ANSWER FROMROBIN MORRISON, President, Dental Consultant Connection:
Image and appearance of the team, facility, and equipment can make or break a dental practice. With this in mind, dress attire should be specified in the practice policy manual, and team members should be required to adhere to the guidelines with no exceptions. Team members represent the practice in everything they do while working in the office, from customer service to level of care provided, and their appearance is important. If they wear pants with underwear showing, this should be addressed immediately with the employee directly, and they should be informed that this is unacceptable. This should not be addressed in a team meeting as a general statement, but directly with the employee.
While we're on the subject of attire and appearance, I recommend the team wear coordinated uniforms/scrubs with the practice logo embroidered on the top. When selecting styles, be sure to choose a quality fabric that is wrinkle resistant because this will keep the team looking polished and professional.
ANSWER FROM SUSAN KULAKOWSKI, Owner/Director of DDS Consulting:
The grooming, dress, personal hygiene, and appearance requirements of a dental office should be outlined in each practice's Personnel Policy Manual. Patients judge the dentistry based upon what they see. Maintaining a highly polished professional image is crucial. If this is a blatant persistant neglect of the personal appearance policies of the practice, it must be addressed and resolved with the individual responsible. Old, white, thin, and worn out scrubs are not attractive and will show what is underneath them regardless of the type of underwear. It is important to regularly replace and update clinical attire. I recommend the dentist provide uniforms or a uniform allowance to ensure high quality fashionable clinical attire that coordinates with the predominate colors within the practice in order to project a clean and crisp professional image.
ANSWER FROM JANICE HURLEY-TRAILOR, Dentistry's Image Expert:
You should not have to discuss this problem in the office. But you won’t have to worry about dictating office undergarment protocol when you purchase the right pants. The follow through on any Office Attire Guidelines, which every office should have, is directly correlated to the level of leadership in the office. And just for the record, when wearing white pants or a white skirt, dental office team mambers will want to wear undergarments the same shade as their skin, not white undergarments.
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