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Important Skills Every Dental Assistant Should Have

The dental industry has its own set of challenges and rewards. In order to be successful in this profession, Dental Assistants must possess a great deal of knowledge and understanding regarding the latest dental technologies, treatment options, tools and software. Here are some of the important skills required to be a successful Dental Assistant and a valuable asset to your team!

The Role of Dental Assistants

As a Dental Assistant, you will be expected to work and offer complete assistance to the Dentist in his/her dental clinic. You will also be interacting directly with all the patients and ensuring they have a great experience and provide the best possible care.

Skills or Traits of a Dental Assistant

Whether a patient needs a bridge, a root canal, crowns or a simple check up, a Dentist needs help and assistance during each procedure. Apart from offering adequate amount of support during dental procedures, a Dental Assistant should posses the following skills or traits:

Patient Care: Remember, that most people are afraid of going to the Dentist. In fact, we are the most feared medical specialist! You are responsible for putting each patient at ease and ensuring that each experience is a pleasant one! Dental Assistants should display good qualities such as being kind, empathetic, cheerful and charismatic. We are there to offer reassurance, all while helping the Dentist in carrying out the procedures smoothly and efficiently.

Well prepared and organized

Well Prepared and Organized: A Dental Assistant should be well prepared and organized and learn to plan ahead instead of managing things at the last moment- no Dentist will appreciate this! You will have multiple tasks, responsibilities, patients & maybe multiple doctors… sometimes juggling all at the same time! It is also important to remember, that you are part of a team. Being well organized helps the clinic, Doctors & the team run smoothly and effectively. You have a big role to play and therefore it is important to be organized and have things ready in advance.

Professional Approach: Needless to say, a Dental Assistant must be professional in every aspect in the office. Things like coming to work on or before time, having a positive attitude and mindset and dressing appropriately are important to ensure that you are highly committed towards your profession and career.

Attentive: As a Dental Assistant, it is imperative that you are attentive and give importance to each and every detail right before, during and after the dental procedure. Thus, preparing the dental instruments, taking x-rays, assisting the Dentist & maintaining patient’s records are a couple of things that an assistant should be capable of handling effectively on a daily basis.

As a Dental Assistant, you have a lot of things to be responsible for and you will wear many hats every day. But all your hard work should give you a sense of fulfillment. You have a lot of great skills that you get to utilize each and every day. Remember- you are in the business of changing peoples lives just by improving their smile 🙂

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We are at work for roughly 8+ hours a day. Over 40 hours per week. That’s 160+ hours a month. Ok- you get the point. We spend a lot of our time at work. If we are spending that much time at work, we need to make the best of it and do our part to make it a positive atmosphere. Here are 8 ways we can create a positive work environment.

Say what you mean

If you are having an issue with a co-worker, bring it up with that individual directly. Don’t go behind their back and start talking bad things about them. Bring up the issue so it can be dealt with and hopefully get it resolved. It is not fun working in a work environment where there is tension between co-workers.

Give praises in public

We all like to be told when we are doing a good job. If you have something nice to say about an employee/co-worker, make sure you say it publicly if you want to recognize them for their hard work. But make sure if you want to bring up something they need to work on; to do that in private. No one wants to be called out in front of their co-workers. Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.

Actions speak louder than words

Be sure your actions “say” what you want them to. Most people can get a sense if you are being fake. Say and do what you mean. Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work.

Be Respectful

Be Respectful

Be respectful

Be respectful of everyone. Everyone has a different job that they do and something different they bring to the team. Showing respect for everyone goes a long way. Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.

Create performance goals

Whether your company does performance reviews or not, it is a good idea to set goals for yourself. Make sure the goals are challenging but attainable. Monitor your performance and be ready to explain what you have done. These would be great to bring up to your boss to show that you want to learn and grow in your role.

Seek input from employees/co-workers

It is a great idea to get input from others. Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.

Ask for suggestions

Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas. From suggestions on how to improve business operations to where the next team lunch should be. People want to feel included and by asking them what they think is a great way to get people to offer their suggestions.

There are many other ways to create a positive work environment. The point is to work together as a team to make it a good place to work. Everyone has their part in making work a great place to be.

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You just received a job offer and now it’s time to way out the pros and cons. You need to remember that a job is not just about a paycheque, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s important but a job should be more than that. Here are some things you should think about before you accept the job.

