The dental industry is constantly changing and it's important to keep up with new happenings. But, it can be hard to do so during a busy day at your practice filled with patients, appointments, and other action items.
A concise way to keep yourself and your dental staff educated is through staff training. Having a training session every 2-3 weeks helps you and your staff learn from each other and create a better experience for your patients. Let's discuss how to run a productive dental staff meeting to train your staff.
Running Productive Dental Staff Meetings: Staff Training
Preparation before the staff training
Before you carry out your staff training, it's important to decide on a clear timeline and set of objectives. We recommend having a one-hour staff training every 2-3 weeks. This gives enough time for your team to implement the new knowledge that they learned from each training and analyze the results. Keeping each meeting to one-hour helps your staff stay focused and the meeting to run smoothly.
The goal of each training session is to develop your team and recognize their progress. Create an agenda for each staff training with a single goal. Leave time to introduce your topic, discuss an implementation plan, and learn through role-playing. Your focused topic can be an issue from a previous finance meeting, change in practice policy, or another category.
Training through presentation and explanation
The first 30-40 minutes of your presentation should be dedicated to an overview and discussion of your topic. Hand out an agenda to each staff member at the start of the meeting. Presentation software such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Prezi are helpful tools to present information to your staff in an engaging way. Make sure to give detailed explanations and context for your training topic.
This part of your dental staff meeting will set the foundation for your staff to learn by doing. To structure your presentation, look to existing resources such as published articles, continuing-education seminars, or online training. If you're still stuck, consider hiring a consultant who specializes in dental practice staff training. You can have multiple presenters during your training session, but make sure you rehearse it at least once!
Role-playing and situational learning
After your staff learns the basic knowledge from your presentation, it's time to put that knowledge into practice. Split your staff into smaller groups of 2-3 people and have them role-play using their newly acquired knowledge. This helps your team members gain confidence in a smaller group setting. Each group will have 5 minutes to role-play.
Then, join groups together to form groups of 4-6 people. Allow 10 minutes for the group to practice using a similar situation. Last, bring your entire staff back together and spend the last 5-10 minutes of the training session discussing the pros and cons of implementing the new knowledge. Ideas for topics include: negotiating a payment arrangement, asking for referrals, dental industry news, or changes in dental practice policy.
Staff training helps your practice operate more effectively. For advice on patient communication, check out how to get inactive patients to schedule an appointment. Let's quickly review what we covered.
What We Learned
Having regularly scheduled training for your dental staff is a small investment that will pay off in an improved patient experience. Create an engaging presentation that will help your staff stay informed and use role-playing to teach your team how to implement their new knowledge.
Another way to improve the patient experience is with less time spent filling out paperwork at your dental practice. Find out how online patient registration forms provide a quick and convenient way for new patients to register with your practice.
How do you plan to carry out staff training at your dental practice? Share your insight in the comment section below.