I work in an office that went to production the day I started as a Hygienist. I have worked for this office as an assistant for 8 years and I have worked as a hygienist for 2 years. One of the hygienist that has worked at the office a little longer than I have (I believe 12 years) has expressed her concern of my “lack of education” since I didn’t go to a four year college. Ever since we have gone to production she has been taking patients off my schedule and has been telling patients that they need to stay with her because she knows there mouth better than anyone else. She has also made it mandatory that they schedule their and their families follow up appointment with her regardless if they had seen another hygienist. Although some patients do like staying with the same hygienist 90% of them do not care who they see and this has never been a policy in our office before. This has confused many of our long time patients. I feel like patient care has completely been lost and the patients do not get what they want. I have known most of our patients for a very long time and some have expressed they will not come back on her schedule but she calls them back to let them know they have to only see her because it’s in their best interest for optimal patient care.
Our office has always been about the patient, what they want and what works best for them. Over the years it was never a problem who they saw and we never had a problem with them being moved to another persons schedule.
The owner is aware of the situation and has tried to stop it but she does it anyway. He feels bad about letting her go (although he has expressed that he has wanted to because of all the problems she’s caused ) because she has been there for so long. My office manager has expressed to me to “do what she does to you back to her” but I can not do pressure my patients to do something they do not or can not do. I have tried to be respectful and not say or do anything but it’s starting to wear on me. Not only is it breaking me down professionally but financially.
I was wondering if there is any advice I could get on how to handle this situation.
I’m sorry to hear about the situation you’re in. My immediate thought is that the hygienist you work with is not giving you the respect you deserve. Maybe in her eyes she still looks at you as “just an assistant” and now that you are a hygienist she is finding other reasons to put you down. Don’t get me wrong, even if you were still an assistant you should still be treated with dignity and respect. I know it’s hard, but don’t let her condescending attitude make you feel that you aren’t able to do a job. Having a bachelors degree has nothing to do with how good of a hygienist somebody is or can be. It also sounds like being on production might be part of the reason this is happening. The other hygienist is taking all the patients to fill up her schedule so that she makes as much money as she possibly can. Not only do I find this to be unprofessional on her part, it is unethical.
It is good that the owner (doctor?) is aware of the problem. My best advice to you would be to sit down with him (even though he is already aware of the situation) and let him know again what is going on. Explain to him that you think her true motives for doing this might be that she is trying to make the most money she can from production, but that it is coming at your expense. Ask him specifically what you can do to improve the situation. Then follow his advice and give it a month or so. If things still haven’t changed, approach him again and let him know the situation has stayed the same or gotten worse. It’s a delicate balance because you don’t want to come off as complaining, but at the same time it is not fair for you to be working in a hostile work environment by having somebody degrade you and your abilities all the time.
Again, I’m really sorry for the situation you’re in. I wish you the best of luck going forward!
I would start looking for another job. I had one that went to production and the same crap was happening and the office environment was horrible because everyone was competing on who could get the patients. I left for maternity leave and when I came back I had NO patients because they all got moved to the other hygienist’s schedule. Not worth it. Plus I saw so much unnecessary treatment like SRPs. I will never work for a production office again.
If you want to stay at this office, My advice is to sit down with the owner, and the OM. Explain what’s happening in a matter of fact way not a complaining type way. Get suggestions from THEM as to how to handle the situation. Plan a follow up meeting with them to re assess.
I am interested in how it goes, please update 🙂
What the other hygienist is doing is completely unethical. Sadly it sounds like is letting the amount of her paycheck take priority over the patient care. Many times it can be a benefit for a patient to see more that one hygienist . Forcing patients to see only a certain hygienist also will cause patients to question the abilities of all the other hygienists. Very tough situation , sorry you are having to deal with such an unethical and rather selfish co worker. Don’t let this situation be brushed under the rug definitely speak to the doctor but do not stoop to the same level as the other hygienist. Do not compromise your own ethics.
I’m sorry that you’re in this situation. I just left a job in which this was happening to me also. I even approached the other hygienist and asked if there was something that I needed to work on and it was shrugged off. I love my patients but was unable to handle the stress of that situation anymore after a year. I luckily found a position in a good office with a great dentist. Good luck with this but definitely stand up for you it will only make you a better person in the long run. 🙂