#2 – Reads Employee Policy Manual and Family Album

Welcome to our practice.  As you will see, we use an organized training system here compared to any other dental offices you may have seen.  As in any organization there are advantages to being organized.  We try to have our dentists only do the tasks they are required by law to do.  All other support functions will be provided by the staff.  This means that you will have the opportunity to develop a career with a great deal of responsibility.  You will be given the time and training to do many duties that dentists often perform in other offices.  This is your opportunity to “be somebody”.  Here’s what Henry Ford said:

“Many persons think that by hoarding money they are gaining safety for themselves.  If money is your only hope for independence, you will never have it.  The only real security that a person can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.  Without these qualities, money is practically useless.”

What’s important to you?  Most of us would list family, friends, contributing to your church and/or community, some fun activities and leisure time, having a meaningful job, and feeling good about yourself.  In high school, this seemed like a do‑able list, but as an adult it’s easy for one or more of these priorities to slip away. One priority that often is lost is to have meaningful work.  Most people work to earn money to do what they really want to do.  Our aim here is to teach you skills that you can use to build yourself a career ‑ and maybe even a profession.

These training levels are our primary effort to help you develop a career that is important to you and to your family, community, and the clients we serve.  Learning these skills will take your time and energy.  They will absorb a significant amount of your time for many years.  As you begin to readjust the amount of your time that you spend in your life’s priorities, quietly think over:

  1. How do you usually spend your time?
  2. What do you value the most?
  3. How much leisure time do you need?
  4. What is the purpose of your life?
  5. Where does having a meaningful career fit in to your life priorities?
  6. Where does your spirituality fit in?
  7. How do you set enough time to maintain your health?
  8. What other talents do you have?  Do you want to develop these more?
  9. Your relationships with the people you are around at home and at work are very important.  Do you have a plan as to how to maintain them?
  10. Retirement, emergencies, and children all take money.  How does your career income fit into your family needs?

Our goal is to help you take control of your life and your future.  You won’t be able to control every event, but you can control how you respond to every event. Although money can’t be the primary reason that you choose a career, making money is a significant part of the satisfaction you receive from your career.  Certainly the older you get; the more important it becomes to accumulate enough money to put children through college and plan for retirement.  I hope you will use our training levels as the key to your personal success.

Your first responsibility is to learn about us.  Our employee manual should answer most of your questions.  Use your notebook to make notes to discuss with senior staff and your dentist.  Your notes should be on:

  1. Questions that aren’t covered in the Policy manual
  2. Procedures that aren’t outlined thoroughly in your Policy manual.
  3. Procedures that are outlined one way, but done differently in the office.

These notes in your notebook will be very important when you are ready to discuss moving up to a new level. It can’t be stressed enough how valuable these levels are to anyone trying to develop a career in dentistry in our office. Each year, around the anniversary of your first day at work with us, pull out the training levels and look for updates. Do you have any questions?  Ask them.  The best staff takes the time to understand what’s going on around them.

If you are a beginner to the exciting field of dentistry, the following are a few suggestions:

  1. Isolate yourself in a room and practice out loud the answers to questions that will be asked by the patients.
  2. Be especially careful so your voice, expressions and mannerisms do not sound memorized.  By constant practice you will develop a style that will sound natural and fit your personality.  Please don’t be artificial!  Goodness knows, we have enough people in this world who are terribly impressed with themselves.
  3. Perhaps you and another assistant or your doctor can pretend to be the patient and quiz each other using various situations that will confront you in the office.  Join or form a study club, attend appropriate meetings, enroll in courses that will aid in your process. Get creative with ho you can sharpen your skills.
  4. Be especially careful not to become permanently discouraged when you make mistakes.  Profit from your mistakes.  There is only one who is perfect and He is up there.  Everyone has good and bad moments. Everyone had to begin somewhere.  Be sincere in your efforts; ask questions at appropriate times, display enthusiasm for your work and success will rightfully be yours.

Complete the tasks in this level, turn in your papers for level meetings at least 1 day in advance, and arrange a half hour for your level meetings. Write down any questions you may have in your notebook so you’ll remember them.  People often get ideas.  Often these ideas glow and then are forgotten. Your job will be to capture your ideas by writing them down.  You won’t be able to remember them very long, so keep your notebook near you. When you have an idea, write down at least a couple words to jog your memory when you have more time to fill in the details.  When our staff meeting time arrives, you’ve got the time to share your ideas.  This is the time to show all of us that you are a creative, positive force for change in the office.  Remember this Zen proverb:

“The beginner sees many possibilities, the expert few.  Be a beginner every day.”

These training levels are your keys to success.  You may not have read any training materials since high school or college.  No problem!  The material won’t be that hard to understand and you’ll have plenty of help.  The problem comes if you don’t give yourself regular time to learn.  Begin this week to set aside some time every week to advance yourself professionally.


