Dentaltown November 2015 - (Page 42)

practice management feature What You Need to Know to Hire the Perfect Hygienist T here comes a time when every practice owner starts to think about hiring that first hygienist or adding another hygienist to the existing team. Having a hygienist in the office has numerous advantages. Dentists who hire hygienists tend to have larger and busier practices. They can delegate preventative care, giving them more time to do the operative and restorative-type procedures that can't be delegated. If your practice does not currently employ a hygienist and you have eight or more patients in your chair daily, it's time to add a part-time hygienist. You may have been operating as "lean and mean" as possible, but in order to prosper and expand, you'll need those extra hands. If you currently have a mature practice with a hygienist on staff, but patients have to wait two or three (or more) weeks for an appointment, you should feel comfortable adding a part-time hygienist. Putting off appointments hurts the practice and the patients. They are more likely to not show, or change their mind altogether. Sometimes they may even go to another practice where they can be seen sooner. Practice consultant Dr. Charles Blair reports that one hygiene day is needed each week for every $115,000 of the doctor's annual collections. It's important to find a hygienist with the same mindset as the dentist. Having a great smile isn't enough-the hygienist needs to agree on a standard of care for the patients. If the dentist has a goal of implementing a periodontal program and the hygienist isn't comfortable with that, the dentist will not be able to move forward with what is best for the patients. This is why establishing and following an exact hiring process is key in finding that perfect hygienist for your practice. 42 NOVEMBER 2015 // by Sandy Pardue Step 1: Prepare a list of required skills and duties Dental hygienists are licensed professionals. Each state has a board that governs the knowledge and skills required for a hygienist to perform within a range of minimal competency. You may require the hygienist to perform a variety of patient treatments, depending on your practice and the state where you are located. Many times practices hire an employee and discover later that the person can't do-or is unwilling to do-everything in the job description. You can prevent a lot of future stress and potential problems by preparing in advance of the interview a list of the skills and duties the position will require. I suggest that you customize the list I have provided to fit the job requirements of your office. This guarantees that the hygienist, if employed, is aware of what you will expect. This also gives you an opportunity to see his or her reaction when the information is presented. Sample list of hygiene duties * * * * * * * * * * Greet the patient by name and introduce yourself Verify/update the patient's medical history Be aware of risk factors Take blood pressure Get to know the patient Inquire about dental problems Take X-rays as necessary Check the patient for missing teeth, oral lesions and decay Probe and document pocket depths. Say the measurements out loud for the patient to hear, after you have explained what the measurements mean Check to see that all previously recommended operative work has been completed. If not, encourage the patient to have * * * * * * * * * * it done Mention [out loud] to the patient any dental conditions that exist Scale and polish the teeth Apply fluoride Administer anesthesia as requested by the doctor (if legal) Perform root planing and sub-gingival curettage, as necessary Document all treatment/ anesthesia/communication Chart any needed treatment as requested by doctor Schedule the next hygiene appointment Escort the patient to the check-out desk after the appointment Prepare your room for the next patient

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown November 2015

HOWARD SPEAKS: Avoid a Perfect Storm: Focus on Infection Control
PROFESSIONAL COURTESY: Suffering from Arithmophobia?
Continuing Education Update
Industry News
Check Out This Broken Implant
Disaster Case— Hail Mary
Internal Marketing Begets Referrals
When to Refer to a Periodontist
Parents in the Operatory: Friend or Foe?
What You Need to Know to Hire the Perfect Hygienist
Space Maintenance: The Right Appliance at the Right Time
Practice Solutions: AMD LASERS
Practice Solutions: Planmeca
Product Profi le:
Adhesives: 60 Years of Clinical and Chemical Improvement
Product Profi le: DEXIS
Misaligned Anterior Teeth Straightened with Direct Composite Bonding
Five Common Web Design Mistakes
You’re a Public-Health Dentist and You Didn’t Even Know It!
Retirement Planning Made Simple
Young Patient Redefi nes the Face of Dentures
New Products
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body: A Patient Info Sheet
Ad Index
You Should Know: Synergy Dental Partners
Practice Growth Fueled by Technology
The Clinical Algorithms of Rehabilitation
Dentally Incorrect

Dentaltown November 2015