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Volunteer dilemma

I have a dilemma in my office regarding volunteering. As an office we recently participated in a free dental clinic organized by our doctor. The Doctor screened patients and they were scheduled for treatment with the other dentists who were volunteering. Myself and the other hygienist did cleanings all day. About 10 in 6 hours. However most of the patients we were only able to educated and refer to a local hygiene school. My problem is that no one ever asked us to volunteer and I was told by the office manager that it would look bad if I didn’t contribute. Well they are planning on organizing another clinic this year and I don’t want to clean anyone’s teeth. Again the office manager has told me, you just do the best you can. Most of these patients have moderate to sever perio disease. A 30 min “cleaning” is not beneficial for these patients. What are your thoughts? Or how should I approach the doctor?



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2 Answers

I don’t blame you for not wanting to provide sub-par treatment! Since you are volunteering, you shouldn’t be required to do it, but it’s a tough position to be in. You want to be seen as a team player. I recommend you bring up your concerns with your doctor, but in a very compassionate and professional way. Ask your doctor if there are other ways you could volunteer at the event without compromising your morals or your oath as a hygienist. You might also want to ask your doctor if it is required to volunteer, not the office manager.

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I had a recent similar situation. I made my own clinical notes, noting perio status and that Tx provided was a Gross debridement. I further documented need for full mouth SRP. No matter what the situation ( in office or community outreach) you must document and provide best you can.

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