The culture of the company and the values it upholds

This is one of the most important things to consider. You should know and understand the culture of the company. The culture should be aligned with your work, values and beliefs. A job is more then a place you go to for more then 8+ hours a day. You have to deal with co-workers, bosses, office politics and the like but if you don’t share a lot of the values of the company, then it will be an up hill struggle and the job can get toxic pretty quick.

Job expectations

Hopefully during the interview the scope of work was explained to you. If not, before accepting the job make sure you ask and understand what is expected of you and the task you are likely to perform. Go through this portion carefully, make sure you ask questions if you are unsure of anything or need clarification. You then need to ask yourself whether you will be comfortable with this kind of workload.

Is the job challenging enough?

You will be spending 40+ hours a week at this job. Once you know what is expected of you, you need to ask yourself if you feel the workload will be challenging enough and if there is opportunity to learn, grow and advance in the company. New challenges allow us to grow as individuals. You don’t want to remain stagnant at a job and not grow. So, make sure there will be enough variety and challenge in the job.

What about stress associated with the job?

Some types of stress is normal in most jobs, but it also depends on how you deal with stress. Remember that not all stress is bad. We can all handle a certain amount of stress associated with a job, but if it is a constant stress that doesn’t get any better, then you may need to re-evaluate your decision. Before taking the job, you should ask yourself whether you are prepared to handle stress and how much you think you can take.

Accepting job offer
Can the job provide you with new opportunities?

You are beyond excited that you were offered a great job at a good company; but the euphoria will be soon wear off and you will have a daily routine. But what about your growth opportunities; is there opportunity for you to learn new things and advance within the company? Your new job should be a stepping stone and help you gain experience and knowledge and help take you to the next step.

What about the co-workers?

During interviews, I love to ask what the team dynamic is like. It may give you an idea of what you can expect from your co-workers. You need to remember that you will spend a considerable amount of time with your colleagues. Try to ask question to try and find out whether your new team will be good fit.

Think about your personal goals

We all have some sort of idea of where we think we want to end up in our career. We may not always get there, but you need to figure out whether you will have enough to fulfil your short-term and long-term professional goals. Think carefully about how you genuinely feel about the job and then decide accordingly.

Listen to your gut

You can never go wrong with your “intuition”. What do your gut tell you about the job? Do you think that you will be happy at this job? Things don’t always go as planned, so before accepting any job. Weigh out the pros and cons and follow your gut!

A job is not JUST a job. There is a lot to consider before accepting a job. Make sure you go through and weigh everything out before you make your decision.

Need help finding your dream job, contact Stream Dental today to see how we can help.

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You’ve been sending out resumes and all your hard work has paid off. You have been asked to do a phone interview. Wait… what?! A phone interview?? Employers may use phone interviews to pre-screen candidates to decide whether or not to continue on with the interview process. But just because it’s a phone interview, don’t think that phone interviews are any easier then face to face interviews.

Do your homework

Just as you need to prepare for face to face interviews, phone interviews are no different. You still need to do your homework. It is important that you research the company. You should be prepared with the facts and figures so that you are not caught off-guard if certain key facts of the company are mentioned and you are asked to elaborate on it. It also gives you information so you can ask questions about the company.

Create a comfortable area

Even though you may have never had a phone interview before and you are a little unsure of what to expect, it is a good idea is to create a comfortable area where you will take the call. Make sure you still print out your resume to have on hand, maybe keeping a glass of water handy if you tend to get nervous. Always keep a piece of paper and pen handy, so that you can scribble notes or jot down questions for later.

5 How to's for a phone interview
Phone etiquette

Always remember that the interviewer on the line expects some amount of respect, it’s no different then being in front of them during the interview. Make sure you are in a comfortable area where it is quiet. You cannot put the interviewer on hold and instruct your child to do their homework, or tell your dog to stop barking! This doesn’t sound or look professional! Also, when you are having a conversation, it is best to take it in a closed room, so that there are no outside noises or distractions.

Make sure you listen

For any interview, this is a golden rule. You need to listen first and then answer the questions. Often, out of sheer nervousness or performance pressure, candidates started babbling things that are not even asked. In any given situation, you cannot let the interviewer know that you are nervous. So, listen patiently to what has been asked, and then stop for few seconds to gather your thought and then give your answers.

Ask questions

Like any other interview, you should try to understand the subtext of the conversation. It is just not a question/ answer session. The interviewer, is trying to gauge your attitude, personality and assess your skills. So do not rush your answers, and try to explain everything as thorough and precise as you can. Not only is this about the interviewer asking you all the questions, this is your chance to ask them more about the company. If you have jotted down any questions or notes during the interview, this is a great time to ask any questions you may have.

