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Dental assistant coming late all the time and Im stuck opening the entire office. And god forbid the front office comes late as well.

Hi guys so my Dr talks a lot and because of this he works his assistant through lunch and sometime we are all in the office with patients at 8pm and the day should have ended an hour ago. Any how because of this his assistant deliberately come 30 minutes late every day.Because she is late I have to open up the entire back office and set her chair up and seat the doctors first pt as well as my own. Because we are a high end office we have all sort of extra fluff like candles and waterfalls etc. This takes time away from me when I could be reading up on my charts before the day begins. If the front office also comes late then I’m answering the phones too.



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Author Note:
SHOULD I CONFRONT HER OR THE MANAGER?

13 Answers

Confront both so everyone is on the same page and knows whats going on. Make it clear that even though you are a team player and are all for helping others out but doing someone elses work at the expense of your work because she is deliberately late isn’t acceptable. Once she has been told to come in on time and pull her weight stop doing her work for her. It will get noticed that it wasn’t done and that should hopefully make her understand she needs to step it up.

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I’m going to buck the trend with the other answers, even though I think they provide some great advice. I recommend talking to the office manager and even possibly the doctor about how the assistant coming in late is causing you to not be able to adequately prepare for your day. The reason I don’t recommend talking directly to the assistant is because this sounds like a performance problem and since she doesn’t directly report to you, it should be handled by her boss. When you do talk to the manager or doctor, frame the discussion that it is causing you to get behind, and not on why you think the reasons are for her showing up late. This will make sure that it doesn’t come off as just complaining, and show how her poor performance is causing problems for the office as a whole. So the short answer is confront the manager. I hope this helps!

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Wow, tough one. I would tell her that you come in with just enough time to get set for your own day and then follow through. The first time the doc and the patient must wait will hopefully be the last. It sounds like you are enabling her by doing her work, a natural consequence might be in order.

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Funny bc I was just talking to my husband about the same dilemma I have with my office. I have concluded that the best way to handle the situation is to have a one-on-one with my dr and let him know EXACTLY how I feel. Transparency is the best solution.

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I would probably confront her first and let her know that she is really keeping you from tending to your own tasks. If it doesn’t get resolved, then I’d let the manager handle it.

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Do you have staff meetings? This would be a perfect topic to bring up. It seems you are being a team player at the expense of preparing for your own day. I would make sure you do your work first then take time if there is any left to “help” her. She knows you will do it so why come in any earlier? I would confront her first let her know that you aren’t going to set up for her but will be there to help.

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Make an announcement during a staff meeting or have a conference with the assistant and manager letting them know you need time in the mornings to first prepare for your day and patients and that you would appreciate a little more team work opening in the mornings . Hopefully they will come around.

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I would help out occasionally in the whole office set-up, but I agree, let the doctor and patient wait for her one morning and see what happens. Complete your jobs and move on to your patient, if asked tell the truth!

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I would take care of opening the office … Next, take care of my room and review my charts … Seat my patient and inform any other patients in the waiting room that they will be seen shortly if you are the only one in the office. Let the office manager and the doctor know of the issues.

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I’d advise you to call a meeting with the OM AND the DDS …explain yourself matter of factly…not in a catty way. Use the time cards to show how she is late…let them know you enjoy your job, however you need for them to understand how this frustrates/stresses/compromises you…During the meeting perhaps you can ask the DDS if theses are his DA’s new hours? Get it all out on the table. Let them take care of talking to the DA

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The doctor and I are the first ones to arrive every morning and we open the office. At a recent staff meeting it was brought that everyone arrive at least 15 minute before the patients.

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I would talk to her first and explain that you want to resolve the matter privately without getting the doctor or her boss involved. I would be grateful if someone did me that favor so hopefully she will respond positively. Also do you get paid for the time you come in early to help? If you do then I don’t think that’s too bad but if you don’t that’s a problem.

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I guess I’m not as nice as everyone else but this is what I would do: first off try to setup your room the night before the best you can, do your chart preps the day before too take notes if you have to, and stay a little later of you can. Secondly I would just stop coming in so early like everyone else, I mean I would still come in early enough that you have time to do any last minute things before your pt arrives in order to be prepared for them. I hate to say this but don’t worry about answering the phone right away your pt that is already scheduled should definitely be the priority so do whatever you have to do 1st in order to make sure your ready to bring that pt back to your room as soon as they arrive. Let everyone else worry about the rest. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for pitching in when you can but clearly you have been doing your work plus plenty of others work for awhile now. Let someone else pick up the slack for awhile.

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