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Whether you’ve been out of school 10, 15 or even 40 years, the approach of the “new school year” is always palpable — and with it comes a chance to hit the reset button and tackle new challenges or rededicate yourself to goals and tasks not yet complete in 2014.
In the spirit of the new school year, let me channel your sixth-grade teacher:
Maybe that means pulling out your list of goals from January to assess what you can check off and what still needs attention. Maybe that means dashing off a short list of what needs doing before year’s end. Whichever course, take the time to think about what matters to you and your practice. Pull out your planner. With thoughtful preparation and a renewed commitment and realistic goals, you can still close out the year with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Part of the fun of starting school is assembling needed pens, paper and other supplies. The same goes for the workplace. Did you plan on training your staff in a new oral cancer screening protocol or maybe a new accounting program this year? Did you order the necessary materials and set aside a half-day for training? It’s tough to get your classwork done if you lack the right supplies.
Before buying that new intraoral camera you became enamored with during a CE weekend, do your homework. Will you use it? Will it pay off for your practice? Would a different equipment purchase provide better dividends in the long run? Grades improve when you put the time in and study before the big test.
Really listening to what your patients and employees say can yield big insights. Maybe there’s an office person who puts off patients; maybe a hygienist thinks a new script for explaining brushing techniques would make a bigger impact; maybe new lessees in your office park have created a parking crunch for now-grumbling patients. There are myriad details, large and small, that make up the fabric of your practice — and your success. Remember to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers!
Showing respect, empathy and consideration for your patients and employees will be long remembered and rewarded with loyalty. Hard to go wrong with this one, but it’s an axiom that should be Rule #1 in the workplace “classroom.”
These early building blocks for lifelong success took root in our school days, but there’s another important lesson passed along from the best teachers: be open to new ideas because there’s always something to learn. It’s advice worth repeating.
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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