In any interview, you need to show the interviewer, why you are the best choice for the job; whether it is through the telephone or a face-to-face, you need to put your best foot forward.

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The job interview is all done! Now comes one of the hardest parts…. the waiting game!

After an interview, candidates often sit back and wait anxiously for the phone to ring. Instead of just stressing about how you thought the interview went and constantly checking your phone for missed calls, let’s be proactive and see what to do in regards to a post-­interview follow up.

Before the interview finishes, make sure you ask what the next step is and when they expect to notify candidates of their decisions. That way you will have a time frame of when you should follow up.

Soon after the interview

It may sound old­ fashioned, but some things have a timeless appeal; a thank­-you note is one of them. It could be a note, a letter, a phone call or even an email; the point is to send a follow up a day or two after an interview. Your thank­-you note/email should be simple, letting them know you appreciated them meeting with you and you look forward to hearing back on their decision. It also shows you have enthusiasm and you really would like to join their team. Keep it short, simple and professional­—remember they are busy running a practice.

Write an email or make a phone call

Post-Interview Follow UpSo, it’s been a few days after they said they would notify candidates, and you still haven’t heard a thing. Now what?! It is ok to send them another follow­up email or call them. You can simply write and ask them about the process and let them know how much you are interested in the job. Do not be overbearing and email them every day. There could be a number of reasons they haven’t called — they might not have finalized their decision yet, vacation, illness; but regardless, you do need to be patient and respectful.

Professionalism works

Finally! You received an email from their office, but it may be something different from what you expected! It could be an email saying that you have been hired; or it might be an email notifying you that they haven’t made a decision yet and to wait a few days, or one might bring some disappointing news. So however it plays out, at least the waiting is over and you know what is happening. Always remember that every impression counts. So, you should always be professional, courteous and always remain enthusiastic. Even if you didn’t get the job, you should not be disappointed. Just keep on going and be proactive!

Having trouble finding your dream job? Contact Stream Dental today! Our mission is to help you find your dream job faster!

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If you have a thriving practice, hiring someone becomes a tough decision, as you want only the best on your team. During the interview, you may have felt excited about a candidate, only to find out a short time later that he or she has not turned out as per your expectations.

Let’s go over some ideas on how you should screen potential candidates.

Change the focus of the interview

The natural tendency during the interview is to concentrate on technical questions. Don’t get me wrong; the need of technical skills should never be undermined. If you look back at all the encounters with your previous employees that didn’t work out, you are bound to agree that things did not work out with the employee, not ‘only’ because of technical skills. There is always more to it than that. You also need to take into consideration the individual’s personality and attitude. Remember that someone’s true personality and attitude come to the forefront after a point of time. If you are basing your screening process only on technical knowledge, then the entire focus of your interview is incorrect. To hire great employees, one should include both personal, behavioural AND technical questions in the screening process.

Do not make any assumptions

The greatest mistake that a dentist can make about his potential employees is to make assumptions about the candidate. When you ask for references, your mind may already be preoccupied with the thought that this person must have done his/her work well which has resulted in a good reference. But there have been times when you have actually felt disappointed with that person even though he or she had a glowing reference. How to Screen Potential CandidatesInstead of concentrating on references, try to find out whether the candidate is suitable for the job within your office and will fit among the team. Each candidate responds differently to each situation and each employee. So, assuming that a person is great, just because he or she received some exceptional rating from a previous employer, it is not the best way to judge a candidate.

What should you do?

When you think about your practice, what are the goals that you have envisioned? Think about them and prepare a list of questions. These questions should help you to peer inside the minds of the candidates. You should not just ask questions about the immediate job; try to find out what he/she thinks of the greater vision. The candidate will be able to tell you about his or her expectations and how he or she wants to reach their goal. Know your candidate well, before you hire that person, and try to find out whether he or she fits the role and your team.

Before you hire someone, think about the vision of your job, and try to find out whether that person is capable of fulfilling that vision. We know the process of hiring is a lot of work, and you want to make sure you make the right decision.

Let Stream Dental help you narrow down the selection process for you.

Contact us today for a Free Consultation and see how we can help you!

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There are two simple words that can have a huge impact. You probably guessed them — they’re “Thank you.” But it is not just about saying the words, but to actually have meaning behind those words. We’ve all heard about the power of “thank you.” This is probably one of the most amazing ways to boost the morale of your dental team. Your team has worked hard; they should be appreciated for all they have done because without appreciation, you cannot motivate your team to continue to grow. There are so many different ways in which you can say “Thank you.” Here are just a few ideas.

