by Rhonda HuntWhat would be a 'perfect day' for you?
How can you make your day perfect? If you have good organizational skills, your day likely is running more smoothly. Hopefully, you have a system in place for emergencies, and the routines seem to be working better. Remember that a true system constantly changes to meet your needs.
Whenever I or someone else suggests a tactic that sounds promising to you, does your will to act freeze up? The number one thing to remember is to believe in yourself. It's that simple! Discuss with your doctor or chairside about how you feel the working relationship could be better. Talk about how you would like to implement some changes to make things run more smoothly for the two of you and, ultimately, the patient. I remember telling Dr. Blaes that I was tired of everyone else running our lives.
"Why can't we be in control of our own schedule?" I asked. After all, it is "our" day, and why can't it be the way we want it to be.
Back to my original question - what would be a "perfect day" for you? Skipping work is not the solution. If this option is on your mind at all, then it's definitely time to make some changes in what you do every day. Let's make what we do fun! Do you enjoy doing root canals all day? How about third molar extractions, sealants, composites, amalgams, crown and bridge, or implants?
Let's first look at the treatment that we absolutely hate to do - regardless of whether it's root canals or extractions - and find a solution to free up more time. In our practice, Dr. Blaes does not enjoy doing root canals or extractions so we simply refer all of those cases to our specialist in the neighborhood.
Set up a time to meet with "your specialist" and discuss how you would like them to treat your patients. You will be surprised how they will do what you want; after all, you are giving them more business. You will find that they, too, will begin to refer patients to you as well.
My "perfect day" would be to start early and finish on time every day. I would like to have all of our production produced by lunchtime and then ease through the afternoon. Dr. Blaes and I are morning people and that is when we have the most combined energy. Don't you hate doing crown preps at 4 p.m.?
But it never fails to amaze me about how our schoolteacher gets stuck in 4 p.m. traffic and comes in about 15 minutes late, has bleeding tissue that's hard to control, can't open wide, and gags everytime you put the suction in. And that's before you start the impression. I hate to finish my day like this!
Let's schedule my "perfect day." All production would be in the morning. New patients are scheduled for 7:30 a.m. or as the first patient after lunch. When I say "all production," I'm also referring to any seatings of crown and bridge as well. I like our afternoons to be simple - treatment consultations, any adjustments, single crown seatings, and small operative treatments such as occlusal composites.
We never see any preps for crown and bridge or veneer treatment in the afternoon. I truly mean never! I know you are probably thinking about Mrs. Smith who has been a patient forever, and she absolutely cannot come in any other time but 4 p.m. You may want to let her know that the doctor does his best work in the morning but "if you really want to come in at 4 p.m. ..."
We handle Mrs. Smith this way. "Dr. Blaes does this treatment only in the morning, so would 7:30 or 9:00 work better for you?" Please remember that "we" are in control of our own schedule. When was the last time a surgeon ask you what time would be best for you? If Mrs. Smith was scheduling heart surgery, or any other type of surgery, she wouldn't be scheduling at her convienence, would she?
Start with scheduling one day a month exactly as you would want it to be. Play with the schedule and make any changes you need to make your day ideal. Then start scheduling one day a week like you would want it to be.
You will notice that you feel much better, have very little stress, and more likely produce more in that one day than you have all week.
Wow! Why can't every day be like that? It can! Make everyday your "perfect day."