In a perfect world every time you acquired a new patient, that patient would become a regular and permanent member of your patient schedule. And you’d take all the new patients you could until you were at maximum patient capacity.
Then you’d sit back, relax and take care of your current patient base, no longer worried about getting new people to come in.
But, this isn’t a perfect world. Instead, patients come in for one appointment and never come back, leaving you in a constant cycle of trying to make up for these lost patients.
It’s frustrating yet inevitable. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen the chance that a new patient becomes lost.
- Keep Organized and On Top of Things
Don’t leave that stack of paperwork at the front desk until tomorrow or leave your supply closet a disorganized mess before you head out for the day. This will just start your morning off on the wrong foot and set you up for a lackluster day. After all, who gets excited for work by cleaning up yesterday’s mess? Tidy things up before you leave the night before and you’ll start off your day on the right foot.
Talk it Out
No, we don’t mean spending a half hour dishing about office gossip. But if you’re having a slow day take a few moments to talk to a co-worker. Just a short conversation can spark some energy back into your day and get you excited about work again.
Have a Plan to Tackle the Day
Right when you get into the office take a look at what’s on your schedule. If you have an appointment with a particularly tough patient or see that there’s a lull in your schedule plan accordingly to ensure you’re prepared to make the most out of the situation rather than letting it catch you off guard and not at your best.
Create a Positive Practice Environment
Your environment can help or hinder your productivity. Some music softly playing throughout your practice can make it feel upbeat. Bright colors or artwork on the walls will help provide a fun balance to the serious, clinical side of dentistry. And if there’s something that makes it more difficult to be productive say something about it! You can’t control everything but it never hurts to make a suggestion.
Take a Short Break
Obviously, you can’t up and leave when you’re taking care of a patient, but if you’re in between appointments take a minute to give your mind a chance to decompress from a hard day and refocus on what you have left to do. Sometimes the harder you push the harder it becomes to stay motivated. Just a minute to yourself can drastically improve your mood.
Expand Your Responsibilities
If you feel unmotivated due to boredom or a lack of things to do you should reach out to see if there are other ways you can contribute to your practice and even learn a thing or two. This will give you something new to look forward to, demonstrate you desire to be an asset to your practice, and potentially help a fellow staff member who may have too much on their plate—a win, win, win situation!
Remember to Be Thankful
There are many people who are either unemployed or making a living doing something they feel lacks meaning. But dentistry is a profession that makes a positive impact on people’s lives every day (yes—even those patients who might not see it at first). So take a step back and remember that the work you do for your dental practice is meaningful and takes skills that not everyone has. By refocusing on how your work helps others you’ll feel more passionate and excited to come to work each day.
We know that every day won’t be perfect and that not all these tips will work for every person—that’s just how life works sometimes. But if you make a best effort to keep focused and implement positive changes you’ll find that staying productive and enthusiastic about what you do will be much easier.