Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?
Your feedback to the article titled, "Has Hygiene Been Hijacked?" that appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of RDH eVillage.
Director's Note: If you missed the article discussed below the first time, you can still view it here.
I recently read your article, "Has Hygiene been hijacked?" This was wonderful to read, and oh so true. I have been in the profession for 25 years and seen many changes take place. With the merging of offices the dental scene is becoming a factory and therefore, the office managers are dictating the hygiene output.
The one-on-one communication is lost because the end result is the "bottom line" time and money. We are more than cleaning teeth; we are counselors, dieticians, educators, assistants, schedulers, and sometimes the patients feel we are better listeners than the dentist. However, due to consultants entering dental offices and assessing their recommendations, the hygienist can be the most productive person at times and overworked.
The office managers take the control from these consultant recommendations. The dentist is aware of our wages and gives the OK for the managers to overwork the hygienist. Let us not forget there is also the dentist who does not let this happen, is quite aware of the knowledge and skills of his/her hygienist. Those are the dentists who are not afraid to learn new techniques and are also teachers to their staff and patients. These are few and far in between.
Anita Walthier, RDH
This was an interesting article written from the position of it is better to attack others then to consider it takes everyone on a team to make it work. Communication is the key to creating a practice filled with problem-solving, goal-oriented professional care givers. When blame storming becomes the norm, you drive a wedge within the framework of the team instead of brainstorming to work together.
Everyone on a team is responsible for creating the environment of care that naturally must be matched with keeping the practice profitable so the care can continue. No one person or one system is ever to blame for the environment of a dental practice; they are all inextricably liked and the entire group of professionals are accountable and responsible for maintaining the high standards of quality care and patient service.
I believe that it is better to work together towards achieving those standards than pointing the finger of blame to one system or one group of individuals. I encourage all readers to keep in mind that team stands for together everyone achieves more.
Cindy J. Ishimoto
Speaker, consultant and author
Thank you so much for your article on hygiene being hijacked. I graduated from hygiene school in 1991. I have worked for the same dentist for 16 years, having gone to high school with him. In January of this year I was pushed out.
At 63, I know in my heart the no one is going to hire me. A new dentist was brought on board three years ago, multi-million dollar office revamped and two new hygienists hired. All of the existing patients were distributed between four hygienists; all new patients were given to the new dentist.
The office "manager" is the best friend of the existing hygienist and the hygienist's sister-in-law also works the front desk.
I was told my production was low and that I was going to be the one to leave. I was shocked as I did not make or confirm my appointments. You can only do what you have on the schedule. The front desk was allowed to decide who would see who, and changed fees and providers.
I cannot tell you how many times I walked to the front desk and they were shopping on the internet.
Needless to say I am not a happy camper and have a lawsuit against the dentist for age discrimination as he has hired a younger person to take my place.
Please keep up the good work; this was a very timely article for me.