Recognize the special days

For anyone that handles a team, you should know how important it is to have a happy team. Small things like identifying work anniversaries, birthdays or any accomplishments can make a huge difference. You can celebrate these events in simple ways, like buying a round of morning coffee for your employees, or you can get a nice greeting card and get it signed by everyone in office to mark their anniversary. Whatever you do, it is the gesture that counts. Behind every gesture, there is an underlying thought, and it is thought that matters. These gestures are actually equivalent to a “thank you.” Sometimes gestures are more important than words!

Encouraging new ideas

A team that works well together can make great progress. In other words, when the team starts sharing ideas, they have a synergy between them, and can get things done. As a leader or a manager, you should always encourage new ideas. Listen to their ideas and suggestions, and encourage them to find ways to incorporate them in your practice. In your weekly or monthly reviews, you should also share critical information about business processes, so that the employees are well informed. This also makes them empowered, and if they are given the authority to implement changes, it acts as a great motivating factor, because they feel that their contributions are recognized. Communication is a two-way thing, so keep the channel open and encourage new, innovative ideas. And once your team sees that their ideas have been incorporated, they are certainly going to feel appreciated.

Saying "Thank You" to Motivate Your TeamCreate a comfort

If you ask your employees to suggest little things that can make a great workplace, some may answer that things as simple as having a proper work desk or a good coffee machine are really appreciated. Creating a comfortable ambience is not only about aesthetics, it is also about showing you care about these things. You want your patients and your team to be comfortable. A comfortable setting can really make the workplace feel inviting. It shows that you are taking an effort in creating a nice and comfy atmosphere for them. And you will be surprised to know that these small changes never go unnoticed by the team.

Often saying ‘thank you’ is not enough; you have to show that you care and are ready to make changes to create a positive environment for the team. It is one thing to just say “Thank you,” but another thing to actually mean it. Who knew something so simple, could be so powerful? So make sure your “Thank you” matters!

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“Efficiency is doing better what is already being done”- Peter Drucker

It is important to work well within a team but sometimes you need to take a step back and analyze your own skills and try to find ways in which you can improve yourself. Here are 5 tips that can help you to increase your personal efficiency.

Be Proactive

Let’s start by distinguishing the difference between an effective person vs an efficient person.

Efficient people are well organized. They check things off their to-do lists. They complete projects. They get stuff done.

Effective people do all that… but they check the right things off their to-do lists. They complete the right projects. They get the right stuff done. They execute and produce what makes the biggest difference for the office… and for themselves. They don’t just know what to do, but they know WHY they need to do it! They have purpose that drives them to be dedicated and organized.

Remember that there are people behind those teeth! You are in the business of changing people’s lives just by improving their smile. Having the big picture in mind will help us to be and run efficiently & effectively!

Plan out your day

“Live your life on purpose. Not by accident”

Before you start your day at work, take 15 minutes to carefully go through what your tasks are and create your plan of attack for the day! You may be thinking this is not an efficient use of my time, but in fact it creates focus, intention and clear direction. Once you start working through your list, it gives you a sense of accomplishment to check off items from your list! This also applies to having a morning meeting with the team before you begin the day. Look through the schedule and review any potential hiccups and how to manage them before they happen. Why not start the meeting off on a good note by citing a positive quote for the day!

Create Systems

“94% of problems in business are systems driven and only 6% are people driven” – W. Edwards Deming

Increase Personal Efficiency in 5 Easy StepsGoals can provide direction and a final destination to help push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system is your GPS—a step by step plan on how to ACTUALLY get you to your final destination. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

Having an up-to-date office manual is your practice’s road map to success. Taking the time to have all of your systems outlined will save you in the long run.

Cut out time-wasters

There are so many distractions that can sap our energy and waste our time. So, try to audit your time, and find out what are things that are hampering your productivity. It can be a long email or a lengthy call or updating the office social media accounts. All these are essential parts of the job, but if they are hampering real work, then you should trim the time or adjust the time that you are doing these things.

Find happiness in success of others

Great companies are made up of team members who help each other, know their roles, set aside their personal goals, and value team success over everything else. Find fulfillment in helping other people succeed. In the process you will succeed, as well—in more ways than one!
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Those are just a few tips on how to increase your personal efficiency. Not only does Stream Dental help you find the best employees, but we provide motivation so they can reach their full potential. From webinars to onsite visits, to team building events and everything in between. Our business is helping your business thrive through your people. Running a team is unique and we can show you how to build it. Contact us today!

