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Working a double booked schedule

Today my dentist asked me if I have ever worked a double booked schedule with the help of a dental hygiene assistant. Does anyone have any good advice and how is one compensated?



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5 Answers

I have been working at an office in Boston that double booked my hygiene schedule for the past 2 1/2 years. It was a small office – only one dentist and one hygienist with two assistants. Hygiene patients were scheduled every 30 minutes. A dental assistant would seat my patient and take radiographs. Then I’d come in and review medical history and scale, polish & floss. Meanwhile, the assistant would be seating the next patient and starting all over. I’d just run from operatory to operatory scaling, polishing, flossing. The assistant would clean/set up the operatory while I was finishing with the previous patient and also trying to get the doctor to come in for exams. Trying to maintain a schedule was incredibly challenging (especially if he was doing RCT on his patient!).

I was not compensated for the extra patients I’d see in one day. I have heard of other hygienists being paid on production and that might be a better option if your dentist is open to discussion on compensation. Or some type of base pay plus a percentage of the production.

All in all, it was a very stressful schedule for both myself and the assistant and I have recently left this office and will be starting at a new office that does not double book! It may work fine for others, but it did not work well for me.

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From my experience, compensation does not change. While you ARE seeing more patients, you aren’t taking BWX, doing the exam with the Dr, polishing and flossing, or turning your room over. Now if you are paid on production you would want to run the numbers against each other. Many hygienists get burnt out, both physically and mentally, with this type of scheduling. This is only my opinion, for others it might work great!

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I worked one day a week several years ago like this and lasted about 3 months. This schedule wasn’t for me because there was no time to connect with patients….it was just wham & bam scale all day. I was paid hourly and scheduled every 30 minutes. I would ask to be paid on commission if seeing this many patients. For this system to work smoothly you must have a good Hyg assistant. I wish I had more positve things to say but my experience was horrible.

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I had a ceu class presented by a hygienist who said working a 2 chair schedule was the best clinical job she ever had – she loved it! I think you should do some research on how the appointments should be staggered and give it a try!

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I’m confused about what “double booking” means, apparently. The above comments talk about patients being scheduled every 30 minutes, but that’s just a normal schedule. Double booking to me would mean that TWO patients scheduled at the same appointment time… is that not correct?

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