Dental Staff Training
The career pathway helps you . . .
- Create a well-trained team that you enjoy working with each day
- Motivate your team to take their skills to improve your practice
- Set up a logical approach to staff compensation
- Save you time by providing detailed training for all staff members
- Reduce your stress level by surrounding yourself with a strong team
Most dentists say that their biggest stress is managing and training their staff. They prefer to hire staff with dental experience to try to avoid training issues, but often these experienced staff come with bad habits. Especially as staff size grows and dentists continue to practice in groups, problems begin to show up – you can’t have your office manager follow one method of scheduling while the new front desk team member schedules like she did in her old office. Now, add 1 or 2 more front desk team members and mistakes are guaranteed unless you have an organized training approach.
On top of this, most dentists feel sunk when their experienced office manager quits – suddenly they realize that no one else knows how to do this job! So, these dentists quickly hire a new manager so that there is at least one week for training everything she’s learned over the last few years!
As if this weren’t bad enough, without an organized training approach, it is also hard for the dentist to know how the staff are performing their duties. If the dentist wants to make a change in how a task is handled – he may successfully retrain one administrative team member, but those ideas will probably be lost once that person either forgets or leaves.
Finally, except for the chairside assistant, it’s impossible for dentists to know which staff are actually performing well. The old adage about the ‘squeaky wheel’ is very true, so how can a dentist know who deserves a raise – and by how much?
Most dentists try to solve this problem by treating all staff the same. They base their pay rate on clinical certifications (x-ray license, CDA, etc.) and then they expect staff to train each other using a verbal system. They figure if they pay their staff well, then the staff should “just do their job”.
Following this standard approach leads to a myriad of problems:
- You are at the mercy of staff turnover.
- You are forced to endure repeated mistakes because each dental staff person has a different background.
- When you try to meet with a staff person to tell them how to do a task correctly, they cry and tell you how mean you are – and this skyrockets your stress level!
- If you stop training your staff, you begin to do ‘everything’ yourself and your efficiency drops and your frustration level increases.
Bottom line is: it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep patients happy and coming into your practice regularly, and certainly more difficult to manage your stress level and manage your practice overall.
Does that mean that you should just give up on having a well-trained staff and hope everything just works itself out? Of course not!
What it means is that YOU must adapt as practice challenges arise. As problems and staff mistakes occur throughout your day, don’t just ignore them and hope they go away. Don’t give up on having a well-trained staff. Instead, start to think about how each of these problems could be addressed by using an organized staff training approach. By taking responsibility to address the problem . . . you can continue to move forward.
Considering this new approach is a step forward.
OK, so let’s get to it.
What we’re going to look at is how to use a system to train dental staff.