A safe practice is a successful practice
Variety is the spice of life, right?
But when that variety comes in the form of Covid-19 strains, that spice turns a little sour. From OG Covid to Delta to Omicron, it seems like we’ve been living with this pandemic for a lifetime.
But it’s not 2020 anymore – symptoms have become less severe and, importantly, we have more experience; we’re still figuring things out along the way, but we’ve definitely made some progress.
Here’s how we’ve learned to keep everyone happy and healthy, from patients to professionals.
If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s the importance of having compassion for yourself and those around you; for a dental professional, it’s essential. Dental appointments can be anxiety-inducing for many patients, and that’s without the added stress of a global pandemic. Use, and strengthen, your relationships with your patients – ask them questions, get to know them better; jot down some notes so you can remember their stories the next time they come in. They’ll be more comfortable when they feel that they can trust you, and that their health and safety is your priority – this is especially important if the number of people in the office is limited, and they are unable to have their regular support.
And don’t forget to extend that compassion to your team, and yourself.
Communication is key in any relationship, both personal and professional. And to keep your patients comfortable, you need to be as open as possible. Have you ever been to the physician, and just know you’re a little bit out of the loop? Or maybe you’ve even experienced that at the dentist. As a healthcare professional, use your experience as a patient to guide your communication – most people just want transparency. Having a mouthful of dental utensils, from scalers to syringes, can be intimidating for patients – especially when they can’t really ask questions in the moment; clue them into what’s happening during their cleaning, and make sure to explain the extra measures you and the practice are taking to ensure their safety during Covid.
Be sure to communicate clearly with your team, too. Keep your conversations flowing, and make sure everyone is on the same page – it’s the best way to keep processes running smoothly, which keeps everyone safe.
Keep it clean
This one’s a no-brainer; to keep everyone happy and healthy, you have to keep everything clean. Make sure your office has the appropriate (and the sufficient amount of) PPE; if you’re a temp, consider bringing your own masks, face shields, and gloves – just to stay on the safe side. Bring a change of clothes, so you can ditch the scrubs after your shift, and make sure the autoclaves are working properly at least once a week. Follow the latest CDC guidelines, and have proper protocols put in place. Cleaning teeth requires a clean environment, with or without Covid – but your patients and your coworkers will appreciate the extra effort.
As dental professionals, your day revolves around your patients: keeping them safe and healthy and happy – so compassion, communication, and cleanliness are key. And you can’t pour from an empty cup, so take the time to care for yourself, too!
Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!