Some people are afraid they won’t be able to read and use the material in our training levels.  You can do it!  The average person only uses 5% of their mental capacity.  If we just used  50% of our brainpower, we could:

  1. Learn 40 languages
  2. Memorize a 24 volume encyclopedia

Just by organizing yourself, you can use an extra 2‑5% of your brainpower.  You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish. The training levels require hard work, but it’s work with a purpose ‑ to develop yourself professionally and be rewarded (both in money and improved self‑esteem).   We live in the information age.  Every professional is loaded down with newspapers, periodicals, books, journals, reports, notes, letters, and computer printouts.  How far you go in your career is directly related to your ability to read, understand, and act on new material. When you read this material, don’t just read the words.  Force yourself to really understand what you’re reading.  Here are some hints:

  1. What is the goal of each section?  If it’s general information, read it quickly.  If it’s job tasks, read it slowly and understand it.
  2. When you start a section, think, “What do I already know about this?  Make notes on your copy to keep your mind working and on track.
  3. Look at all the tasks you will learn in this level.  What is the big picture?  How does each task help you develop your career?
  4. What questions does the material bring up?  Write them down!
  5. What was the most important information you read?  What do you need to implement right away?  What wasn’t clear?
  6. How can you put this information to work immediately?  If you can’t, why not?

Well, you’re on your way.  I hope you’ll be a success in dentistry.  I can promise you that if you will give yourself an all out three year commitment to this training you’ll have a great career.  No one  “lucks into” a great career.  It takes a lot of time and effort.  Look at the people around you.  They have paid that price.  They are still paying that price gladly.

This is a process of personal growth.  It will take more than just occasional, convenient time.  If you are going to be the best that you can be you will need 1/2 ‑ 3/4 hours at least once a week.  You need quiet time with no interruptions.  You and your family are not used to you having this time.  If you’re married, your husband and children (if any) will have to support and believe in you.  They’ll have to accept some inconveniences to give you the home quiet time you’ll need.

Don’t make excuses.  Don’t put off discussing this with your family. You may feel that next month, or when my youngest is in school or after my spouse gets a raise, etc.  I’ll really “go for it.”  I can promise you that as soon as you find a reason to put off growing, you will die professionally.  Each time you accept an excuse or rationalization it’s that much easier the next time.


Once you make this commitment to yourself and have the support of your family, you are almost guaranteed success.  Nothing in dentistry is so difficult that you can’t learn it if you work hard enough.  When you are 50‑60 years old, you’ll be able to look back at your notebook and think; “This is the day that I began to make a difference in the world.  This is the day when my family began to see me as an important person to the world, not just to my family.  This is the day that I developed enough self‑confidence and love for others that I was ready to commit myself to the hard work of personal growth.”

These training levels are only one avenue for personal growth.  Here is a list of other ideas that can also help you grow:

  1. Read a few pages of an inspirational book or listen to a tape before going to bed.
  2. Associate with positive people.
  3. Don’t blame or make excuses.  When you make a mistake, acknowledge it and move on.
  4. Take responsibility for your own emotions.  No one “makes you” happy or sad.  You do it to yourself.  Negative emotions come from negative thoughts that you allowed yourself to have.
  5. Make goals, achieve them, and reward yourself.
  6.  Make “to do” lists and stick with them.
  7. Take action.  When you see something that needs to be done. Do it!
  8. Solve the problems you face, don’t just let things happen to you.
  9. Teach others new skills

Most people’s learning experiences occurred in schools. Learning on the job through our training levels where YOU are responsible for your own professional growth can be difficult.

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make a mistake.                                                                                                                                                       Elbert Hubbard

These training manuals contain most of the significant ideas used in dentistry since 1980.  My task is to limit the amount of reading time you’ll need to learn these ideas and still give you enough information so you can become an outstanding professional. Beware of treating these training levels like a game where you memorize what you need for the test and then promptly forget it. You’re cheating yourself by not really learning the material and developing the professional skills that come through honest study. Here’s a poem that makes fun of the memorization game. Enjoy it.

 King of the Rote

Extended lists to memorize

Up till two with blurry eyes


Tonight you have to stay up late

Tomorrow you can regurgitate


Nothing profound to know about

Just cram it in and spit it out


Don’t even questions how or why

And never try to clarify


I’m a tenured teacher

I can gloat

I’m King of the Rote!


Inquiry learning is just a fad

Collaboration is really bad


No need to worry, fume or fret

Right after the test you can forget


Do not wonder of discover

Critical theories you might uncover


So just sit dormant in your row

Here’s all the stuff you need to know


I’m a tenured teacher

I can gloat

I’m King of the Rote!


I’ve taught this way for many a year

And to the text I must adhere


No new methods are for me

Old ones work the best, you see


Who really cares about learning style?

