[blockquote type=”full”]All three of these tips translate to providing a better patient experience – after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?[/blockquote]
1. Create a drama free, professional environment. It’s easy to get comfortable at work and treat your co-workers like extended family. After all, you spend much of your week with your co-workers. However, when patients are present, things must always be kept professional, and the focus must remain on the patient. Your patients expect top-quality care, and don’t want to overhear you chit-chatting with the other assistants about your weekend while they wait for service. A patient’s overall experience at an appointment is a lasting impression on your office as a whole – you must strive to make every appointment a positive one!
2. Remain accessible to patients. At the end of an exam or cleaning, it’s often the dental assistant who remains in the room to help the patient out and clean up for the next person. One job of the assistant is to stress how important it is to follow through with the dentist’s recommendation or treatment plan. Sometimes patients may not be entirely convinced that they really need work done on their teeth, or they may simply be scared to undergo a procedure. Hearing confirmation from another knowledgable source may be enough for them to understand how important it is to follow through. You can encourage them to schedule their next appointment before they leave the office.
3. Understand the Dentist’s Expectations. Your dentist is your boss and supervisor, and ultimately responsible for your actions on the job. When you perform the way they want, they’re happy. When they constantly have to remind you to do something they feel should be second nature, they can become dissatisfied with your performance. Some dentists are better managers than others; you must realize that simply being in charge doesn’t automatically translate to being an effective manager. Management is a skill, but you can help your dentist be a better manager through effective communication.
If the lines of communication are open, fewer misunderstandings will result. If you’re not sure which supplies or tools will be needed for the next patient, ask in advance, before the patient is sitting in the chair. Don’t wait for your dentist to become frustrated with you because you didn’t anticipate. While you’re allowed a small learning curve, you should reasonably know what to expect after repeating the same procedures a few times. Being prepared to meet your dentist’s expectations will help the office operate much more smoothly and efficiently.