I am presenting tomorrow morning to a group of dental hygiene students from The University of Copenhagen! They have me set up virtually in their auditorium and are expecting up to 140 students! Zoom really helps make the world accessible!
As I was preparing the slides, I decided to call this 'The Future is Looking Bright!' As we are truly at an amazing time in our profession with all the advancements available to help us elevate our client/patient care.
One of the topics that I am covering tomorrow is on what to expect as a new RDH when first starting in a practice. Instruments and the tools available to us are always at the forefront of my mind as I continue to hear from many dental hygienists that they can't get the instruments they want and are working with sub-quality instrumentation. When Beth and I were invited to Finland to visit and participate in workshops at the LM Dental facility last June, we discovered that the quality of instruments and what dental hygienists have available to them is not an isolated problem. This is a problem globally!
So I am sharing, with the students, what they may encounter in their new practices and offering them tips on how to best deal with this. We want these dental hygienists to feel empowered and start their professional career off successfully! Some of you may read this today and be thinking that you too are having some trouble with your instruments and getting not only you what you want, but what you need in your practice!
Here are some tips:
1. Collect your data:
- Understand Your Specific Needs (What kind of office is it? What are the unique needs of your clients? Streamline your cassettes. Consult with experienced dental hygienists to get insights into the best instruments for your practice)
- Research and Compare Brands
- Attend Dental Conferences and Trade Shows
- Seek Recommendations
- Budget Considerations (Is there a budget? If not, create one once you collect your data)
- Explore Group Pricing (I have seen Independent Dental Hygienists do this and I think it is a fabulous idea)
- Negotiate with Suppliers
- Take Advantage of Starter Kits or suggested kits with special pricing available)
- Consider Financing Options
- Stay informed about industry trends (to assist you with your decision making)
Once you collect your data set up a time for a team meeting and go prepared!
2. Build a Case
3. Create a Proposal (click here for the worksheet that I created)
4. Emphasize Patient/Client Care
5. Present the Options
6. Highlight Professional Development: Emphasize how having the right instruments will contribute to your professional development and proficiency in performing treatment. Explain how staying up-to-date with industry-standard tools is essential for delivering high-quality care.
7. Demonstrate Cost Savings: ·Illustrate how investing in quality instruments can lead to cost savings in the long run, as durable tools may require less frequent replacement and maintenance.
8. Demonstrate the Benefits (for your patient, the clinician and the practice).
9. Educate the Team and the decision makers as to why you need these instruments.
10. If you are considering a new brand of instrument, consider a trial period before investing in all new kits right away. This will ensure it is a good fit for the practice first.
11. Negotiate: Be prepared to negotiate regarding the budget and types of instruments selected.
12. Have confidence in yourself and your decisions!
13. Smile! Don't forget to smile while presenting your case presentation! A smile is a powerful tool!
Wish me luck "in" Copenhagen tomorrow :)
Thank you for your support and for reading!
Have a great week!
Kathleen Bokrossy, RDH ~ President