It Won’t Happen To Me
I have worked as a full time dental hygienist in the same office for twenty-six years. During this time I have seen many things happen to the practice and team, as I am sure many of you have experienced over the years.
In 2008 and again in 2016 we had the experience of two floods. Neither one was caused by something that our practice could have prevented. The flood of 2008 happened after most of the people in the building had left for the weekend – it wasn’t until Sunday when my doctor received a phone call from another tenant in the building who noticed water coming out the front door. The main line to the water heater above our suite had separated from the water heater and sprayed across our office for at least 48 hours. The ceiling was falling to the ground, at least two inches of water sat on the floor, and everything was wet and full of moisture.
The restoration crew and some of the staff were there immediately to start the clean-up process. When I arrived, I never could have expected to walk into the mess we had. The digital panorex machine, iTero Intraoral Scanner, Intraoral cameras, Piezo Electronic Scalers, all the computers, copiers, flooring, ceiling, drywall and many other items were ruined, just to name a few.
We were soon informed that it would take at least eight weeks to have the office up and operating again. As a staff member, I immediately panicked. What was I going to do for eight weeks without a paycheck? I would have to get another job.
At this time, I had worked for my doctor for 18 years. I loved working there and really did not want to get another job because I knew if I did, it would likely end up being my new home. I am not the type of person who would take a full-time position knowing I was going to leave in eight weeks; it would not be fair to the team, practice, doctor, or patients.
The flood of 2016 just happened recently, and this time it was caused by items being flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t have been. The clog was in the main line and the items could have come from any of the many offices in the building. This time we were informed that we may be out one or two weeks. This did not scare me as much as the flood of 2008, as I was going on vacation and could work temporarily if I needed to.
The flood of 2008 happened with a different doctor than the flood of 2016. After many years of dentistry, my doctor decided to retire, and three years ago the doctor I worked for sold the practice to my current doctor. I was extremely thankful that both doctors carried an excellent insurance plan with The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC). They both had coverage that took care of themselves, the practice, and the staff. This coverage enabled our practice to continue on and allowed our team to remain together.
Even if you and your staff take all possible preventive measures to protect the practice, it is possible for things that are out of your control to change your life, your practice, and your team’s life in a heartbeat. There are many catastrophic things that could happen, and the best defense you can have is insurance coverage in case it happens to you. Because believe it or not, it could happen to you.
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