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How to be Confident and Calm when you’re a Temp Working in a New Office

Temp RDH Working

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A new job is equal parts exciting and challenging. The better you’re prepared for both, the more likely you are to succeed.


As a dental hygienist, a new office means learning the ins and outs of a whole new culture; what to wear, how to greet people, how to organize your schedule. And if you’re working as a temporary RDH, you might have to juggle multiple cultures; you may be working in an enormous, dynamic office on Monday, and a smaller, slow-paced office on Tuesday. You’ll be meeting new dentists, molding your work style so that you can support them as well as possible.


It can be a lot to process all in one fell swoop. But you’ve got this! 


Here are our top three tips to be confident and calm as a new temp.


Be open-minded and adaptive


Just as you might not be accustomed to the work style in the new office, they might not be accustomed to yours. Maybe you use different procedures to solve the same problems or differ in the relationships you have with patients.


In your first few days, it might feel like new information and ways of doing things are falling out of the sky and hitting you in the head. Remember: You can benefit by learning from those around you. (And you can always purchase a helmet if you think that’ll help.)

Ask questions, show excitement about their different work styles, and be willing to temporarily adapt how you work to fit in with the office and allow everything to run smoothly. But be prepared to change this style again if you move to a different one in a few days.


Be willing to share what you know


A new member of the team always has something to offer. Think about it: everyone in the industry has different schooling, training, and experience. They’ve all worked with different patients and dentists and faced different mouths throughout their careers. 


Maybe someone in your new office is undertaking a procedure they’ve never done, but you’ve done countless times in your previous office. Be willing to share what you know, and lend a hand to a struggling coworker if needed. Not only will sharing your knowledge and skills make your new coworkers respect you as a dentist but you might learn something new in return.


Take notes


As a temp, you may be hopping from position to position every few days, and might become quickly overwhelmed with new information about each office. It may seem self explanatory, but take as many notes as possible, about the different work styles, office environment, or anything else you might deem important.


You don’t want to learn something unique about the culture in one office and accidentally apply it inappropriately in another. Or worse, you don’t want to repeat a fact about one dentist’s personal life to impress him, only to find out you’ve mixed up your dentists. (#Awkward.)


In the fast-paced role of a temporary dental hygienist, we can’t stress enough the importance of staying calm and composed, especially when the pressure rises. Use these tips to help you out, and always remember that you know everything you need to know to be a pretty awesome temp (that’s why you were chosen.) 


And in enough time, you’ll be able to show your office just that.


Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends!

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