Tips for Hiring New Staff Members

You’re busy, you’re stressed and now you must dedicate time to hiring new staff to fill in the gaps left during your dental practice transition. So where do you start? There may be a great temptation to hire the first person who looks like he or she might fit the bill, but if you make a mistake, it’s going to cost you.

Prepare Yourself

No matter how excited or relieved you may feel, jumping into your new recruitment exercise without any thought will just hurt you in the long run. Ask yourself these important questions before you even place your first recruitment ad:

– What role will the new hire fill in the practice?

– How much help does the practice need?

– Will this need be long term or short term?

– What salary can you afford to pay?

Focus on Strategic Recruitment

You don’t want to hire the first person who comes along, you want to hire the best recruit for your practice. But how do you find the right candidate? It might sound obvious but start in places that offer the most help. Ask other employees for referrals, you’ve got the best chance of making a quality match through your current staff.

If that doesn’t work, check reputable job boards before branching out into social media.

Take Your Time

Sure, you might have needed the help three weeks ago, but making a rushed decision could mean hiring the wrong person and upsetting the well thought-out dynamic of your practice.

Go through the right procedures to ensure you attract the right recruit: conduct first and second interviews, conduct the relevant background checks, and make sure your next recruit is in it for the long haul.

Be Ready

On-boarding a new employee takes up precious time and effort. But if you’re not ready, it will waste even more of your precious time. Make sure you can tick all the boxes on this check-list:

– Is the new hire’s work-station ready?

– Do you have a standard operating procedures document for the tasks the new hire will complete?

– Have you introduced the new person to the rest of the team?

– Have you written out the new employee’s job description?

– Have you assigned another employee to assist the new hire?

Maintain realistic expectations for your new hires, and make it as easy as possible for the new person to ease into their new role.

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Someone Go

If a new person doesn’t perform well, don’t be afraid to fire them. You can’t afford to keep someone on board if he or she is not performing. Not only that, but what you let new employees get away with will be seen by the rest of the team. If it’s not working out, don’t keep the person on.

Building a quality team in your dental practice is crucial to your success.

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Creating a Respectful Work Environment

Respect is part of the glue that holds your dental practice team together, and if your team isn’t feeling respected by their employer, it’s likely that they won’t be dishing it out, either. Let’s take a look at why respect is such an important core value in your practice and how you can cultivate it.

Respect Starts With You

Respect starts at the top, and the best way to earn an employee’s respect is to pay it forward. As a practice owner, you get to make most of the rules, as well as set the stage in terms of the conduct you want your employees to follow in your practice.

Choose your language wisely; encouraging and honest talk is more successful than implementing autocratic policies that don’t give staff members a voice. Make an open space for discussions and let your staff know that you welcome their suggestions about making the practice a more productive space. Be explicit with each staff member about what is required by them in terms of key performance areas.

Hold regular performance reviews where you give positive feedback on successes and suggestions for improvement in areas of weakness. Recognize and reward good accomplishments and encourage your staff to keep raising the bar.

Watch your mood. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stressors of running a practice or to be distracted by what the day holds. Work to stay positive and it will trickle down to your employees too. 

Respect Is Nurtured

Employees who feel respected will treat others with respect, resulting in a comfortable environment for everyone. Your management style will permeate every department, so a respectful tone will benefit and rub off on everyone who works with you.

Respecting Patients 

If your receptionist is stressed out, or your dental nurse is undervalued and overworked, your patients will feel the brunt of it. Your patients do not want to visit a practice where they feel like a number, or where making an appointment is a major effort on behalf of the receptionist. If patients are treated with respect and gratitude, they will feel the intent.

Respect for patients extends to those in the waiting room and those on the telephone, and even though the patient standing in front of the receptionist should always take priority, the way you handle your telephonic inquiries says a lot to the patients sitting in your waiting room.

Express Gratitude

Gratitude goes a long way in conveying and cultivating respect. Thank every staff member and every patient when you have the chance. You can never thank someone too much; those two words will make a major difference in the lives of everyone you meet.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

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Dealing with Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office

A medical emergency is one event that dental practices should be prepared for, and the level of preparation determines whether the emergency is handled successfully or not. In this article, we will examine how to develop a plan for handling a medical emergency, and which medical emergencies are most commonly experienced in the dental office.

How Does It Start?

