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    Combatting unsolicited advice from your staff

    Opinions often come freely; learn to find value in what works, what does not for the practice

    Take-home message: Everyone has an opinion, but are clinic managers prepared to listen to what staff has to say? ponders Dianna Graves.

     

    In the middle of a bad day, nestled in the heart of an extremely poor week, the only solace I had one afternoon from the insanity of the clinic was to keep my dentist appointment.

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    What more could the dentist do to me that had not already been done to me this week? I had already been drilled by a physician who, in one morning shift, had figured out a major problem in the largest clinic we have. Unfortunately, while the answer was an excellent solution for him, his fellow partners would blow the roof off if the technicians were to follow his idea in their clinic.

    I had also had a raw nerve tweaked regarding staffing. One of my longest-tenured technicians—more than 30 years—gave her 2-week notice.

    My fellow manager said: “Did you think she was going to work until she was 100?! You knew it was going to happen sooner than later.”

    No, I did not think she would work until she was 100. However, I had also been notified the same morning that two technicians are going to need surgery and then be out at least 3 weeks apiece. I would have been thankful to try and barter for another month or so. For the good times!

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    Yes, I was thankful to be sitting in the dentist chair. Unlike some people, I honestly like my dentist. She has always been kind and patient. When I told her no way was I letting her get me ready for an upcoming crown on a grumpy tooth, she simply smiled at me and advised she couldn’t wait to use gas on me to help me relax.

    Next: Getting to the root of the issue

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