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Could Accelerated Hygiene Equal Accelerated Burnout?


One of the biggest things that many dentists say about their job is that career satisfaction is incredibly high. You work long and hard to be able to work in the field and then get to make a significant impact on the lives and health of your patients every single day. It is a wonderful thing but, like any career, there is a risk of burning out and getting tired of the monotony of it all.


It appears that the current patient treatment trend known as “accelerated hygiene” is contributing to an increase in career burnout in dental assistants. Let’s take a look at why, despite the productivity of the trend, it may be better to stick to traditional means or otherwise offer a modified scheduling process.


What is Accelerated Hygiene?

In a nutshell, accelerated hygiene is a process that speeds patients through the examination process without skimping on care, allowing more patients to be seen each day than with regular examinations. In this method, the dental assistants go over the medical history, take any necessary x-rays, and polish the teeth. Then, they stay present to assist with the examination while the dental hygienist does the hand scaling, charting, and any necessary ultrasonic scaling. This makes it possible to stack a lot of patients within each time window, moving through them quickly without wasting any time.


The Downside of Accelerated Hygiene

While it is a very efficient and progressive method, many dental assistants and dental hygienists struggle with the demanding nature of the process. Generally, the first room or two will have many patients needing invasive procedures or procedures outside of routine cleaning and examination measures.


Then, there will be any number of individual separate rooms for cleaning, each with a dental assistant inside. The hygienist will see the non-examination patients first and administer any needed anesthetics then move on to the scaling and charting for the examination rooms while the first anesthetic patient waits on them to finish and loop back around.


This means that hygienists can only spend a short window with each patient and often causes them to get behind. Additionally, the assistants are going non-stop, as well, helping where they can. All of this often results in overscheduling, especially if complications or concerns arise, resulting in the entire system falling behind.


As this happens more and more frequently, the hygienists and assistants begin to burn out, losing the job satisfaction they worked so hard for. Many quit after some time and seek out other employment due to the nonstop demanding nature of it all.


Work For Yourself

If you are a hygienist or assistant in one of these situations and want to break free, freelancing is an option. There are tons of locations looking for freelancers to work on their own terms and timelines. Take control of your career with the help of Stynt and access a wide range of freelance job listings within the current dental gig economy. Working as a freelancer has never been easier.