Never. Stop. Learning.
When I had been working as a dental assistant for approximately ten years, I thought I knew it all!
I knew exactly what my doctors needed and when they needed it. During those ten years, I took advantage of learning from two amazing doctors.
I listened to how they communicated and explained things to their patients and watched how they treated them. They taught me so much. Both of them were a very powerful influence on my career.
What else was there to learn?
After 25 years in dentistry, I was asked to be the office manager for my dentist employer of six years.
Although I had never managed an office, I had helped up front at times. I knew I had a lot to learn, but how hard could this be?
I learned never to say that phrase to myself again!
Here I am, 37 years later, and I now know that I will never “know it all”!
Dentistry is ever-changing and growing, and you’ve got to keep up with the incredible amount of technology and growth out there; otherwise, you will be lost (or totally behind).
Why dental office manager CE (continuing education) is important
I am a CE junkie – averaging 75-100 hours a year.
I like to learn anything I can—clinical, motivational, and health-related. I especially love to learn about insurance. No matter how many hours of CE I take about insurance, I will never understand it all. It’s not my passion, but I still need to learn what I can for my practice.
Not everything I learn will work in my office. There is no “one size fits all” concept when it comes to applying policies and procedures to a practice.
However, I love when my eyes can be open to new things; and while some course content may not be a good fit right now, it could work in the future.
Everything changes—our lives change as we evolve and grow, and dentistry changes, too. If I can take a little of what I learn at one seminar and a little of what I learn at another seminar, I might be able to create what works best for our practice, and you can too.
Take advantage of opportunities for CE
I hear many team members say things like, “my doctor won’t send me to CE”.
Don’t wait for your doctor to send you to continuing education for dental office management. There is so much great information available, and you can find valuable courses online.
As a member of AADOM, you have access to some amazing office manager CE through dental management webinars. The network of people within this organization is outstanding, and they are all willing to help you grow.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to learn. This organization was created for that reason.
Make it work
I also hear, “those things won’t work in our practice”.
I believe that systems and protocols won’t work in your practice unless you make them.
Change is hard but absolutely necessary for growth. Give new concepts and ideas a chance. Don’t shun them because you didn’t come up with them. Some of the most unlikely ideas might be ideas we end up loving the most.
Soak up all of the knowledge you can.
Knowledge stays with you whether you stay where you are or move on to better opportunities. What you learn helps you grow both personally and professionally.
Make it a goal to take some sort of continuing education each week.
It can be a webinar, reading an article or book, or even participating in a lunch and learn. It can be motivational, systems and protocols, or that dreaded insurance stuff!
If it helps you grow, then do it.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to invest in yourself. You are the greatest asset you have – so help yourself shine!
Learn all you can with office manager CE and create opportunities for yourself by being the best YOU ever!
Meet the Author
Tija Hunter was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by ASCA SPEAKER Dental Products
Member and former VP of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), Tija holds the honor of Master. She is a board member for Dental Products Report Magazine and contributor to several dental publications.
Founder of the Dental Assistants Study Club of St. Louis and director of the Dental Careers Institute, her passion is equipping dental teams with the knowledge to grow.
Contact Tija by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.