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Who does dental charting?

I am a brand new hygienist. Two weeks of temping under my belt. The office I am temping at is VERY laid back, the dentist is leaving next week, and I get the impression that he doesn’t really care any more. His exams are literally 30 seconds. I get 45 mins to an hour per pt, so what am I expected to do? Everything? I just simply can’t. I can’t get through io/eo, X-rays plus developing, dental/perio charting, t/t planning, t/t ohi, set up, tear down, and everything else. Isn’t he or the assistant supposed to do at least some of this, or help me at least? It’s so hard and I’m exhausted from doing EVERYTHing. I thought in most offices the dentist sees the new pts and the assistant charts, and maybe takes X-rays? Or do I gave rose tinted glasses?



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2 Answers

I think you are a little overwhelmed as a new hygienist. I know I was when I first started out but as you continue to practice things become routine and easier to do in the time allowed. I currently take my own radiographs (FMX or BW), perio chart, IO/EO, perform necessary hygiene tx, exams with Dr and then chart any findings from the exam on paper and the computer. All the above in an hour time period. I recommend going over homecare and IO exam during hygiene tx. EO exam can be done before or after tx is complete. The assistants at my office help occasionally with perio charting or radiographs when I’m short on time. Of course with what we all do it would be great to have enough time but thats not what we are given, don’t stress yourself out. Sounds like you are trying hard and trying to give the best care you can so thats all you can do. Don’t be afraid to ask for an assistants help if they are available to help perio chart or develop your radiographs. If the office works as a team then the assistants should be willing to help you as you are willing to help them if time allows. Good Luck!

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WarnerSL has good advice. In my office we have a roving assistant who helps with charting and set up/tear down. We use digital radiographs so there is no developing. I use the time while waiting for Dr and exam to type clinical notes. I too do most OHI during the cleaning process.

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