Oct. 19, 2010
Since dental hygienists are unique in that we work (in that is constantly competing for our patient’s dollars), your attitude about money may directly affect the success of your practice.
Money — the lack of it, the fear of losing it, and the dread of not having enough — tops the list of concerns of many people these days. That’s because the economy is in bad shape, right? But didn’t those fears predate today’s bad news? Even when the economy is flourishing, we are still a debt-ridden nation. What’s going on? Our ability to create sufficient money in our lives is anchored by our financial attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors — what you believe can be true for your life. When these beliefs and values remain unexamined, they can get in the way of a sense of wellbeing and security. Since dental hygienists are unique in that we work (in that is constantly competing for our patient’s dollars), your attitude about money may directly affect the success of your practice.Here are a few of the more common attitudes that get in people’s way: I Don’t Like Money; I Don’t Care about Money
People at all income levels hold this attitude. It can have its origin in religious beliefs, political beliefs, or guilt over family wealth. Sally, RDH, is a child of the 1960s who says she doesn’t really like money. She never allows herself to have what she truly wants and always buys the cheapest version. Yet, Sally works with a prominent “cosmetic” dentist. Sally’s beliefs about money may influence her ability to assess needed or wanted treatment and/or discuss finances with her patients.I’m Clueless about Money
Richard, RDH, rarely balances his bank statements, doesn’t know how much money he has or spends, and, as a result, finds himself saddled with late fees and bounced check charges. Richard believes that he is not skilled enough to handle his money or may think that money is uncouth. Since he is unwilling to pay attention to his money, it may make him uninterested in practice bonus programs, fees that his practice charges, anything to due with insurance, and/or conversations about financial arrangements/payments. I Don’t Have Enough Money
Michelle, RDH, often worries about money. Although her income is twice that of her non-hygiene friends, she talks to them often about how hard it is to pay the bills. At the root of Michelle’s concern may be a belief that she can’t take care of herself and her fear of losing everything. These anxieties may hinder her ability to encourage patients to invest in full-mouth reconstructions, periodontal treatments, orthodontics, fluoride varnish application after hygiene visits, self-care products, and/or an implant and crown. I’ll Never Have Enough
Amanda, RDH, also feels that she doesn’t have enough money. But rather than feeling that the world is a harsh place for everyone, she believes it is especially hard for her. Other people will do just fine, but she’ll always be poor. If you try to encourage her, she’ll list the many strikes against her. Could Amanda’s blindness to the opportunities that are available to her limit her ability to paint a healthy picture or tell the story of what is possible (implants, crown and bridge, caries management, periodontal laser therapies, smile enhancement services, etc.) for her patients? If any of these attitudes resonate with you, you may want to explore them with compassion for yourself and support. As you bring awareness to self-limiting beliefs and adopt a more empowering stance, you expand into a larger sense of personal freedom. Also, healing our personal relationship with money helps build a solid foundation for increased patient case acceptance and the financial conversations of dental offices.