6 Reasons to Hire a Temp for Your Dental Practice

As patient and staff loads continue to be unpredictable, 2021 may be the year of the temp for your dental practice. In fact, according to a recent “Job Trends Report and Dental Temp Survey,” 35% of dental practices reported using temps on a weekly or monthly basis — and for good reason. Here’s how your dental practice can take advantage of this solution in the coming months and year while getting a return on your investment

Be prepared

A temp is only as good as the onboarding process, so make sure you’re spending the time getting them up to speed before coming into the practice. This not only includes a checklist with general office protocols, but also a list of which software and equipment you use so they can get caught up to speed before setting foot in the clinical setting.

Internal communication

Spend the time before taking on temps to put together a checklist with the onboarding process and protocol so you aren’t scrambling to put one together at the last minute. Consult with other members of your team to make sure you aren’t missing anything, like what kind of personal protective equipment you use in case the temp wants to get comfortable with it before coming into your office.

External communication

To help put at ease a patient who may already be anxious about visiting the dentist during a pandemic, it would be a good idea to give patients a heads-up if they will be seeing a temp during their next visit. If appropriate, assure them they’ll see their regular hygienist during their next visit.

Extend continued support

Once in the clinical setting, make sure your temps receive support from all your team members, including having the treatment room stocked before entering since the temp will likely not know where to find everything. Similarly, the front desk staff can help check in and out patients rather than training the temp to spend their time on non-clinical work.

Ask for feedback

Consider an experienced temp who has worked in multiple dental offices a wealth of knowledge for feedback. At the end of every shift and especially at the end of their term in your office, ask if there are subtle or stark differences that could make the difference between productivity and profitability based on their specific passion or expertise. Just because your office has been doing things a certain way for many years, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to conduct business.

Treat them fairly

As with any permanent hire, temps should be treated with respect and dignity so both parties are receiving equal opportunities. Not only is there a chance this person could be assigned to your dental practice again, but a network of temps could make or break your business during these challenging times.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to learn more about how your dental practice can make the most out of hiring temps this year.