DiscoverThe Delivering WOW Dental Podcast187 First Week on the Job - Training for Dental Team
187 First Week on the Job - Training for Dental Team

187 First Week on the Job - Training for Dental Team

Update: 2020-09-14


The Delivering WOW podcast with Dr. Anissa Holmes, the number one show for dentists who are not afraid to take action and want to receive massive results. Now let's get to work to focus on what matters most.

Hi guys, and welcome to another episode of the Delivering WOW Dental Podcast. Today, we're talking about First Week on the Job Training for your dental team. Now, how many of you have had a new hire to come in and all of a sudden it's a month later, three months later and they're still not doing the key functions that you hire them for? If this is happening, oftentimes what that means is that we don't have a good onboarding system. And so what I'm going to be sharing with you today are some tips that you could use as you're starting to bring in new hires, to get them trained up as fast as possible. And believe me, not only do you want them to be trained and to be able to be efficient and being productive for the practice, they also want to be able to be comfortable in what they need to do. And once you create a great system then you will now have predictability.

Now, as we start bringing in our new hires, even backing it up a little bit, when we are looking for our new hire, when we are interviewing, there's definitely a proven framework for hiring. But part of that is making sure that that team member understands what they're being hired for. What are the roles, what are the responsibilities? And so it's one thing to say, "I'm getting a new office manager," but do they truly understand that their role will now be, for example, to make sure that a particular profit number is set for the practice?

Do they understand that their role is actually to work side-by-side with you to actually carry out your vision, to be able to lead the team, to be able to make sure that a certain number of unscheduled patients are being rescheduled? And it may not be them who's actually the scheduler, but they're holding that metric accountable. They're making sure that marketing campaigns are being done consistently, even though they may not actually be running the campaigns, right? Do they understand their roles and responsibilities? Does that team member understand your core values?

In fact, for my practice, even on the interview or the pre-interview application we actually asked the question of which core value in my practice resonates with you the most? And we actually have that as a question when we have our group interviews. And so as we start looking at onboarding, if we actually inside of our recruiting process, we actually are very clear on their roles, on their responsibilities, that really makes this training in onboarding a lot more beneficial, okay?

Let's go ahead and talk about the onboarding process and typically what that looks like. Now, the first thing that I think is very, very important is to have an orientation with your new hire. That is looking at making sure that they understand your vision for the practice, your vision for them, how you see them growing within the business. Really important for them to understand very, very clearly their hours, right? When are they working? People want to know when are they being paid? What about vacation time? What about sick leave? When do they get breaks?

These are things that oftentimes they are asking on demand when they have the question. If we can just go through this as an orientation then now there's a lot of clarity. Also, you want to make sure that you have a checklist for collecting information, such as a background check form, an employee application, making sure that you have all of the tax documents. If you are requiring certain vaccinations that you have that in place. Really important we also start looking at things like X-ray training, do they need to have that in place? And so these are the things that we're looking at, okay?

Also very important is that the team member again understands their essential functions. And so if they are for example coming in as a dental assistant, are they going to just be responsible for helping the doctor in the operatory? Will they also have to be responsible for sterilizing the equipment? Are they going to be responsible for actually having those conversations with patients about treatment? For example, in my practice, our dental assistant, one of them is responsible for doing all of the scans and talking about Invisalign.

Do they understand clearly the additional duties that they will need to do? Will they be ordering supplies, right? Because every dental assistant in every practice may have different roles and responsibilities depending on how big the practice is. And just because they're coming in as an assistant does not mean that they understand exactly what we will do in our practice so that's really, really important.

Now, as we start looking at training and evaluation what's really important is that your training is actually done in stages and that you have evaluations done at the end of each week. And so typically what I will recommend is that you actually have a six-week training period and you would again be able to make sure that this new hire has basic proficiencies in different areas. And so over the six weeks you'll be looking at their ability to suction, their ability to chart, sterilization procedure set up, how they're scheduling appointments, right? Making sure that they can take X-rays. They can take intra-oral photos, making sure that they can do an office tour.

And so as we start looking at breaking this down week-by-week, we can ensure that they actually have the skillset, that they have the confidence, that they're following what we're looking at in terms of that new hire. And so what this could look like for a dental assistant is on week one, having them to actually read the dental assistant manual. Typically, in a manual what I will recommend is that you have a manual that has photos of your setup, that has information about each procedure, right? So having them read your training manual is really, really important, okay?

