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Thursday, 01 August 2013 08:30

Why do I have to define the role of my dental office manager? After all, she does it all! Featured

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post 54 picI have been in the dental field for over 25 years, and I have been on both sides of being the interviewee, and the interviewer. 

At one point, I was the interviewee that turned into helping the doctor on how to be the interviewer.  In retrospect, that was one of the most rewarding interviews I’ve had.  And, you may be wondering how I ended up advising the doctor on how to find a dental team member that met the needs of the practice when I was applying for the position myself.

The last time I was looking for a position as a Dental Office Manager, I was browsing Craigslist for available positions.  I knew from previous experience that when a practice is looking for a Dental Office Manager, often other job titles are used instead.  Titles such as Financial Coordinator, Patient Care Coordinator, or Front Office Coordinator could really be a dental office management position.  

I happened to come across an advertisement for a Front Desk Coordinator, and so I applied.  When I arrived for the interview, I found that the position wasn’t really defined. The dentist was told by a consultant to hire a Front Desk Coordinator as well as a Patient Care Coordinator, because it was time to expand the dental team

However, the dentist wasn’t really sure what these new roles were going to achieve, or how the positions differed.  The dentist was advised not to use the term “manager” for fear of non-acceptance by existing employees of the new team member.  However, Dental Office Manager was what the dentist, and the practice, really needed. 

The interview ended with me being asked to assist in defining the roles of both the Dental Office Manager and the Patient Care Coordinator.  As a result, rewritten job advertisements were posted, and the dentist felt confident about recruiting applicants that met the needs of the practice.  Additionally, existing employees had a better understanding of the new team members’ responsibilities within the team structure and the goals of the practice.    

Finding the right team member can be difficult to achieve when the job description doesn’t reflect the real responsibilities of the position.  I have found that the true issue typically is that the roles are not clearly defined within the practice.  This can prove to be a major mistake in leadership for the dental team, and for the practice.  

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.”  Steven Covey

The roles within the dental practice can have a vast range. 

A dental assistant can also do front desk duties. 

A front desk person can be in charge of patient billing, payroll and employee scheduling, but not carry any of the business analysis responsibilities. 

A receptionist can be responsible for all aspects of the business, including human resources. 

In the dental field we see a wide overlap between responsibilities with ill-defined roles and mismatched titles.  When this happens, the job titles and descriptions don’t really represent the value that the position brings to the practice, and the team.  

As a result, the employee can question what it is that their role is trying to achieve for the practice, and what value do they bring to the team.  Other employees can question who is in charge, and who do they take instruction from.  There can be doubts who to go to with issues, who can be a confident and advise in the direction of what is best for the team as a whole. 

The position of Dental Office Manager is sometimes created not with intention, but rather by a loyal employee that has evolved into the position, without the title or the defined job description.  

Although taking on the challenge of defining the roles of each team member within your practice, and the correlating titles, can be time consuming, the benefit far outweighs the efforts.  Every employee should have a job description that clearly defines the responsibilities and the skills needed for the position.  

Knowing the value that each team member brings to your dental team, and your practice, not only assists in your confidence as the leader of your practice, but also supports your employees in knowing their own value and potential. 

Being a good leader to your dental team is always a right click.

Read 14008 times Last modified on Friday, 28 April 2017 08:59
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