#23 – Performs All Tasks of Ideal Day Routinely

How often do you greet someone and ask them, “Are you having a perfect day?”  Okay, probably never, but as you develop yourself professionally, you need to try for the perfect day every day.

Our ideal day serves many purposes:

  1. If forces you to pay attention to how long it takes you to comfortably accomplish the various tasks you are responsible for.
  2. It allows you to compare how you would structure your day compared to those who have gone before you.
  3. It allows you to correct mistakes.  If you have an interruption in your day      once, well, these things happen, but if you are continually interrupted and can’t get a task done when it should be done, then get with your team      leader and restructure your ideal day.
  4. Finally, it gives you control of how your workday should go.  Don’t plan to      work as hard and fast, as you possibly can.  Slow down.  Have some fun.  We’ve got great people here.  Enjoy them.  Some tasks are more fun than others.  Mix them up.  Do the part you don’t like and then reward yourself with a fun task.  Are you a morning or evening person?  Schedule your most difficult people sensitive tasks when you are the freshest.  In level one this may be difficult, but keep this advice in mind as  you develop your Ideal Day in future more complex levels.
  5. When you compare your ideal day to the ones in your manual you’ll see that you need to make some changes.  That’s okay.  We are constantly making changes.
  6. Pencil in any changes you want and review it with your team leader.  When you both agree on your ideal day, bring a copy to your next meeting with Dr.  Smith.
  7. Performs Ideal Day Tasks routinely
  8. Now you are familiar with all the tasks in this level.  You may even have them checked off that you have demonstrated you have a working knowledge of all these tasks.  Good for you.  To gain this knowledge has taken you      several months.  Before you complete  this level you have one more task ‑ to apply this knowledge.
  9. Make a copy of the ideal day on the following  pages.  Use a pencil and make all  the changes from the written ideal day compared to what your day appears to you.
  10. Did you leave out any important tasks?
  11. Did you give yourself enough time?  Too much?
  12. Is  there any task you should have delegated to someone else?
  13. Do you need to note the busiest times of the day when it’s most difficult to stay on schedule and what you do about it?
  14. Now – set up a meeting with Dr. to discuss your career options here. You understand how we work with our avenues for career development. Think about what you enjoy doing here and sit down with Dr. to talk about what direction you want to go.
  15. Time to re-evaluate your day to manage all your new tasks

Ideal Day

7:00 am            Clock in, change clothes, start washer,  Turn on nitrous tanks,  Turn on computers and TV’s, Start Movies,  Turn on Scan X computer, Wrap and clean any rooms that were left from the previous night/ set up rooms

7:15 am              Change ultrasonics and holding tanks. Make new Dentaphene in all spray bottles if necessary ( Monday and Thursday), Use strip to check potency and change holding tanks as needed, Change cold sterile (check with strip weekly)

7:30-7:45 am              Attend huddle

7:45 am                       Finish any tasks not done

8:00 am                       Run instruments that are in holding tanks and ultrasonics,      Put instruments that were left out on counter away and check autoclave and statim water levels (don’t go over Max. line), Jet Dry statim cassette on both sides

8:15 am                      Put away cold sterile items on both sides when dry, Run statim spore test- Mondays, and record, and have in mail by10:00am

8:30 am                       Put tray covers on trays and put them away

9:00 am                       Stock all rooms with supplies, Put laundry in dryer

9:30 am                       Check on all instruments, run any new ones that have been put on the counter

9:45 am                       Attend next doc huddle if missed7:30am huddle

10:00 am                     Remove impression trays from holding bucket, clean/sterilize in autoclave bags, Empty/ load statims as needed throughout day

10:30 am                     Clean Lab- including countertops, sinks, bowls, and spatulas,     Fill plaster bins/sandblaster, Put deodorizer in plaster traps, Make sure new trays set up, Check Project List

11:15 am                     Check C&S on both sides,  Wrap any trays, Scrub hand pieces and run through kavo cleaner and then statim as needed

