Continuing EducationPractice Management

3 Things Your Team Expects After a Dental CE Course

Our team – the people that form the basis of our dental practices – often have a few key expectations about our behavior post dental CE course. While we’re away, they flit through daydreams of the turmoil soon to inhabit their lives, wondering what fresh torment will arrive in the form of a drastic change to the way things are run.

Disrupting the status quo is fine and dandy if you understand the passion behind it, but this is not the case for most dental staff. We dentists get impassioned by our new learning and rush to implement it, forgetting our team is many steps behind us in the motivation department.

3 Things Your Team Has to Deal With After You Complete Dental CE

1. Tons of New Materials to Buy

You arrive home from a weekend of intense clinical discussions where you were surrounded by advancements in materials and technology. These ‘shiny new things’ may very well improve how you practice, but in your excitement to order them you forget to explain the ‘why’ to your staff.

Your staff now has to learn a whole new set of instructions and all new inventory control. They also have to deal with the possibility that you’ll try the materials and realize you’re not really going to use them. To you, this was useful experimentation. To them, it was a hectic couple of work weeks.

2. Changing Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Beyond the materials and tech, you also imbibed a heavy dose of alternate thought processes and clinical techniques. Your staff expects a variety of potential changes: how to answer the phone, new patient scheduling, chairside assistance, and on and on. This creates a lot of stress.

3. All Bets Are Off

Sometimes, the expectation of change is taken to the extreme. A common ‘myth’ in dentistry is that of the dentist who called and fired their entire staff from a CE course. This may or may not have actually happened and is unlikely in most cases. Still, it exemplifies the upset caused by your return. From your staff’s perspective, it’s more work and adjustments for them. If they don’t understand that these change will be better for them, patients, and the office, they see it all as another load on their shoulders.

There is a way to avoid this problem. When you complete a CE course, you should set aside time to share what you learned with your team. Share your excitement so they feel it too. Many times dentists start enforcing the implementations without an explanation. This hinders their staff’s ability to successfully apply what was learned.

As always in dentistry, come up with a system that makes your communication more effective.

How do you motivate your staff to enjoy and appreciate change? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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