Modern techniques just defile


So be lethargic in your seats

While I run off my old worksheets


I’m a tenured teacher

I can gloat            I’m King of the Rote!                     Katylee Hoover

Your first level meeting with your dentist

Here’s your chance to impress your doctor!  I know you’re going to be very nervous.  That’s okay.  You can help make this a positive experience by being prepared.  Here are some tips:

  1. Read the employee policy manual and bring your papers to this first meeting
  2. On the day of your level meeting have all your papers organized. We’ll go straight through the policy manual, so organize your papers (and my copies) in that order.  Begin to take control of your career.  The smoother our meetings go, the more we can accomplish and the quicker you can advance.
  3. If you have questions, don’t wait until the last minute to ask. Try to be prepared!
  4. Use your notebook!  Bring it with you to every meeting. Start writing your ideas down today!  This is an extremely important part of your responsibilities here.  Write down your ideas, questions, things you learn, successes, failures, and anything else that’s important.  When you feel you are ready to complete a level, bring this notebook.  This is your best opportunity to show your dentist how good you are.  Ask lots of questions to the rest of the staff.  That’s the best way for them to know what you need to know.  Don’t be afraid of seeming “stupid” or making a “pest” of yourself.  The faster you learn the quicker they can develop too.
  5. Early Goals for this meeting:  a.  Review your basic duties  b.  Set goal date for completion of level one
  6. Don’t worry about making mistakes.  All of us make mistakes. Mistakes mean you’re trying new things and stretching your abilities.  Don’t try to hide them.  Share what happened and learn from them.  If someone points out a mistake you’ve made thank them!  You don’t have to make excuses.  This someone is trying to help you.
  7. Make your job important.  Don’t just put in your time. Realize how important you are and every day take a step closer to becoming the professional you expect to be.


I, ____________________________________ consent and authorize Dr. _____________________ in  __________________ (city, state) to use any audio or video recordings, photographic reproduction and/or written materials concerning this practice that includes me, with or without my name, or with a fictitious name for advertising, trade or any other lawful purpose.  I release and forever discharge either or both of them from any claim, demands or liability on account of such use or for the quality of the reproduction.

Signature ____________________________________

Date _________________________________________

MINORS ONLY:       If signature above is by a person under age 21, Parent or Guardian should sign here:

I, ____________________________________________

Parent or Guardian hereby consent to the foregoing.

Personnel Policy

  1. This policy manual contains the entire understanding between you and the practice
  2. If an interpretation of this policy is required, ask your dentist.
  3. You understand that policies will change from time to time.  You will not receive a formal notice of those changes, but we will make an effort to keep you informed.  Please reread this policy manual annually so you can stay current with all policies.
  4. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified person, consistent with federal, state, and municipal employment opportunity laws.

I have read the personnel policy of Dr. ______________ and I do hereby state that I understand such policy and agree to abide by it. I understand that I must complete level 1 in 90 days and that I will need to spend personal time studying to complete the required training.

These policies and any other documents from the group are not contracts of employment.  Any individual who is hired may voluntarily leave employment upon proper notice, and may be terminated by the employer at any time for any reason.  I understand that any oral or written statements to the contrary are hereby expressly disavowed and should not be relied upon by any prospective or existing employee.

____________________                ________________________________     Date                                                             Employee’s Signature

What time have you picked in your week as your best study time?


Is there anything the dentist can do to help you?


How close are you coming to your ideal day?


How many tasks do you have checked off in your career track manual so far (not in the general manual)?


Do you already have CPR (BLS) training? Or will you need to join the staff at our next training session?


Do you have your copy of General Level 1 now?


How many pages have you written in your notebook?


Now watch:   Training Manual video: You will be expected to complete the first 3 levels of technical material and the first 3 levels of the general material in 1 year and 3 months.  This works out as

3 months ‑ complete level one

6 months ‑ complete level two

6 months ‑ complete level three

When you have completed these three levels you will be in the top 10% of those staff members in your career path nationally.  You may choose not to advance beyond this point and that’s okay.  You are, at this point, a very valuable member of our practice.

If you decide to move further ‑ moving from a job to a career ‑ you have six more levels that you can advance through ‑ with appropriate improvements in job responsibilities, office challenges, pay, and benefits.

Drug Testing for New Hires

We have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for our staff.  To prevent substance abuse by our staff you must not possess or consume alcohol or any illegal substance on our property. All new hires are required to take a urinalysis test for drugs within the first 90 days.  A positive test or a refusal to take the test will result in the applicant being denied continued employment.

To take this test, go to: __________________________________________________________________

Procedure for New Hire Drug Testing

Please go to: ____________________________________________________________________________

Their hours are: ________________________________________________________

When you check in, let them know that you need to have a New Hire Drug screen for our practice.