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You may have just finished your schooling and you’re full of optimism! The very thought of getting a great job keeps your enthusiasm high. But is that excitement enough? You need to begin preparing your resume and start networking in the field. You need to get yourself prepared for landing your dream job. Let’s find out how you can do that.

Prepare your resume

Resumes are like snapshots of your experience and educational background. So you really need to put in a lot of effort when you are preparing your resume. Not to stress you out, but you need to remember that many others will be applying for the same job. You need to make your resume stand out and reflect your uniqueness. Do not just copy any generic statement from your friend’s resume and expect it to be fine! Don’t forget about the cover letter. It should go hand in hand with your resume.

Do your research

When you have interviews lined up, make sure you do your research. You want to be prepared for when you go for your interview. Think of examples of past experiences you can talk about. Also, remember to gather all the information you need to about the dental practice. Come ready with questions to ask during your interview. It is all about creating an impression. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be good places to do your research.

Attitude is everything

You have your credentials from the dental school to back you up in the interview. But what gives you an edge over others is attitude. Everyone likes a person with a positive attitude. Your smile, your gesture and your way of talking matter a lot. Don’t forget the importance of a handshake, it should be firm and exude confidence. Often during the interview, you may be asked why you have left your last job (or why you are looking for a new job). Do NOT badmouth your previous employer! It creates a bad impression. But what you can do is tell them about what you are looking to gain if you work for this dental practice. This is something every interviewer appreciates. (For example, I am looking to gain new skills/ experience in…)

Landing Your Dream Job in the Dental ProfessionProfessionalism is the key

When you go for an interview, you need to put your best foot forward. It will help you create a great impression. Little things like organizing your certificates and credentials in a proper folder or handing print-outs for your professional summary will be useful. Think from the perspective of the interviewer and come prepared. When you are looking to work in a professional environment, you need to look and act like a professional. Dress for success! Take some time to prepare for your interview; because preparation is the key to good interviews. This is your chance to create an impression and to show them why they should hire you. You can do this. Good luck!

 

We all want to inspire others and have a successful team. But when it comes to leading a team, you need to be cautious. All teams are comprised of people with different characteristics and different goals. Inspiring and motivating them to work as a team requires work and commitment from you as their leader. Here are some points to get your team motivated! Let’s Go Team!!!

Help them to build careers

When you are leading your team, you should try to find out what each employee’s individual goals are. Remind them that it is not JUST a job; it’s more than that. Help them focus on their goals, and let them know that you want to help build their careers. You can create a work environment that supports the growth of individuals. It is one thing to just provide them with a job description, but another thing when you can help them to have a vision for their future, and also show them the path which will lead them to their vision. You can inspire them, motivate them and also boost their confidence to help them reach their goal. And the best part to having an empowered team is that it will help your business grow.

Appreciate your team

You must remember that showing your appreciation is very important to help your team grow. If your team does not feel appreciated, it is difficult to motivate them to take on new tasks. Appreciation can come in many different forms. A simple thing like a note complimenting them on a job well done can do wonders. You can call your employees to an informal meeting and discuss the major highlights for that week. By doing this, it will definitely tell your team that you have noticed their hard work. Awards are also great motivators. So, if you are planning to do something formal, it can take the form of an award!

Ideas on How to Lead Your Dental TeamInfuse some fun in the job

Of course, pay is a good factor when it comes to retaining employees. You pay them well, and they will definitely think twice before moving out. But at times, it is also more than the money. It is also about how much they are learning and whether they enjoy being at work and are having fun at the office. It might sound a little off track, but many employees feel that their growth is directly proportional to the amount of fun they are having while learning new things.

Building commitment in an unconventional way

If you feel that there is lack of commitment in your team, you should try to find out what the missing element is and how you can bring it back. Instead of stressing on the conventional management ideas like accountability or empowerment, you can motivate your team in a fun way. You can actually introduce team-building exercises or games that will help them to find joy in their work. I know what you are thinking… “I don’t have time to do team-building activities,” but it is a great way to bring your team together.

If you put time and effort into your team, your team will put the time and effort into the practice and will be shown the benefits.

We know it can be a lot of work to plan performance reviews but we have developed a guide that has everything you need to conduct an effective review with your team!