11:25  am                    Remove clothes from dryer.  Fold clothes when they are dry. Start another load if necessary

11:30 – 12:00                  Help clean and wrap rooms in between clients,  Continue helping assistants stay on schedule, Set up Trays for pm if needed

Lunch                         Or work on projects if working till 7:00

1:00 pm                      Check Project list

1:15 pm                      Clean any bowls and spatulas that have accumulated throughout the day as needed

1:30 pm                      Finish laundry – fold and put away

1:45 pm                      Clean and check endo files under microscope

2:00 pm                      LUNCH (if working until7pm) or work on projects

3:00 pm                      Set up trays for afternoon patients (If not done at11:30-12:00)

3:30 pm                      Check water levels on statims and refill if needed

3:45 pm                      Remove burs from baby jars, clean burs, sterilize in dry heat sterilizer and fill bur blocks (use master bur block as example)

4:45 pm                      Stock all rooms, Continue running instruments, Help keeping assistants on schedule, Begin Evac  vacuum traps in every room that won’t be used

5:15 pm                      Lube and run all hand pieces again, Check charts for the next day, Set up trays and first two rooms for the next day, Make assistant open time list

5:30 pm                      Check on C&S area and wrap any dirty trays,  Clean up lounge

6:00 pm                      Start closing duties,  Turn off any unused rooms, TV’s, carts, computers, camera,  Mouse on charger

6:50 pm                      Close out of Dentrix on Scan X computer, Help chairside finish day, Turn off statim, autoclave, Unhook nitrous oxide in operatories, Turn off Lights, Turn off fans, Turn off remaining rooms (see6:00)

7:00 pm                      Change into street clothes,  Put scrubs in washer, Turn off gas tanks and lock nitrous door

7:15 pm                      Clock out and leave building

As Time Allows:

  • Help chairsides stay on schedule
  • Unload statim and ultrasonics as needed
  • Clean and sterilize any instruments on the counter
  • Clean/Sterilize treatment rooms as needed to help chairsides
  • Put away sterile hygiene instruments in hygiene cabinets by color
  • Clean bowls and spatula
  • Run autoclave and statim as needed throughout the day
  • Make sure there are packs in cabinet at all times for chirsides and hygienists
  • Clean and wrap rooms
  • Check Project Lists
  • Make Popcorn



MONDAYS Change DentepheneChange solution in baby jarsCheck torches

Spore test statims and   autoclave; put in log book. Clean lab and fill plaster bin

Clean storage closets

TUESDAYS Clean endo filesClean rag wheel and bufferClean PC room and stock

Clean pano room and large   mirror

Check for expired anesthetic

Wiggle air valve on   autoclave

Was, fold clothes and put   away

WEDNESDAYS Oil slow speed motorsClean autoclave in C&S   areaPut Lube low speed   handpieces

Check bathrooms

THURSDAYS Clean endo filesClean operatory vac trapsChange vac traps in “scary   room”

Deep clean fridge in lab

Check salt on east and   west wing and order if needed

Scrub analgratars

Scrub curing lights

SAM’s Club list

Wash, fold clothes and put   away

FRIDAYS Change and autoclave used   rag wheelStock cups, soap, headrest   covers, and bib drawers
SATURDAYS Clean microwavesClean automatic x-ray   processor and leave rollers out to dry
END OF MONTH 1 cup bleach in sinksCheck inventoryCheck curing lights

Fill soap dispensers

Deep clean rooms

Clean popcorn machine

Check fire extinguishers

Run vinegar through coffee   pot

Orange solvent counters


JANUARY/JULY Clean out cupboards under   sinksSpray cupboard base with   DentapheneDefrost small   refrigerators


Schedule for Pedo-side

7:15 – 7:30    Clock in.  Change clothes.  Make sure nitrous oxide/oxygen tanks are turned on and check levels on tanks.  Check to see if laundry has been started (if so, put in dryer).  Start Statim.   Check water in autoclave and run as needed.    Check cold sterilization/holding tank using test strip to show low potency daily.   Change cold sterile if needed. Change when Maxistip show low potency.  Check water levels in Statim and run as needed.

