When you hire a new staff member, getting them trained and up to speed with the day-to-day functions of your office can be difficult. This is made even worse when you have a new dental nurse who shows up on a very busy day, when you have patients scheduled all day long, phone calls to make, and insurance claims follow-up on. A time and a place for proper training has to be in the middle of a regular work day so that they can see the way in which your dental practice is run but that brings with it a whole set of stressful challenges. Thankfully, knowing how to train up a new dental nurse can help overcome these challenges.
Give them a packet
Before you have your new dental nurse show up to the office, consider investing in an HR welcome packet. This type of Welcome packet can be something that not only has employment forms but a copy of your office rules, office policies, and maybe an example of weekly topics for the position being filled as well as a breakdown of what an average schedule looks like on any given day.
Having this packet ahead of time will give your employee an opportunity to review things like your standard operating procedures, and what the expectations will be on their first day. If, for example, they are able to look at a packet that includes a sample work day broken down hour by hour with activities, they will know roughly how many patients they are expected to see on a daily basis, what type of computer skills they might need, and what the opening and closing procedures are for their position.
Have them take notes
When you train new employees be sure to give them some paper and a pen. Let them write down notes they have as they go throughout their day. It is easy enough to ask a new hire if they have any questions while you’re going through training, but the training process can be very overwhelming with so much information shared and as such you might run across many situations where a new dental nurse has questions, hasn’t yet processed what they all are, or can’t think of them in the moment. If they have a pen and paper, they have the opportunity to write down questions whenever they arise in the moment, and then those questions can be tackled at the end of each day during training.
Have good supplies
When you are training a new dental nurse it is important that you have the right dental hygeine supplies and equipment for your training.You should consider having extra supplies on hand so that as you train your new hire to successfully complete the day-to-day tasks of your office, minor mistakes aren’t as disruptive.
Similarly, be patient. Recognize that a new dental nurse you have is going to learn in a slightly different fashion. Even if you have a good HR department and they are able to provide your employees with an overview of opening procedures, phone etiquette, checking in procedures, and a review of the software you use in your office, some people still prefer to learn in a hands-on approach while others might benefit from being able to read instructions.
Keep track of progress
Part of being able to exercise patience while you teach your new employee is recognizing how long it takes them to do a task independently. If you are training a new dental nurse, you might notice that some procedures are without error after the first or second time but other procedures have to do it 5 times before they can do it without making a mistake. Keep track, personally, of the things you have taught your new employee or the things you have gone over. If they take notes, you should take notes as well. Keeping track of what you have taught already helps you stay on task, establish a timeline for training, and be able to review what things, at any given moment, your new hire is unsure of or wants to review.
Have a probationary timeline
Not all employees will prove a successful fit once they are actually on the job. That is why it is always recommended that when you hire a new dental nurse, you do so by giving them a learning time frame or probationary time frame. Having a time frame of 60 days or 90 days can help them regularly meet with you to go over how they are progressing, how they have improved, and what achievements they have made.