Itís Just a Dental Office Job
Being a dental partner means having the opportunity to be something more than an employee. Gigantic possibilities lie ahead - to grow as a person, in your career and in your community. To live the Dental Practice mission and to be a leader. It’s the opportunity to become your personal best. To be connected to something bigger. To be meaningful to the world. And to be recognized for all of it. It’s all here for you.
The text above could be from a recruitment advertisement for a dental office employee, but it is not. The bolded text replaced the word “Starbucks.” It’s just coffee - but after visiting their website you believe it is much bigger than that.
As healthcare professionals, dental teams improve the lives of their patients and can have as important a mission as Starbucks. Unfortunately, many dental team members do not see the big picture of their work and careers. Whose fault is that, when there are enormous opportunities for growth, education and advancement available for all who seek it?
As Senior Instructor for McKenzie Management’s Office Manager, Front Office and Dentist CEO training programs for over ten years, I have witnessed the frustration of those asked to deliver performance when they don’t know how to get there. Lack of training and leadership bring down what could be a thriving career to nothing but a mundane, uninspired job where you punch in and punch out at the end of the day.
“I want my front office person to have ‘ownership’ of her position” lamented a dentist in conversation. Creating the “ownership” attitude involves more than just showing up and doing the minimum to earn a salary. As CEO, the dentist must provide more than a paycheck. The dentist must bring value to the position and back it up with ongoing training and guidance for the employee to achieve excellence. I have heard over and over again how there is a “limited pool” of skilled dental workers in many areas of the country, including Canada. Why is that? Could it be that careers in dentistry are not promoted by dentists?
On the Starbucks website there is a Starbucks Career Center where job seekers can explore the opportunities and perks of working at Starbucks. Dental websites can provide Career Centers and information about careers available in dentistry too. There could be a dropdown that lists the positions and educational and licensing requirements along with an application form. Jobs available can be listed at this site along with the job description.
To attract talented people, dental employers must be willing to give more in order to receive more. Many office managers and front office team members are left out of continuing education, except when updating the practice software. Continuing education for front office personnel should be mandatory. There are changes happening in dentistry that must be understood and implemented such as HIPAA, digital technology, and OSHA compliance. Employees should also be taught how to improve customer service by answering the phones correctly and interacting on social media, proper coding of dental claims and cross coding for medical/dental claims, and improved methods of presenting treatment and the process of “sales” to patients considering purchase of dental services. The knowledge of the basics of dental systems and being able to monitor the numbers is absent in many front office employees because they have never been taught.
Few dentists give performance reviews or feedback to their employees, except when there is a problem. This type of communication stifles those who want to grow because there is a risk of feedback that is usually negative. As a result, “flying under the radar” or doing the minimum is common behavior. This type of approach does not inspire “ownership.” Knowledge is power, and power creates a drive to succeed. Drive to succeed thus creates “ownership.”McKenzie Management provides ongoing professional training and development for the dentist and the business team. We support the career path of the entire team and provide the training and support necessary to succeed. Call us today and make it a career path toward success with courses in Business, Leadership, Telephone Skills, Treatment Acceptance and Practice Assessment and Consulting Services. Forward this article to a friend
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