How does a dental hygienist add SERIOUS value at the dental office where they work?
Should a dental hygienist add serious value?
After all, a hygienist can put in as much effort or as little effort into their role as they choose to, can’t they?
In just the same way, dentists too can also choose to give a job their best, or less than best…
As a base model, a no frills dental hygienist could easily just “go through the motions” and pick up her pay check every Friday?
Or she could GIVE BACK to the dental office. Invest in herself and the dental office. And pay it forward.
What exactly do you mean, David?
A great dental hygienist is INVESTED in the dental office and is also INVESTED in the patients of that dental office.
A truly great dental hygienist sees herself as an integral part of the dental patients’ visits to the dental office, and takes pride in being that INTEGRAL part of the patients’ “Ultimate Patient Experience.”
For the invested hygienist, these patients are more than just a different set of dirty teeth to clean each hour.
These teeth belong to PEOPLE.
And these people are her friends.
In fact, these people are the friends of everybody in the dental office.
Here’s how it all works….
Mrs. Smith arrives for her scheduled hygiene visit. She comes regularly to Dr Brown’s Dental Office, and has been a patient there for over fifteen years.
Mrs Smith has enjoyed following the stories of Dr Brown and his family, and knows all about his children, and has heard a lot about Dr Brown’s wife and his parents too.
Mrs Smith always arrives early for her hygiene visit. She likes to chat a while with Dr Brown’s receptionist Jenny, who has been with Dr Brown for eight years.
Mrs Smith also knows that if the hygienist is running early there’s a chance that she can be seen ahead of time, which always helps Dr Brown’s schedule.
Dr Brown’s dental hygienist Emily comes out and greets Mrs Smith by name, welcoming her to the Dental Office today and asking her how her day has been going.
Emily invites Mrs Smith to “come with her” to the treatment room. Being a regular patient, Mrs Smith knows the way to Emily’s treatment room. Emily has been working with Dr Brown now for six years.
In the treatment room Emily invites Mrs Smith to “make herself comfortable”, motioning towards the dental chair, and attends to Mrs Smith’s coat and belongings.
Once Mrs Smith is comfortable, Emily and Mrs Smith chat socially about what’s been happening in Mrs Smith’s life since her last visit to the practice.
Emily may have a little “heads up” because Mrs Smith may have mentioned some upcoming events, trips, or celebrations when she was in for her last visit three months ago.
Or Emily might simply wait for Mrs Smith to give her an update.
Blended seamlessly towards the end of the social discussion is Emily’s enquiry into Mrs Smith’s current health status, and also whether Mrs Smith has had any dental issues arise that she is concerned about.
It’s all done on a very social level.
After all, they’re good friends, as well as having a professional relationship.
Emily begins the clinical portion of the appointment by looking into the areas of concern that Mrs Smith has raised, along with an investigation of any areas of concern that Emily had been monitoring from Mrs Smith’s previous visits.
Emily takes all necessary radiographs and intra-oral images so that she can present those to Mrs Smith and also to Dr Brown when he comes in later to see Mrs Smith and complete her dental examination.
Emily also takes note of any pathology in Mrs Smith’s mouth and collects necessary images and data.
These areas of pathology could be soft or hard tissue, or could also be material failures and fractures.
Emily keeps Mrs Smith informed about any areas that she will be bringing to Dr Brown’s attention.
Emily spends an appropriate amount of time thoroughly cleaning Mrs Smith’s teeth and periodontal areas, taking all those appropriate records and also pointing out to Mrs Smith all of those areas in her mouth that she [Emily] is concerned about.
These areas of concern will be the things that Emily will be looking at firstly next time when Mrs Smith visits to see Emily for her next hygiene visit.
Next week I’ll discuss Dr Brown’s dental examination within the hygiene room, and the role of the dental hygienist in this examination that makes the whole process a world class experience for Mrs Smith.
Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”
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My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Melbourne on November 12-13 with Dr Christopher Phelps, Dr Nathan Jeal, Mr Alex Lalovic and Mr Tiger Safarov.
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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.
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