Monday and Thursday ‑ mix bottles of Dentaphene and check cold sterilization/holding tank using strip to show low potency daily. Change when Maxistrip shows low potency.

7:30 – 7:45  Attend huddle.

7:45 – 8:45  Check rooms – make sure they are stocked.  Check alcohol torches – make sure they are full.    Take instruments out of cold sterilization autoclave wearing nitrile gloves from previous day ‑  Rinse them, put on paper towels to dry, and put away and use strip to check daily after 2 weeks. Lay strip flat when reading. Change ultrasonic and holding tub everyday.  Spray and cover instrument trays throughout day.   Monday put in logbook. Daily test Statim.  Clean up rooms after treatment and get ready for next patient.  Break down old trays, clean, sterilize instruments.    Make up new trays and instrument packs.  Put away sterile instruments.  Test autoclave and Statim on Monday.  Autocalave –remove sterile bags, continue runs until all instruments are sterile. Check distilled water level

8:45 ‑ 9:00   Make sure the trays are clean!  Spray with Dentaphene stock and clean throughout the day.  Make sure rooms, drawers and cabinets are stocked.   Clean bowls and spatulas throughout the day.   Check for impression trays in Schein tray cleaner.  Scrub with a brush to remove any residual alginate.  Make sure the trays are clean!  Place in autoclave bag.  Put clothes in dryer and start a second load if needed.

9:00 ‑ 12:00      Remove instruments from statim and put away.   Scrub handpieces & run both Statim (handpieces) doing this off & on during the day. Check water level before every run.  Run Autoclave (because there are finally enough instruments) move packs from autoclave and put away.  Scrub handpieces & run both Statim (handpieces) and autoclave (check distilled water level before each use), doing this off & on during the day.

12:00 ‑ 1:00  Lunch

 1:00 – 1:15  Take out trash if necessary

‑ End of Day Check List – pedo

When you are the last person to leave the building, here’s a list for you:

  1.  Nitrous oxide tanks in storage room ‑ both blue (nitrous) and green (oxygen) tank handles should be turned off. Turn clockwise to shut off.
  2. Fiberoptic switches turned off on all carts
  3. All x‑ray units off
  4. All lights off
  5. All master switches in business office off
  6. Radios off
  7. X‑ray processor off, and make sure lid is closed
  8. Turn security system on ‑ exit in 30 seconds (usually done by secretary)
  9. Turn autoclave, statim, and Kavo off.

First 5 days as a Chairside Assistant:

Day 1 (Monday) – Orientation

  • Talk paperwork in the morning
  • Review appearance about the manual system
  • Watch the training video
  • Talk about the ideal day and review step by step
  • Fill out guidelines
  • Get your hepatitis shot – Go to Health Dept

Day 2 (Tuesday)

  • Clean up rooms
  • Do the laundry
  • Observe and help with sterilization and disinfection of instruments
  • Review ideal day
  • In evening – read over safety procedures and treating known infectious clients

Day 3 (Wednesday)

  • Clean rooms and do laundry
  • Sterilization / disinfection of instruments
  • Infectious waste disposal
  • Review safety procedures and treating known infectious clients
  • Review ideal day

Day 4 (Thursday)

  • Clean rooms and do laundry
  • Sterilization / disinfection of instruments
  • Infectious waste disposal
  • Keep whole office clean – paper on floor, etc.
  • Learn Syringes
  • Develop x-rays
  • Organizes drawers

Day 5 (Friday)

  • Stock opertories
  • Develops x-rays
  • Meet with Dr. to discuss first week
  • After the first week, you should follow your ideal day.
  • Make sure bur blocks are filled and rooms and drawers are stocked