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Help! New Hygienist Feeling Anxiety when Temping

Feeling a ton of anxiety. I subbed in my first office yesterday and I felt like it was a disaster. No one showed me where anything was, I didn’t know how to use dentrix. I don’t think I did my note history correct. I wasn’t really informed on how the office flowed. To make matter worse, I have to go back the next 2 Wednesdays. Does anyone have any tips on how I can become better adjusted? I had no other hygienist there to tell me how she did things in the office and the assistants had no idea how things were on the hygiene side.



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7 Answers

Sweetleash has great advice. You can always have front office staff print daily route slips to make clinical notes that you can enter into the computer when you have down time. This helps to not get patients confused with one another.

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As a temp hygienist, you are helping the office out when they are in a pinch. In my opinion, they should walk you through everything before the day starts and help you throughout the day to not only make things smooth for you, but for the rest of the staff, not to mention the patients. I agree with Hygenius, that this lack of team work is probably why they need a temp. If an office makes you uncomfortable or unsuccessful, again I agree with Hygenius, and I wouldn’t return. I’d make sure they knew why too. Temping is not easy, but shouldn’t be a disaster! Always remember that you are a trained professional and you DO know what your doing! Take this as a learned lesson in what kind of office you want to work for!

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I would tell the doctor and office mgr that you may not be coming back the following Wednesday’s due to lack of help and team work to assist you in treating their patients with quality care. I’ve always had help if I fill in at an office. This is probably the reason they need a fill in hygienist. Let us know what transpires.

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Wow, that is so not your fault, they were totally wrong for not walking you thru the office and showing you how things work. That’s just common courtesy. How were you treated other than that, was the dds and OM nice to you at least?
Maybe if you feel strongly about returning there, you can call and ask if there’s a time when you can come in and have another hygienist walk you thru for a few minutes.

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I have been temping for 6 years. It started out as full time and I am now down to 1-2 days a week. The best advice I can give comes from me having the exact same problems and feeling the exact same way. I still feel crazy sometimes! No one is perfect and even at your everyday job, things don’t always go well.
TIPS
1. Walk in like you work there everyday with all the confidence you can muster
2. Find your room and go through all the cabinets and drawers so you can get familiar with what you will need for the day. (As long as I know where instruments, polishing, floss and ultrasonic are, at least your job can be done
3. Ask whoever you can for help- assistants are there to assist- keep bugging them until you have everything you need. Just always schmooze thank you’s to them.
4. Don’t worry about x-rays until you need them, and give an assistant a heads up that you will need help.
5. If everything is done on the computer, just do what you can. All programs are different, but have similar functions, so if you figure it out, great. If now, ask someone when you have time.
6. Do what you can and try not to run behind, but it happens so just leave your stuff at sterilization and get it later. Give an asst a heads up you will get it later, but hopefully someone will do it for you.
7. ALWAYS TAKE YOUR WHOLE LUNCH!! This is most important for sanity reasons, you can always do paperwork later.
8. Use cancellations to catch up.
9. If I can’t figure out the offices note system, I just do my own. I try to follow old notes but At least all is recorded and if someone says something (which they won’t) you can just say you weren’t sure what to do.
10. Spend as much time as you need after the day is over to finish notes, instruments or whatever. Ask the oh-so-helpful assistants what needs to be done.

On your drive home, think about what could have been changed and decompress, and leave it in the car. Go home and feel accomplished that you made it through the day. It’s a temporary job and its money.

Good luck

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Thank you everyone for the pointers! I sent the office manager an email this weekend with all my inquiries and asked if I could come in and observe the other hygienist. This job maybe turn out to be a permanent position if the DDS feels that I am a good fit for their office. I am hurting for money and need all the experience I can get under my belt! No one wants to hire a brand new hygienist so I feel blessed to be given this opportunity. I just don’t want to make a horrible I impression on the staff and DDS for not being informed or misunderstanding how their office flows.

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As far as the clinical notes, the only thing that matters is that you cover what you need and what the board expects. I temp quite often and I always use my normal “technique”. Once you have seen a patient, the only time your note taking may matter is if there is a board inquiry and you ALWAYS want to be covered. So, do it the way you know to be right, ethical and complete. 🙂

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