Best Practices For Re-opening with Charlotte Metro AADOM Chapter President, Sherry May

 

ICYMI, we’re all still living in the time of a global pandemic.

 

While COVID-19 protocols continue to allow businesses to begin opening back up, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about going back out ‘in the real world’ while staying safe and healthy. 

 

Luckily, the well-being of patients and professionals is the top priority for dental practices. We recently sat down with Sherry May (virtually of course), President of the Charlotte Metro chapter of American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM). 

 

Sherry shared some best practices for making sure patients, and your team, feel safe and welcome.

 

Safer environments for patients

 

Fear of the dentist is pretty common. (There’s a reason it’s been a plotline for many sitcoms.) 

 

Throw in a global pandemic and that fear becomes even greater. As a result, dental offices are taking extra steps to create as positive atmospheres for patients as possible. Sherry shares steps her practice, India Hook Dental Care in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is taking:

 

“Dentistry is an art, and in order to keep the beauty of the practice we need to go above and beyond to keep patients feeling safe and comfortable,” Sherry said. “We want patients to feel that warm welcome as soon as they step foot in our office: We remember their names and the things they tell us. We make little notes about the things they talk to us about so that when they come back we can pick up on those previous conversations and see how they’re really doing. We could all use some positivity right now, and showing our clients that they are not just another chart number is how we share that positivity.”

 

It’s more important now than ever for everyone in the office, assistants, hygienists, and dentists, to put their best face forward, and create a warm environment for patients so that they feel comfortable. 

 

And don’t forget, people can tell when you smile under your surgical mask. In case you need more motivation to smile, we wrote a whole post on it. 

 

Safer environments for staff

 

On top of making patients feel comfortable, making coworkers feel safe is just as important as a dental pro.

 

“Coworker appreciation is something that has become so important, and rightfully so. Coworker appreciation means making the effort to keep everyone safe: tracking germs, changing clothes, changing shoes, going to what feels like extremes, but doing so happily because we love each other so much,” Sherry said.

 

Think of your office as a family. You want to do whatever you can to make sure your family feels safe and welcome. Show respect and be kind to one another. Honor social distancing and whatever boundaries your coworkers are most comfortable with. And smile through that mask.

 

Sherry’s final words of advice: Be compassionate.

 

“We are all struggling emotionally and mentally with the day-to-day uncertainty that comes with isolation. It is easy to just push through, but taking the time to show compassion to one another is what will really make a difference,” Sherry said.

 

“We are at a really crucial point in dentistry right now. Prior to this point, people have viewed going to the dentist as a chore, as something they might be scared of, and as something they typically want to avoid. Depending on how we handle reopening, we have the potential to change people’s view on dentistry, we have the opportunity to show them that dentistry is a positive thing rather than something negative.”

 

It’s still a crazy time for us all.  

 

And we’re all trying our best to return to our ‘normal’ life as safely as possible. Which we can only do together. 

 

Focus on what it looks like to truly care about everyone in the office: Patients and coworkers. Use this unique time in history to make a positive difference, and change the way the world sees dental for good. Here at Biteline, we believe in you. 

 

Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog

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