Situational Awareness: Keeping the Operatories Busy and Everyone Happy

Most dental professionals, whether they are at the front desk, assistants, or dental hygienists, are intuitively aware that: “When the doctor is happy, everybody is happy.” What makes the doctor the happiest? When his/her (and the hygienists’) chairs are not sitting idle. Do you have a plan of action to help keep those chairs filled? Situational awareness helps. Situational Awareness Situational awareness...

Boosting Morale in the Workplace: Dental Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, Right?

It doesn't matter if you are a part-time or full-time hygienist. You are at your office or other dental health setting for majority of the day or week. Sometimes you are at work more than you are at home. Am I right? Employees working together collaboratively and giving 100% every day will guarantee success. Doesn't this sound great for everyone?...

10 (More) Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists

Although the dental hygiene profession can be rewarding at times, those little nuances called “pet peeves” can overshadow the day. After a positive response to my first article, 10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves), I am following up with 10 additional pet peeves. The following is a list of pet peeves not yet explored on...

A Hygienist’s 10-year Anniversary: Discouraged to Delighted

To some, ten years seems like a lifetime. To others, it goes by in the blink of an eye. As I come upon my 10-year anniversary as a registered dental hygienist, I’ve found myself in deep, almost solemn reflection. What have I accomplished? Am I happy? Am I thankful for this career? What are my professional goals? It’s easy to...

Time Management: Making the Most of the Hygiene Appointment

Managing our time effectively in patient care is stressful, tiresome, and can often be out of our control. In 2018, Nayaka describes time management as planning available time in conjunction with personal goals while keeping individual likes, dislikes, and preferences in mind.1 She also states that good time management results in less stress, greater productivity, and improved efficiency. In hygiene...

Incorporating the Five Love Languages into Dentistry

The Five Love Languages series by Gary Chapman offers insight into how our society expresses and receives love. This concept focuses on filling a “love tank” with acts of service, words of affirmation, giving/receiving of gifts, quality time, and physical touch. The actions could appear, for example, in our relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. How can the “Five...

5 Strategies to Reduce Wait Time for Exams

It's 2:56 pm, your next patient is expecting to be seen in 4 minutes, and you are still waiting for the doctor to show up for the exam! Your heart starts to race just a bit as you realize the next patient has not had a history of flexibility. If you have never felt this angst, please thank your...

4 Ways to Surrender the “Me” and Become “We” in the Dental Office

It takes everyone in a dental office working as a team to provide the best care to patients and establishing a happy workplace. Have you ever had a coworker improve your mood in an instant? Besides gifting a million dollars, here are four ways you can return the favor. Remember Significant Events Birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I can’t tell you how great...

10 Ways to Build a Positive Dental Office Culture for Employees & Patients

Culture is defined by the character and personality of your organization. It's what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. We as hygienists affect the culture or atmosphere of the dental office as much as the dentist or office manager. What can we do as a hygienist to create a...

A Sharper Edge: Banishing Dull Instruments From Dental Hygiene Operatory

The clock is ticking along rather quickly in the dental operatory when your next patient arrives before you have even scheduled your current patient’s next appointment. The operatory needs proper disinfecting, you’re thirsty, and you need to use the restroom. Once again, your needs will have to wait. There is little, if any, downtime for hygienists in busy practices. If...

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