Samples from General Level 1

For a sense of style and content in the general dental staff training levels, here are some samples from General Level 1:

#10 – Popular with staff: Gets along well with everyone

Shares in joys, sadness, etc.  There to help.  Well liked by patients and demonstrates personal interest in clients ‑Patients love you and shares their personal interests and parts of their life with you ‑ you show the same in return.  It makes them feel they have a good friend in all of us, and they do. Some people you just instantly like.  You meet them for the first time and think ‑ “There is a really great person I would like to know better!”  Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have developed this type of personality.

Here are some tips to help you be well liked:

A.  Generally

You like your job.  You show up on time.  You work overtime if asked.  You don’t make a lot of mistakes.  You can be good at your job and not a good team player.  It’s important to do a good job, but it’s just as important to fit into the group.  Go easy on yourself.  Don’t try to prove you are a superstar in the first couple months.

B.  By the group

  1. Know what the team wants to accomplish.  Talk to others about these goals.
  2. Help determine how the goal should be accomplished.
  3. Respect everyone on the team.  Trust their skills and good judgment.
  4. Share group decision-making.  Don’t be silent, judging other people’s ideas.  Take a chance.  Tell the group what you think and feel.
  5. Share the glory with others.  Praise others for good work.
  6. Be sure that those who work with you how you feel ‑ about your tasks, your level of happiness, and any frustration you’re feeling.
  7. Use your notebook to record your thoughts on improving your training or the tasks themselves.  This will make it easier for the person that follows you.
  8. If a staff member is performing poorly or is unhappy, tell your team leader.  This is not tattling.  This is helping another member of the staff improve job performance and come closer to a raise.
  9. Ask lots of questions.  The more you learn, the more tasks the others in your team can delegate to you so they can move ahead in their careers.
  10. Go to lunch with members of your team.  Enjoy them.
  11. Have ideas to share at every team meeting.
  12. Cooperate.  Don’t compete.
  13. If you use the last of something, fill it up
  14. If you have lunch here, clean up after yourself
  15. If you say you’ll do something – do it.

C.  By the clients

Remember their names.  Ask them how their treatment went.  What are their hopes?  Did they just get a new crown, a denture, etc. seated? Ask them to smile.  Compliment them.  People recognize when someone genuinely cares about them.  Use good English.

D.   By The dentists

  1. Examine yourself – any personality conflicts
  2. Investigate each dentist by talking with staff to find out –   preferences,    idiosyncrasies
  3. Don’t criticize dentists to others
  4. Be honest – tell the dentist the bad news as well as the good
  5. Maintain a positive attitude
  6. Be enthusiastic about your work
  7. Continue to learn
  8. Don’t try to change the dentist’s behavior
  9. Don’t  assume  you know the dentist’s goal- ask
  10. Don’t indulge in petty resentments
  11. When you disagree try to see the dentist’s point of view

Now that you are learning to know yourself, work to like yourself. Sometimes we get caught up in trivial problems and miss out on life. It seems like several times every year I’m worried about something and someone I know had a tragic accident or illness.  Every time that happens and I see a friend struggling to put their life together again, I think how foolish I was to worry so much about petty little things and to be so demanding of other people.  Show your appreciation to your family, friends and staff.  Enjoy the gifts of the world around us!

I can’t stress enough how important being liked and respected is to your happiness and professional success.  Here are some more ideas:

A. Have a good time while working

  1. Beware of T.S.(terminal seriousness). It will creep up on you before you realize it.
  2. Humor is as important to your psychological survival as physical fitness is to your physical survival.
  3. People need to laugh.  A joke gives people permission to laugh and lighten the day.
  4. Any job can be boring if you make it boring

The rest of this task is available in General Level 1.

#7 – Dresses & Acts Professionally

Now it’s time to discuss what it means to look “professional.” Some people think that the uniform, make up, and general effect are not “them.”  It may very well not be “you” when you are among friends. However, in a business, you will be expected to dress and act in a way that reflects polish and confidence. As a health care professional, your first impression makes a difference in how our patients will decide if you look like you know what you are talking about – and if they should follow your recommendations! For example, would you trust an attorney that had chipped fingernails, no make up and hair that wasn’t styled nicely? You need to choose a hairstyle, makeup style and fingernail style that is professional. It is never okay to look like you just rolled out of bed with wrinkled scrubs and messy hair.

Leave high style and fads at home.  Jean skirts, asymmetrical haircuts odd colors of nail polish, several earrings in one ear, no deodorant, sloppy tee shirts, dirty tennis shoes or too wild a smell are out of place.  Here are some guidelines:


  1. Selected colored uniforms are provided for dental staff treating patients to be left in the office and laundered here.
  2. No sweaters for back staff over uniforms ‑ germ collectors
  3. No open toed shoes – even in the summer
  4. Secretaries ‑ 2 uniforms will be provided.  You can purchase additional if you desire.
  5. Administrative staff wear khaki or black pants.
  6. No denim jeans, stirrup pants, capris or ankle length ski/pants
  7. Scrubs should be wrinkle free – we have an iron in the staff lounge if you need it.


  1. Hair should be clean and well kept
  2. Long hair should be pulled up and back neatly out of your face as well as your patient’s but still styled professionally.
  3. Shoulder length or shorter is easiest
  4. Minimal or no hair accessories
  5. Conservative style – no bright colors, no feathers, no hair beads
  6. No extreme, not natural looking artificial color

The rest of this task is available in General Level 1.