiting for me.

So here’s what happened….

When I arrived at that dental office, and walked in, the dental receptionist was standing with her back to me.

When she turned, she greeted me with one word:

“You’re?” 

Just one word.

“You’re?”

I was shocked.

She was making a noise like a donkey.

I was shocked that this was a standard greeting in this dental office.

Here’s a tip:

The way that you greet your arriving patients in your dental office can either elevate or deflate their mood for their upcoming dental appointment.

If the greeting you use deflates your patient’s mood, your patient may decide [mentally] then and there to choose not to follow your dentist’s treatment recommendations, despite his advanced case presentation skills.

If your greeting elevates the mood of your patient you may put them in a state where they are more inclined to accept your dentist’s treatment recommendations.

It doesn’t take much to swing the pendulum in your favour.

Are your team members doing everything they can to impress the arriving patient?

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Gaining Clarity

Gaining Clarity

Last week I told you about our garden clearing and fence work that we were undertaking at our farm.

We’ve owned the farm as a second residence for six years, but after selling our big Sydney home late last year we recently moved there to live there full time [which was always the plan].

The garden around the house at the farm was always private and secluded, with the house being positioned away from the road.

But some of the fences around this garden were in need of replacement. These fences separated the cattle paddocks from the garden, but had weakened with the passing of the years, and had also been allowed to “disappear” and be absorbed into some unmown sections of grass, lawn, and pasture.

In combination, Doug [the fence guy] and Dan [the arborist] and Jayne and I discussed the replacement and repositioning of some fences, as well as the tidying up of the garden area….

In Dan’s words, we were going to:

“Lift the canopy”

“Remove unnecessary and damaged trees”

“Remove widow-makers and other dangerous limbs”

And, following this, we would then be able to reassess where exactly we wanted to reposition any fencing.

The end result:

Rationalisation of the garden area and fences then occurred. This allowed us to perform an “exchange” of sorts , returning an un-used vegetable garden back into pasture, in exchange for a small expansion of the “quiet” garden area into another area of cattle paddock.

The end result?

As owners, Jayne and I now have clarity, following the clearing and re-assessment, of exactly what we can achieve in terms of the landscaping and of the architecture possible in creating a far more beautiful garden.

The “space” created by clearing, has allowed us to “walk the grounds” and really visualize the possibilities of what was really never ever imaginable.

It’s interesting, because the whole process was really a case of “trusting the force”.

Neither Jayne nor I could have imagined what a beautiful landscape we actually had there that had been allowed to become and to stay overgrown and unmanaged.

And we had allowed that to happen primarily because of our inherent fear of change.

“What if it looks bad?”

“What if he cuts off too much?”

 We had to let go.

We had to show some faith.

And so we did.

And the change, the immediate change, is palpable.

Our garden is still a long way from being finished, but we now have a far greater understanding of what is possible, because we allowed someone with knowledge and vision to start revealing the beautiful swan that was hidden beneath our ugly duckling.

And….

How does this relate to dental?

Sometimes as practice owners, we don’t know what our practices can become because we are too “set” in our ways about what our practices have done so far.

And our opportunities then become lost.

Sometimes as practice owners, we know that we have a practice with potential, and even though we may know a “dental arborist” who can see exactly what our practice can achieve and become, we do not “listen” to our arborist and so one year from now, or two years from now, we end up with more overgrowth and more encroachment, and we feel more strangulation and entrapment.

And yet flipping the switch, and allowing the arborist to do his job, can truly be enlightening.

Is your dental practice in need of a chainsaw and a breath of fresh air?

Wasted potential is one of life’s biggest tragedies.

Opportunities not taken, and regrets of opportunities never acted upon, are two more of the real tragedies in life.

Having regrets about what might have been, or having regrets for never giving something a true go…these are feelings that can haunt our souls for long periods of time.

Sadly, some people cannot see the forest for the trees.

Letting a chance go past, without grabbing it with both hands and giving it time to truly blossom, and show… now therein lies a true tragedy.

With your practice, with your life, with your garden…. You must explore all possibilities.

And never say never. 

Not without at least trying to see the depths of opportunity  that stand in front of you.

Life is too short to not explore the opportunities of expansion and true growth…

*****

Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…

Call Jayne on 1300 387 044or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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