Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You might ask what a typical day is typically like. That can vary depending on the office you work in, whether or not you have assisted hygiene (sometimes referred to as double-booking), and how many doctors are in the practice. Here is what my day is like at my office:

7:40AM Arrive to office, set up room, restock items that are short supplied, review charts of what needs to be done on each patient

8:00AM Morning huddle/ staff meeting, discuss your schedule with doctors and rest of office, who needs treatment that is seeing you (in case doctor has cancellation), who is past due, who needs new medical history forms filled out, etc.

8:15AM -12:00 PM - Seeing patients. Children 12 and younger have 30 minutes, 13 and above have 45 minutes, perio has one hour or more depending on amount of calculus and depth of pockets

12:00AM - 1:00 PM - Lunch! :)

1:00-4:00 PM - Patients

4:00 - ? Finish sterilizing instruments, cleaning waiting room, rest rooms, vacuuming, etc. This whole process takes around 15 minutes but depending on how far off schedule the office is - it could be up to 4:45 before I leave.

I strongly suggest arriving to work the same time as assistants do, or earlier. Also, you should never leave early for lunch or at the end of the day unless everyone has finished and are about to leave as well. Some hygienists disagree with this and will say "If I'm done with my patients, why can't I leave? My room is clean and I finished sterilizing my instruments!” Let me be the first to tell you that this is one of the first ways you can become labeled as a prima Donna! No one likes a coworker who is not a team player. Everyone has things to do after work, just like you. Don't put yourself on a pedestal and leave the rest of the staff there to close down the office while you get a jumpstart on your drive home. There could be exceptions to this rule and it could depend on the owner’s philosophy. Even in situations where you are paid commission and your last patient didn't show, I would still stick around as long as possible. The reason is - what goes around comes around. If you are the one running behind schedule and are the last one to finish, how would you like it if the whole office has already left for the day because you took too long? Always ask who needs help, and sometimes don't ask - just do it! Remember my motto - A great employee does not have to be asked to do things. Clean your room, clean the waiting room, sterilize instruments, put things away, empty trash from all the rooms (yes that means the doctors rooms too), empty water, purge waterlines, etc. Do things assistants normally do at the end of the day. If you are the one sitting in the corner filing your nails and you are the one leaving as soon as you can and getting to work the exact minute you are supposed to be there, well that will cause animosity and hostility - even if you don't think so. People might be nice to your face, but trust me; they will talk about you when you're not around. Do everyone a favor and don't let yourself become the office gossip!

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