Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.   What are you doing to recognize and celebrate your value as a dental hygienist?

Yes, I mean you, Ms. or Mr. Dental Hygienist.   What are you doing to recognize and honor yourself and the important work you do?

Are your struggling with what I just suggested?  I bet you are.  It’s a foreign concept to most of us.  You might be thinking ‘I wouldn’t even know where to start’.

Let me help you.

  1. Know what your production is on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.  Only by knowing how you contribute to the basic revenue of the practice can you successfully position yourself for any type of salary increase.
  2. Track the number of restorative and cosmetic services that you recommend and are completed.  This may take some coordination with other staff members.    Yes, it will further show how you contribute revenue but it also demonstrates that you are team player.
  3. Document your referrals.  This is broader than you might realize.  Ask new patients why their friends or family referred them to the practice. Perhaps you will learn it’s because of you.  Or maybe you recommended someone who became a new employee.  This likely saved the practice from placing ads and/or a prolonged search.
  4. Search for ways to reduce expenses.  Is it possible to order some of your supplies in larger quantities to get a better price?  Often times, we do the same thing out of habit not realizing there may be better, more cost effective options.  Be proactive.  A reduction in expenses helps improve overall profits.
  5. Consider ways to add new dental hygiene revenue streams.  Many people shy away from product dispensing because they are afraid the patients will think they are ‘selling’.  Another perspective to consider is that you are saving them time by having the recommended product on hand for them to purchase.

You don’t need to start with everyone all at once.  I do think that if you do not currently monitor your production totals, this is must.  If you hate math, an Excel spreadsheet is easy to set up and will do the math for you.  As you get more proficient you can add other items to track like the restorative and cosmetic services piece.

Most of us don’t like to think about what we do in terms of money and production.   However, this aversion to budgets and financial realities makes us vulnerable in the workplace.  In a tight, job competitive economic environment knowing your value can make you more important than ever.


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