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Working interview at an office with 45 min appointments

Hello, I have a working interview at an office that does 45 min appointments. I’ve never worked at an office before that does this. I’m a little apprehensive. I like having the full 60 mins plus to make sure that I do thorough a job. Does anyone work in an office like this? I’m not sure what to expect. Thanks! (:



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After working at an office that gave me 30 minutes for patient care with the promise of an assistant helping me (which never happened), I decided I would never work at an office that gives me less than 60 minutes, EVER. It was my first permanent position out of hygiene school and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Of course there are some patients that can be completed in less than 1 hour due to excellent homecare, however the majority of patients aren’t that way.
 
The Journal of Dental Hygiene/ADHA did a breakdown of a perio maint. appointment (see Page 94, Table V): http://jdh.adha.org/content/88/2/87.full.pdf+html
 
Notice that the time needed ranges from 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 43 minutes, with an average of 1 hour and 24 minutes needed. Some doctors may think squeezing another patient into the day increases production. I would argue it actually does the opposite. If a hygienist does not have the time to explain the need for treatment and conduct thorough education, the office’s bottom line will suffer. Further, both the doctor and hygienist could be setting themselves up for a malpractice suit. A rushed hygienist can lead to a less thorough medical history, failure to detect oral pathology such as periodontal disease and oral cancer, injury to the patient, less than thorough chart notes (which are legal documents), and this list could go on. Hygienists have been sued for these mistakes. Patients notice when their care is being hurried through and isn’t thorough, they really do. This hurts patient retention and referral rates. At the office I worked at with short appointments I had a patient stop me and tell me that I was moving so quickly it was making her anxious and she didn’t think she could continue her appointment. To put it mildly, I felt horrible when she said this as it really hurt me to know that I caused her anxiety. It also didn’t give me time to be a team player and help my co-workers as much as I really wanted to.
 
Short appointment times aren’t just a disservice to the patient, its hard on you physically and mentally as well. I suppose I’m saying to expect feeling a bit rushed. Do your best to get through the day doing the best you can. If you run behind, so be it. Patient care matters and you have to sleep at night knowing you did the best for the patients you saw. I don’t mean to go on a rant or scare you but shortened appointment times really get me infuriated. I mean, what steps would a doctor cut out of their crown prep if their appointment time was shortened? No steps can be left out, right? The same logic applies to hygiene appointments.
 
If you feel you can provide excellent patient care with this amount of time and they offer you the position, listen to your gut when it comes to making the decision to accept. It’s tough because we need to work to put food on the table, but don’t lower your patient care standards to do so. I really do wish you the best of luck!

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