QUESTION: I’m the practice’s front office manager and I’m currently working on a manual for the dental assistants. Do many offices have a manual? I feel like the assistants in our office are all doing things their own ways. I feel disrespected because I’m constantly repeating myself and reminding them how to do things, and this causes a lot of tension. Do you have any suggestions about how I can handle the situation?

ANSWER FROM LAURA HATCH, founder of Front Office Rocks:

I think that documenting how things should be done is an excellent idea. Having clear documentation will not only help when you’re training new employees, but you’ll also have something to refer to if things start to drop off over time. But, I’ve also found that when you take the time to write down something, many times, by the time you finish it, something changes in the office and it becomes outdated. Therefore, I’ve started recommending that you take pictures or shoot a video to document how things should be done.

There are two reasons for this: 1) It’s very easy these days because our cameras are right on our phones. Take a picture of how things should be set up, or a video of how to do a certain procedure, and then save it somewhere so that employees can refer to it. 2) Pictures and videos are easier to understand than something that’s in writing, and many people learn better visually.

Good luck!

ANSWER FROM KEVIN HENRY, cofounder of IgniteDA:

This is one of the most common complaints I hear from dental practices—dental assistants do things in different ways because it’s the way they were taught. Some assistants are on-the-job trained, some attended school, some were trained by a dentist, some by another assistant, and still others learned what they could from the internet.

As frustrated as you might be, trust me, the assistants are also frustrated. They’re trying to get through their days and juggle their myriad of tasks. Most of the time they’re trying to do everything they can to make the business run as smoothly as possible, and sometimes that means taking matters into their own hands to make sure things are organized and ready for the next patient.

The bottom line, however, is that your dental practice is a business and your employees need guidelines on how to do things. Your dental practice is no different than Starbucks. Can you imagine walking into a Starbucks and having all of the baristas prepare coffee a different way? It would be chaos! The same thing sounds like it’s happening in your practice. This is why there has to be an iron-clad resolution so that everyone does things the same way.

If an assistant can’t see the value in uniformity, or explain that how he or she does something brings more value to the business, then the person either needs to change or leave, it’s that simple. Every employee must perform tasks that are the most beneficial to the bottom line of the practice. Otherwise, the business won’t run optimally. No one employee is bigger than the business.

That being said, try to listen to the assistants about why they’re doing things differently. Perhaps there is a time savings you don’t know about, or a better way to handle patients that you aren’t aware of. Listen and work together as a group to find the best way to run the business. It may be your way. It may be their way. It’s not about who is right or wrong. It’s about everyone working together and in a uniform way to make the business hum.

Your Practice Matters To Us

Successful online dental team training requires communication, planning, and starting off on the right foot. So we’ve created a “Getting Started Checklist” designed to help you and your team implement training.

Book Your Onboarding Call 

Enroll Your Team and assign tracks

Visit the first track “Getting Started” 

Every office is unique as well as every team member in a dental practice. We’ve created these focused courses for you, the Dental Professional! No contracts or subscriptions.

NOW AVAILABLE! 

We love our premade customizable documents, policies, and checklists. Use these in addition to our training modules to improve the flow in your office. 

Document Library

Our monthly membership is $249 per month for up to 20 team members and includes access to over 250 training videos and our document resources library!

Sign Up Now

 

Our annual membership is $2,799 per year for up to 20 team members and includes every course, module, and resource on our site!

Sign Up Now

 

Every office is unique as well as every team member in a dental practice. If you want training on a specific topic, or you need help getting started. Talk with us first!

Schedule Your Training Assessment

 

Looking for your next event speaker? 

As the leading authority on virtual dental front office training, Laura helps dental professionals who want to be better at what they do gain the training they need through online video courses, live seminars, and coaching. Learn more about Laura’s approach and how to book her for your next event.

Yes, Please!

With your membership to Front Office Rocks, you are never alone! We’re here for you and your team. Need to talk to us, send us a message or give us a call.

786-244-3031

Send us a message

We’ve created a self-help section on our site to help offices:

  1. navigate the platform
  2. learn how to set up their students
  3. answer common questions about your subscription and account.

Visit the Self-Guided Help Center

We’re here to help your team overcome obstacles and find ways to improve! 
Search for an answer or submit a new question to Laura.