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Job satisfaction can be as important as wage increases to dental staff

Jan. 7, 2016
Dianne Watterson's blog examines the value of job satsifaction to dental staff members.

By Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, RDH, BS, MBA

Editor’s Note: This blog contains follow-up commentary to a column published by the author in the December 2015 issue of RDH magazine. To view the column, click here.

Anytime I write a column on wage increases, it generates a lot of comments. I think all of us feel we are underpaid at times, and there are situations that bring that sentiment to the surface. The work is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I can remember being so drained at the end of a workday that I would go home and lie down for 15 to 20 minutes before I could even start dinner for my family. Hygienists deserve to be well-paid for their efforts.

There’s an old cliché that says, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” Well, I do love what I do, but it still feels like work. What I know is that if we love what we do, we get through the hard days and know that tomorrow will probably be better. We get personal and professional satisfaction by helping people achieve good oral health. If we stay focused on that goal, day-to-day aggravations and frustrations won’t take away our satisfaction. The thing that gave me the most job satisfaction was when I knew that my boss appreciated me and my efforts to help his patients. I really feel for hygienists who have unappreciative employers. I also feel for employers that have unappreciative staff members.

One more thing I know: above average doctors charge above average fees and pay above average wages to above average staff members who do above average work in above average practices. Do you aspire to be above average?

DIANNE GLASSCOE WATTERSON, RDH, BS, MBA, is an awards winning speaker, author, and consultant. She has published hundreds of articles, numerous textbook chapters, an instructional video on instrument sharpening, and two books. For information about upcoming speaking engagements or products, visit her website at wattersonspeaks.com. Dianne may be contacted at (336)472-3515 or by emailing [email protected].