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Welcome to the Dental Office blog. On this site we will share information on how we conquer the real-world challenges that we each face in our pursuit of running high-quality, successful, profitable and harmonious dental offices.

The Dental Blog invites you to share your knowledge, successes, failures and crazy stories with fellow dental professionals. Sharing our combined knowledge, we can each create our own unique dream practices.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dentist Wants More Time Off – How to Deal With the Staff?

A dentist recently told me that he was going to take five weeks of vacation this year and did not know how to deal with his staff. In the past he had given his staff members two weeks of paid vacation and he did not know how to approach the situation with his six staff members.

His first thought was to give them all an extra week of paid vacation (for a total of three weeks of paid vacation) and then to take the other two weeks of his vacation time as non-paid time away from work. He felt if he closed for five weeks and increased their paid vacation by one additional week that they would be happy. He approached his staff about this idea and was nearly burned at the stake! He called me and asked for my advice.

After laughing for quite some time at the picture that he painted of the mutiny in his office, I asked him to look at the situation from his staff’s perspective. His staff relied upon their income from his practice to keep their households afloat. Two weeks of reduced pay was a hardship for them. He was asking them to take a pay cut so that he could enjoy longer vacations.

I suggested that he PAY his staff for all five weeks of his vacations. That they use that time to – clean the office, restock, clean up charts, call patients, make sure the hygiene schedule was on track, take continuing education courses, talk at elementary schools about oral hygiene (bring the big teeth) and do other activities that would make the practice nicer and run better.

They decided that each staff would get one extra week vacation (for three weeks away), that each staff member would use five days to do their continuing education units and that they would use the remaining five days to do additional work in the office pertaining to their job.

The dentist will get his five weeks of vacation, the office will be in better condition, everyone will be up to date on their continuing education needs and most importantly – there will be NO STAFF MUTINY!

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Inappropriate Staff Dressing?

I received an email from a male dentist who was unsure of how to handle the situation of a young, attractive dental assistant who was dressing inappropriately.

The first thing I asked him was to be more specific as to what he meant by inappropriate dress. He said she was well endowed and would wear revealing clothe that showed too much top and shorts that did not cover enough bottom. He said that her attire would work in a night club or on the beach but was not what he wanted for his office. He was worried that by talking to her that he might offend her or get a harassment law suit. Additionally – the rest of his staff was not happy with her appearance either!

I told him that he could choose to create a dress code that demanded that the entire staff (or just clinical staff) wear scrubs while they work. If he did this he would have to either provide the scrubs or uniforms for the staff or give them a uniform cash allowance.

Another option was to create an office dress code that allowed more freedom of choice but set limits as to sleeve length, cleavage exposed, stomach exposed, pant or skirt length, etc… This method would require more staff buy in but would also work. The dentist might have to give the staff a clothing allowance because staff would be ruining their own clothe during work. I personally opted for having scrubs and providing them for my staff. I let the staff pick out the outfits and we all loved them. They often picked really funny colors or patterns.

Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems