By Matthew L. Hubis, DMD PA, River District Smiles
There’s no question that this time is unprecedented, overwhelming, daunting, confusing. It’s common to feel out of control as you navigate the new normal.
Rest assured, whether you’re a dentist, a hygienist, or an assistant, you can reclaim control of the situation with any of these moves - or a unique combination of several of them. Just remember - you’re in the driver’s seat more than you realize.
Use your time wisely to prepare for a rebound. Look at your schedule at the office. Once we have an estimated restart date you need to adjust your schedule to provide the highest possible productivity during the first few weeks. You may have to move some patients around to accomplish this. Non-urgent, less productive cases should be rescheduled as necessary. Also, use this time to train yourself and/or your team on things you've been meaning to "get around to" when you have the time. Now is that time.
It does no good at all to overreact to situations like this. Social media and the news can work almost anyone into a lather. Try not to listen to most of it. Don't make lasting decisions when you are emotionally charged up.
It's in your family's, your dental team's, and your personal best interest to stay as positive as you can. It's easy to commiserate with all the negativity swirling around. Find some bright spots and stay focused on them.
You have to heed the necessary precautions set forth by our leaders. If we don't heed these warnings and set a good example for those around us, we could contribute to the prolonged effect of this pandemic. Consider the safety of your patients, yourself, your team, your family, and your teams' families before deciding what treatment to render in the coming weeks. We can all do our part and still be advocates for safety.
Dentists and business managers, look at your overhead. It's important now more than ever. If you've had extra expenses you don't need, now is a good time to make cuts. Looking into the future, be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot afford.
Ask For Help
There is nothing wrong with taking full advantage of all government or private assistance to help you through this time. If it's being dealt, take it. Make some phone calls and ask for help. We all should have a "We are in this together" mentality and I think for the most part we do. The banks and credit card companies I've talked to are all willing to help in some way.
Use this time to really focus on your team. Training and organizing are great tasks to give your team some hours during the slow down. Don't let lines of communication shut down. Be open and honest with your team about all the factors at play. They already understand that this is a severe financial difficulty for dentists. Show them. Help them understand that we all are going to suffer to some degree to get through this situation.
In time, we will get through this. I firmly believe that. Patience is a virtue. I also believe the many of us who are open to life lessons will learn some valuable ones in the coming weeks.