Before accepting your dental job offer
This article gives advice as to the questions you need to ask before accepting your first associate job.
You might have to send out hundreds of CVs before you finally receive a job offer. Before jumping right into it, perhaps it would be wise to think about certain issues that you might have never thought of while searching for a job. First of all, are you happy with the amount of travelling time it is going to take? Will you be willing to move to the area at all? Not many people like to bump into patients on the street if you happen to live just around the corner. Yet very few prefer living miles away from the practice.
During your interview with your potential employer, you might wish to ask them to take you around the dental practice. If you are taken on a tour by a member of staff rather than your interviewer, why not take this opportunity to do the following things. You can observe the attitudes of the staff fairly objectively and question about their frequency of practice meetings, type of systems used for radiography as well as record system, the kind of patients that come into the practice, the speed and the quality of the lab and so forth. No question is trivial and taking the time to ask these questions may determine how happy you will be once you start working. For example, one might fear working in a deprived area, all the patients who come to you will only tell you how much they hate seeing a dentist or yell at you before you had the chance to print out your long list of treatment plans.
Nevertheless, the environment around the practice does not necessarily determine the quality of your working life! Occasionally if you end up in an affluent area, the people you see often just need a clean or may be more demanding and sooner or later you might find yourself ending up waiting around in an empty surgery or start seeing other people's emergency patients. Therefore, do not be prejudiced by the look of the area surrounding your practice.
On the other hand, the environment within the practice is definitely vital to your future well-being. Whether or not they have the right type of dentist chair for example, can affect your back in the long term. Believe it or not, some practices give dentists the nurse's chair. It is this sort of trivial detail that many overlook and only realise when it is too late. In addition, will you be having a particular nurse or do they tend to have different nurses on shifts or hire locum nurses? Efficient team-working is crucial. It will not only affect your time management but also your patient management if for instance, the locum nurse has no idea where things are or you are constantly given a different surgery to work within. You may also want to know if they have an on-site manager. How soon will your order of the lignocaine anaesthetics go through? If you are going to be paid in the forms of cheques, when do they pay you and who is responsible for such delivery? If you are a part-time dentist you might never see your 'dealer' if he or she is not a full-time employee.
When it comes to patient management, it is worth knowing beforehand whether or not the practice has a hygienist or any computer programme at the reception area that provides thorough explanation.
Last but not least, do they have a contract for you to sign?
Good luck with your new job!
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