Finding a dental office that’s a great fit for you isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’ll know from your first day if it’s the perfect match, but sometimes it’ll take several months to discover that you may be better suited to another location.
Ideally, you’d figure out any inconsistencies as soon as possible so that you can switch gears and look for a better-fit office, and so the dentist can begin their search for a hygienist again.
So, here are a few tips to make sure you land in the office that is perfect for you, and to make sure you’re the dental hygienist of that office’s dreams.
Like in any profession, each dental office has its own unique culture. Some are laid back and family-like, with team members cracking jokes and personal anecdotes in the kitchen between sessions. Others might be a little more formal, only encouraging conversation about the practice.
Neither culture is bad or good, but as a dental hygienist, it’s your job to discover which office style will lead to your best performance.
Some thrive off the collaborative community of a start-up environment, whereas others feel more productive when their coworker relationships are strictly professional. Either way, you must watch the culture closely in the first few days to figure out whether it seamlessly compliments your work style, so that you can fit in with the rest of the office and contribute to its success.
Just like offices differ in culture, they also often differ in their reliance on technology. Some value the trusted pen-and-paper calendar, traditional procedures, and apparatuses. Others place their business’ success in the hands of their technology, whether it’s simply an online database or advanced digital X-rays.
You might have more experience with the first type of office and want to try the second (or the other way around), or you might insist on sticking with what you know.
Make sure to ask questions in your first few days of the job to find out exactly what technology you will be working with. After all, the ability to supplement your skills with technology might be critical to your success as a dental assistant.
Compatibility with the dentist
A little like the Batman and Robin of the dental industry, you’ll spend your career as a dental hygienist working beside the office dentist. You’ll collaborate on patients, trust each other to carry out procedures, and pretty much spend every hour of the day side-by-side in a small office.
So, in order to find the perfect office, it’s important to pay extra attention to how the dentist works with current dental hygienists, and if it seems in-line with how you work best with dentists. Do you work at the same pace? Do you use the same language and have the same philosophies? Do you have similar attitudes towards risk?
All of these questions are essential to ensuring you find a dentist that brings out your strengths as a dental hygienist, so you can truly be an asset to your new office.
It’s always intimidating to join a new office, and may take some time to fully adapt to their attitudes towards work. But hopefully these three tips will ensure that within the first few days, you can be certain that a dental office is the perfect match for you. And if not, find the one that is!
Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!