Is your smartphone affecting your job performance in your dental practice?

It's become an epidemic. People are on their smartphones to the point it disrupts their jobs and other parts of their lives. Here's how to avoid letting your smartphone interrupt your job performance in the dental practice.

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It's become an epidemic. People are on their smartphones to the point it disrupts their jobs and other parts of their lives. Here's how to avoid letting your smartphone interrupt your job performance in the dental practice.

Millions of people carry smartphones and computer tablets that keep them constantly connected to the Internet. Unfortunately, this is also becoming very common in the workplace.

It’s interesting how often we visit businesses where the employees are checking their Facebook feeds, text messages, and surfing the Internet while they're on the clock. It’s frustrating when a customer is trying to get the employees' attention, but their nose stays in their phone and they're unaware they have customers.

I've seen this happen at stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices, and other places. It's becoming a trend as more people are glued to their phones. Look around and take notice; it’s amazing. But ask yourself, do you carry your smartphone on you or do you put it away in your purse or jacket? If it’s off your body, you're less likely to check it often.

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With these new distractions so prevalent in the workplace, including dental practices, we have to be careful about how patients, coworkers, and employers perceive us. To be seen as a professional and not allow your phone to affect your job performance, here's what you can do:

1. Keep your phone out of sight. If it’s not easily assessable then you won’t be tempted to check it so often. Put it up in your locker or in the staff room.
2. If you must check your phone,
step into the restroom or breakroom and check your messages quickly and get right back to work.
3. Keep your phone on silent. You don’t want your phone ringing or buzzing or bothering coworkers while you're treating patients.
4. Be careful what you post on social media. Complaining about your job or boss can haunt you at your evaluation and even jeopardize your job.
5. Be strong and don’t check your Facebook feed often. Believe me, at the end of the day all the comments and pictures will still be there.

ALSO BY KIM MORGAN:5 steps in getting that raise in your dental position!

Managing your smartphone use

Can't give up your phone altogether? Experts suggest these steps to control your usage:
1.Be conscious of the situations and emotions that make you want to check your phone. Is it boredom? Loneliness? Anxiety? Maybe something else would soothe you.
2.Be disciplined about not using your device in certain situations (such as when you're with children, driving, or in a meeting) or at certain hours (for instance, between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.). You'll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Stand apart from your peers, take your job seriously, and avoid becoming part of this increasingly common trend. Give your employer 110% of your time all the time. Remember, incessant checking of emails, sending texts, tweeting, and surfing the web distracts you from your job and ultimately affects your job performance. Put your phone away, and stop the “smartphone addiction.”


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Kimberly Morgan, RDH, has over 24 years of experience in the dental field. She is the founder of YourDentalConnect.com to help connect dental professionals with jobs and employees. She co-owns and teaches at the Dental Essentials School of Dental Assisting in Austin, Texas. She is a practicing dental hygienist at a private practice in Austin. She is the current vice president for the Austin Dental Hygiene Society. She can be reached at KimMorgan@aol.com or find her on LinkedIn.

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