5 Time-saving tips for dental assistants

Keeping organized can save you time throughout the day.When you have a dental assistant career, no two days are alike. You’re responsible for a variety of duties – everything from patient care to record keeping and sterilizing instruments.1 Dental assistants have an integral role to play in making sure that the office runs smoothly, and that sometimes means there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to complete all of the necessary tasks. Test out these time-saving tips to improve your efficiency and make the day less stressful:

Develop an organizational system

Helping the dental office develop a cohesive organizational system will help you save time in the long run and cause everyone’s days to operate more efficiently. A more organized system looks professional and ensures that you, the dentist and other office workers are always able to find what is needed. Many dental offices use either a tub and tray or cassette system.2

Give receptionists procedure codes

After patient treatments have been completed, it is often the job of dental assistants to record information in the chart and escort the individual to the front desk. Rather than entering treatment codes into the computer system yourself, you can save time by showing receptionists how to pair codes with the descriptions of procedures on the patient’s chart.3

Set goals and reward yourself

To prevent yourself from procrastinating, it’s a good idea to set small goals throughout the day and only give yourself a reward (like that cup of coffee you’ve been craving) after the goal has been reached. Rewarding yourself in the morning before you’ve accomplished anything won’t give you any motivation to do your job as efficiently as possible.4

Use public transportation

While this time-saving tip doesn’t apply to the office, per se, it can help you squeeze in a few extra minutes of downtime during the day. Instead of stressing out when sitting in a traffic jam, take the bus or train and use that time to study up on new dental techniques, read a book or get some extra shut eye.5

Make a to-do list

It makes it easier to keep your day organized and save time when you know exactly what you need to accomplish. This is where to-do lists come in. Use the list to prioritize your duties and integrate it with the time-saving tactic of goal setting – when you check off something important, give yourself a small reward.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘What Dental Assistants Do,’ June 26, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-2
2 Inside Dental Assisting, ‘Office Organization Systems,’ Sept./Oct. 2011 – http://www.dentalaegis.com/ida/2011/10/office-organization-systems
3 Gean, J., Yahoo! Voices, ‘Occupational Stress for Dental Assistants,’ Feb. 26, 2010 – http://voices.yahoo.com/occupational-stress-dental-assistants-5545237.html?cat=72
4 MSN Living, ’40 Time-Saving Tips to Help You Save an Hour a Day,’ 2013 – http://voices.yahoo.com/occupational-stress-dental-assistants-5545237.html?cat=72
5 MSN Living, ’40 Time-Saving Tips to Help You Save an Hour a Day,’ 2013 - http://living.msn.com/life-inspired/40-time-saving-tips-to-help-you-save-an-hour-a-day#8

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