As a dental hygienist, when you are working with an experienced dentist, trying to keep up with them during an exam can be stressful. If it seems like you are constantly fighting your own hands and fumbling the instruments in front of patients, read on, and we’ll help you work more fluidly as a team.
Organization Can Keep You 2 Steps Ahead
When you get into the office, take some time to prepare and read the charts for the day’s patients. Check how long it’s been since their last radiographs, and if new ones are needed. Give the treatment plan a once over and make sure everything that has been recommended has been completed. Verify if they are overdue for hygiene therapy or if their charting needs updating.
Once they are in the chair, ask if there is anything else they need before getting their treatment. Some may have questions about payments due after insurance, or how long it may take. Be attentive to their needs.
Present The Case To The Dentist
Presenting the patient’s case in an organized and succinct manner can save lots of time, and make the patient feel highly-valued since you have addressed all their concerns and needs. This demonstrates your overall care for their dental health.
Review their history, concerns, periodontal health and extraoral findings, your recommendations, and concerns for the doctor. This second opportunity to hear your summation of their case increases their overall education of oral health.
Get A Head Start
Before the arrival of the dentist in the treatment room, make sure you get all imagery ready and visible. Radiographs, periodontal charting, and any other visual data being on-screen already will save the doctor time and improves the patient’s view of your process.
Rather than having to ask for the information, it is presented to the doctor in an orderly manner so treatment can be effective and fast.
This extends to other preparations as well. Put fresh gauze on the tray, clean the mirror, and separate the mirror, probe, and explorer from the rest of the kit. This will make the dentist’s job easier.
Get The Exams Out Of The Way
One of the worst things a doctor can do when a patient and hygienist are ready is to keep them waiting for more than 3-5 minutes.
Beyond that, the patient will begin to wonder why their time isn’t valued as it should be, and they start thinking about all the other tasks they need to do that are now hinging on them being stuck at the dentist’s office. It will not take any longer than 20 minutes to ready a patient’s case, and excessive delays following that can be detrimental to your customer relationship.
Organization will be a major factor in taking the stress out of your exam routine. With a few minutes before opening for the day and a solid pre-exam preparation routine, you should become much more comfortable with assisting your doctor in an efficient manner.
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