More often than not a medical emergency starts off like any other dental appointment. It doesn’t have to be a new patient either; it’s highly likely that an existing patient you have treated for many years may present a problem. The scenario could play out like this: you administer a dose of local anesthesia and leave the patient with your assistance. When you return he doesn’t experience any numbness so you administer another dose. The next thing you know, your patient is clutching at his chest before becoming unresponsive.

Believe it or not, this scenario has a very real chance of happening. In fact, medical emergencies are 5.8 times more likely to take place in a dental environment than a medical one.

What Are the Most Common Medical Emergencies You Can Expect?

While an emergency could arise from almost anything, statistically these are the emergencies most likely to occur:

  • Adverse reactions to drugs
  • Changed mental status
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Diabetes complications
  • Seizures
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest

Statistically, tooth extractions carry the highest element of risk, followed by pulpal extractions.

So How Do You Prepare Yourself?

The three cardinal rules involve having:

  • The right tools
  • Adequate training
  • Enough practice

The American Dental Association stipulates that dentists and all practice staff members have the right training to deal with any emergencies that may arise in the dental chair and every dental practice should have a plan to deal with medical emergencies.

Step One: Assess

In a medical situation, your first step is to assess it. Is the patient breathing and does he or she have a pulse? Once you have determined an emergency is taking place, you need to call for medical transport and begin treating the patient with the appropriate tools.

Step Two: The Tools

Your emergency medical kit needs to be pre-assembled and kept in a place where everyone in the practice may access it quickly. The essential tools are:

  • Positive pressure or supplemental oxygen
  • Epinephrine to restore cardiac rhythm
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Glucose
  • Benadryl or diphenhydramine
  • Albuterol
  • Aspirin

Optional extras for your medical emergency kit include:

  • An automated external defibrillator
  • Nitrous oxide

Medical Emergency Training Sessions

It is highly recommended that your entire team has BLS (Basic Life Support) and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) training. A well-trained team has more confidence and skills available to handle any medical emergency.

Some pointers to enhance your medical training include:

– Hold training sessions in your practice.

– Practice your medical emergency response with your employees, using your own equipment.

In addition to practicing your responses every six months, you should have a written plan on hand to inform all staff members of standard operating procedures to follow during a medical emergency.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

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Celebrating the Holiday Season in Your Dental Practice

December offers up many reasons to celebrate the Holidays and it doesn’t really matter what your personal beliefs are; the festive season presents a wonderful opportunity for you to engage with your patients, and attract new ones. The rule of thumb here is to tie your messaging in with seasonality, weather or holiday celebrations.

Show You’ve Got the Spirit

Brighten up your practice with some low-key decorations such as lights or snow on the windows. Perhaps hang Christmas bulbs or snowflakes from the ceiling.
If you usually play music in the practice you might want to swap it for something a little more festive.

Give the Gift of Good Dental Hygiene

The festive season offers many relevant topics you can use to inform and educate your patients—and, of course, write about topics that matter to them. While many patients will be worried about their expanding waistlines over the holiday season, it’s a good idea to remind them about the dangers of sugar to their teeth.

Offer up sugar-free alternatives to tasty festive recipes or eating and chewing tips to minimize sugar damage to the teeth. Encourage year-end appointments before your practice closes for December so your patients can have cavities addressed before the end of year binge.

Send out a holiday newsletter full of useful information so you stay top of mind while your patients are away.

To Gift or Not to Gift?

If 2016 has been a good year for business, you may want to gift your patients. Gifting is a good way to thank your patients for their support during the year, but if you decide to do this remember to keep the gifts simple and be sure to give one to everyone.

If you want to make more of an impact on your community, consider taking the money you would have used to buy gifts and support a local charity with presents or a donation.

Put a Christmas tree up in your reception and ask patients to donate any new or used toys they want to get rid of. You can donate these toys to a children’s charity and make someone’s holiday season extra special.

Communicate Your Opening and Closing Times

If you are closing at all during the festive season, November is a good time to advise your clients. This gives everyone time to plan their end-of-year check ups. Also remind your patients to use their dental benefits up before they expire.

Remember to include a backup number for emergencies. You might be taking your first vacation in a very long time because you’re always around for your patients. But, if someone does have an emergency and doesn’t know who to turn to, you could very well end up losing the patient to another dentist.

Make sure your backup dentist is reliable and prepared to be contacted by your patients.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale