Let’s get straight to the point. Yes, a dental hygienist can be an independent contractor, but if only he/she appropriately follows the rules.
From vacations and sicknesses to pregnancies and education, there are all kinds of reasons your dental staff will need to take time off from work. You can’t just close your practice and stop everything until they return. So you need to find part-time staff to bridge the gap. When this happens, most business owners turn to a dental temp agency to help them fill the temporary vacancy. But an interim dental staffing agency isn’t always the best choice for a dental practice owner.
Anyone who has ever set up a dental practice, at one time or another has experienced a moment of indecisiveness; when do you hire more staff.
Probably the biggest concern for dentists in practice is, “do I have enough patients?” Practice management consultants will focus on the numbers of new patients, the average production garnered from each and whether the patient returns to the practice or not (retention).
We have all heard the saying, “he runs a tight ship.” We envision a ship captain at the helm of a large sailing vessel with his crew doing everything they are supposed to do without question and with expertise. We also think that if the crew didn’t they would probably “walk the plank.”
By nature, dentists are scientists and healthcare providers, not business tycoons or investment strategists. They want a fulfilling life following their dreams of creating a successful dental practice. It is a good day when their work is appreciated by their patients. Dentists assume that the money will follow along automatically.
Many dentists struggle with understanding where the money goes when they look at a dismal financial statement presented to them by their CPA. They are busy doing dentistry, but busy does not equal profitability in the world of business. Counting money coming in and money going out is for number crunchers, and most dentists would instead be crunching out crown preps or motivating patients to have implants instead of dentures. Whether a private practice or a dental clinic with more than one provider and often specialists under one roof, the principles of management are the same when laying the foundation for success.
If any business needed an image makeover, it would be dentistry. Yes, there have been many improvements to patient care and comfort, but we still have a legacy of being a place of pain and an expense that is not appreciated. People are influenced by the dominant narrative that they hear about dentistry through family members, friends, and others.
When we “hit the ground running” in the morning going to work, our thought is to get there in one piece and deal with the job stuff as it happens. All of us have more to do on our daily agenda than we want and just the thought of how and when all these tasks and activities are to happen can and does create chaos and sometimes failure. Many people don’t make action lists because they believe that they don’t have to be directed by anything except their initiative, and others will not operate without a daily menu. Whatever choice you make to track it, we all have to choose what is most important to do that day. When we want one action over another, we are prioritizing that event.
Efficiency is a big word with an even more significant meaning to your practice. It is one of those words that seems elusive in the daily world of trying to balance workload and personal time. If a lack of efficiency in several dental systems is keeping you in the office one to two hours or more past closing time, you can relate to this issue. Efficiency to some is doing it all yourself and trying to get it done in a timely fashion and getting it right the first time. Energy should be maximizing your time with the tasks that build the practice and increase profits within a typical working day.
Dentistry encompasses many aspects that make it a fascinating career. If you have an interest in science, anatomy, and the human body and you combine that with the ability to communicate effectively and a desire for continual learning, you will find your home in dentistry.