3 ways dental assistants can make changes in their practices
Dental assistants are an important part of dental practices, and as such, they should share their ideas for improvements when they have the chance. This takes nerve, but they'll be surprised at the results!
One of the biggest mistakes I see dental assistants make is waiting for things to happen in the practice rather than making things happen in the practice. Far too often, assistants think they have no control over their own futures when, in fact, they have an amazing amount of control.
If you’re a career-minded assistant who wants to have a happy future with a practice, what are you doing today to make the practice the place you want it to be? Here are some ideas.
Take control of the situation
If something is going on in the practice that does not make sense or is detrimental to the attitudes of you or other team members, put a stop to it immediately. It may take a difficult conversation, but it needs to happen if it’s causing angst within the practice. Patients can feel when something is not right between team members, so resolve issues quickly and then move on. As my grandpa used to say, “When you bury the hatchet, don’t put an X on the ground so you remember where it is.” Resolve the issue and pledge to put it behind you for the betterment of your patients and practice.
Come up with ideas that impact the bottom line
Don’t sit back and say that things are fine when they’re not, or when things haven’t changed in years. As a dental assistant, you should know everything you’re legally allowed to do and not allowed to do in your state. If you don’t know, visit DANB.org and find out. This information is easy to find under “Meet State Requirements.” Look that up, and then see what you can do to help the bottom line of the practice. Then bring this to the doctor’s attention. There’s no better way to expand your horizons than with the bottom line of the practice. Plus, this shows you’re invested in the success of the practice, a fact that’s very valuable in the eyes of a dentist.
I heard about one practice in upstate New York that kept having the same boring huddles with the same boring message. The assistant came up with the idea of solving at least one big problem at every huddle. No, it wasn’t a finger-pointing session, but a way to get the team talking about what could be improved in the practice. Every huddle soon started with this and it made a world of difference in the team’s attitudes and the practice’s financial success.
Life is too short to be unhappy, so work today to resolve the differences in your practice and make the changes you want to see happen. There’s no reason that you, the awesome dental assistant who keeps the entire practice running, should not suggest and implement ideas. Show others the leader that you are by taking charge when everyone else seems to be fine with the status quo. Change for the sake of change isn’t always good, but change with a clear purpose can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved.
One of my favorite lines from Bruce Almighty, which is one of my favorite movies, is, “Be the miracle.” Don’t just wish a miracle might happen in your practice and everything will be fine. Be the miracle and make the change that you want to see happen.
Make today a day of change and better than yesterday. You can do it.
If you need help or ideas or encouragement or whatever, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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