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A dental office can be a hectic place at peak hours. The chairs are full. There are cavities to fill. X-rays are waiting for review. The front office staff is checking dental insurance documentation, while the phone continually rings. And, in the busy hallway the dental instrument sales representative is waiting for 30 seconds of your free time to demonstrate a new and improved dental laser.

iStock_000002851066XSmallWhen activity heats up at a dental office, like in many job environments, employees are often asked to do tasks that were not part of their job description. This can create tension and disruption, and lead to employee turnover. There are really only two points in the process where you can avoid these situations proactively.

Obviously, the best place to set expectations for candidates seeking dental employment is in the job description or requirements. Click the following link for an example of job descriptions for dental office jobs. The job description should be succinct, but should contain the real expectations you have for this position, including those possible occasions when the employee’s responsibilities might stretch.

The other area is in training. Even if you did a great job of communicating the actual breadth of responsibilities for the position in the job description, you will want to ensure that you do not fail to prepare employees for the occasional job scope creep. For example, you should cross-train the dental assistants so that they can fill in when front office personnel are out sick. The same training should take place for other positions. Obviously, the responsibilities of some positions cannot be carried out legally by employees not certified for those tasks. The tasks that should be included in cross-training should include those that are more administrative in nature.

So, when posting dental assistant jobs, be sure to add that the candidate should be proficient, multi-task capable, and able to stay focused during hectic hours.

Another requirement to list prominently is the ability to be a flexible team player, able to take on occasional tasks that could be considered above or below their position’s level of importance. By placing these expectations up front, you will be less likely to have resistance to these requirements, once the candidate becomes an employee.

Consider writing your dental job descriptions to the degree of detail that you would appreciate and require with a dental position for which you were a candidate. If you follow these simple steps, you will avoid much time-consuming work, headache and stress in the long run.


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