Time Management As A Dental Assistant


Nothing is more stressful than falling behind. It gets even more stressful when you have patients that are waiting on you, and the rest of your team.

If you find yourself running behind frequently then take a look at these four quick tips to see how you can start improving your time management starting today.

Limiting Your Distractions

One thing that can set anybody behind is constant distractions. The biggest distraction that we all face is the use of our phones.

While our phones can be extremely helpful and valuable they can also be a significant distraction at the workplace. There are times and places to check and utilize your phone. Often your time can be better spent than using your phone at the dental practice.

This may sound harsh but it is actually for your own good. Using those small increments of time between patients, or assignments can help set you ahead and make the rest of your workday less stressful.

There are of course going to be times when you will need to be checking your phone. The most notable time is when there may be a family emergency happening. In cases like this make sure you alert your respective supervisor of the situation to ensure that they are not perceiving you checking your phone as slacking off.

There are some dental offices that are very open about their team’s phone use. Offices like this can give you a lot of flexibility throughout your workday. We would still recommend keeping yourself to a strict schedule of phone use during the workday unless there is truly nothing to do. However, we know that at a dental office that there is always something else to do.

Assess and Prioritize

You’re going to get pulled in a lot of different directions throughout the day. A crucial skill that you need is the ability to assess and then prioritize multiple requests. 

Multitasking can be extremely beneficial if someone is able to do it and provide the same high-quality to both tasks, but often this is not the case. It is typically more beneficial to prioritize tasks as they come in instead of attempting to work on multiple ones at the same time.

An obvious example may be that a patient is needing some assistance in understanding an upcoming procedure, but you were already in the middle of organizing some patient files.

In this case, we would recommend stopping the organization and assisting the patient. If you choose to do so make sure you still leave the patient files in an organized fashion so that you can return to them quickly.

If you get pulled away once again to a task that may seem as if it will take a long time then make sure you finish putting the files in a way that they can be utilized by the rest of the team before proceeding.

Being Familiar And Ready To Explain Procedures

Something we have spoken largely about in almost all of our posts is that a lot of people have anxiety about going to the dentist. A lot of this comes from unknown procedures and unknown services. Knowing what the patient is going to have done before they come in will be vital so that you are prepared for any questions that they may have in advance.

Being able to answer those questions will make patients feel much more comfortable during their time at your dental practice. Remember that you are the dental expert in the room with them. The least comforting thing to hear when you ask a question about what is going to be involved during a procedure is the answer of: “I don’t know”.

This also allows patients to feel as if they are making informed decisions when it comes to deciding on dental procedures. If a patient doesn’t feel informed then they have to make the decision solely based on trusting the dentist or dental professional.

Having to base a decision on this can be extremely stressful to the patient. Focus on being transparent and honest with patients whenever you can. It is also important to remember to explain things in layman terms. Just because you have a large amount of knowledge about the dental industry and oral hygiene, does not mean the patient does.

Ending On Time

Ending on time can be referring to anything. The most important thing is that you are not falling behind. This could be while assisting a dentist during a procedure and having everything readily available and sterilized on time, or it can be having patient files organized and categorized by a certain time.

No matter how menial the task may seem, it is important to stay on time.

Remember that your actions affect the entire team as well.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the clock no matter where you are. Well, this may seem stressful initially, we promise it will help you stay on time in the long run.
Posted in dental assistant at 07/06/2021 5:09pm