Also making sure that they learn proper shutdown and start up procedures for the day, learning the office tour. Also important for them to understand basic instrument setup for hygiene and for exams because as you know, what will happen is that every dental practice is different. So taking time to not just throw them in there but actually taking that week to make sure that they understand how to set up for your procedures, making sure that they understand how to break down the room, sterilization. Make sure that they understand tooth anatomy, right? And at the end of the week then now you can go back and you can actually assess and say, "Go ahead and give me an office tour." And you can actually ensure that they are doing it in a way that you will like, okay."

Some examples for week two is having them to learn your process for intra-oral photo taking, introduction to X-ray training. What we also love is having our team members to actually watch videos on procedures. And so if you have a software that allows your team members to be able to watch educational videos or even go into YouTube, it's very powerful. We typically will do that in our practice as well. I'm having them to actually watch videos so that not only do they understand, but they understand how to communicate effectively about that procedure because as we know patients are coming in, they're asking questions and so now our assistants are also serving as an educator.

And if you're looking for training for your dental assistants on the business side of dentistry, how to be able to close more cases, how to be able to communicate effectively to get patients to say yes, how to be able to set goals and become an active versus passive dental assistant, we'd love to be able to work with you and your team inside of one of our programs. Making sure that they understand the setups for the advanced procedures for your crown and bridge through implants, right?

Moving into two surfaces numbering, you may assume that your dental assistant understands when you say, "We want to go ahead and do a MO on tooth number three, but maybe they don't know what that is especially if they have not been assisting for long. So making sure that they understand teeth numbering, make sure that they are understanding how you want them to suction, what's the best way and again at the end of week two going ahead and giving them an evaluation, okay?

That's typically how we will do week three. We're getting into perio chart training, learn instrument tray set up for root canal. Every week you're putting in more things, how do you use the autoclaves. Week four you can go into instrument set up for extractions, looking again at hands-on suctioning. You can start getting into impressions for whitening, creating whitening trays, understanding dentures and what needs to be done for denture adjustments. Then going into again week five and week six, and as you're going into week six, looking at how do you plan a treatment plan? How do you chart needed treatment, understanding on how to navigate the appointment book on week six, getting into phone training and introduction to scanners.

As you can see, having a weekly training schedule for onboarding is not only going to help your team to be successful but it's also going to make sure that you're able to be very clear about what you are looking for. And a lot of times I'll hear a doctor say, "I work too busy to treat you my team." And then what happens that years later you are at a disadvantage because every time you're asking for a particular instrument they don't know what you're talking about. Or you are doing things yourself and you're saying, "I'll just print this out myself." Or, "I'll just chart this myself," because you haven't taken the time to actually train your team, right?

As you get a bigger team what's really great is you can start elevating people up to become leaders. And so in my practice now we have a lead dental assistant, we have a few dental assistants. And so her role and responsibility is actually to go through this training and onboarding process with any new hires. And so now she is actually gone through this onboarding process with our dental assistants that have come in and now that has taken that off of my plate, as well as the plate of the office manager.

And again, you start looking at this and even with an office manager, many times they don't have the ability to actually go ahead and oversee the onboarding of a dental assistant. They may not have the knowledge of core skill steps of taking impressions or scanning, or understanding the tray setup. That's something that you can keep in mind as well.

Hopefully this was helpful for you. You are definitely going to want to create a training and onboarding process for all of the roles inside of your practice, right? This will allow you to be able to get your team members comfortable so that now you can start focusing on additional things, right? And this is going to be looking at what is their rock? What is the KPI? What's the one thing you want them to focus on again? How many same-day rollovers are you going to be helping the doctor achieve, right?

Having those conversations about Invisalign or implants, it's going to be really important to help the practice to continue to grow. And so the faster we can get through the foundational basics the faster we can get into those profitability conversations. I definitely recommend that you go ahead and start implementing, putting in your training processes and creating a system for this. This is something that we are definitely helping practices with within our Delivering WOW programs. And so if you're interested in having us help you we certainly are here to be able to lend that support. All right, that's pretty much it for today. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of our Delivering WOW Dental Podcast and we will chat again soon.

Thanks again for listening to another episode of the Delivering WOW Dental Podcast. Now, the next step is for you to join us inside of our Dental Boss Movement Facebook group, where dentists are coming together for support and action-taking tips and motivation. To join us in the group, head on over to And if you're looking to grow your practice faster, make sure you join us inside of our next marketing and practice growth challenge. And to learn more, go to Take care and we'll see you inside of our next episode.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Delivering WOW podcast with Dr. Anissa Holmes. We'll catch you next time.

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187 First Week on the Job - Training for Dental Team

187 First Week on the Job - Training for Dental Team