One of Those Days! Tips To Help Your Hygiene Day Run More Efficiently

We all have had ONE OF THOSE DAYS! You just can’t get out the door early enough. Upon checking your room in the morning, it’s not stocked! Maybe you had to leave early the day before or you only work part-time and share the operatory with another hygienist. Whatever the reason, your BP cuff is missing and your bib clip, GONE! And someone has taken you patient’s safety glasses. Arriving to the office 30 minutes early will definitely help you prepare for the unexpected.

Top 5 Things That Will Make Your Hygiene Day Run More Efficiently:

Stock your Room:

If possible, stock your room the night before. Though, arriving early will allow for checking supplies needed for the day. Chair covers, mask, gloves, toothbrushes and the one offs: implant scalers, floss threaders, & ultrasonic inserts. Prepping your room will help the daily flow of your time, so you’re not searching for things in the middle of patient time. Nothing worse than having to deglove and go hunt down an implant scaler.

Reviewing the Schedule:

It’s always a good idea to review the patients’ heath history, need for radiographs and restorative needs. Health History can be complicated and time consuming. Which patients needs premed? Have the front desk remind patient ahead of time to take premed. Does your schedule allow enough time for bite-wings, panorex or full mouth series? There is always a snag in the day. Which patients take more time than you have allowed? Also, check the dentist schedule. Are any of the patients double booked? What time of day in the dentist schedule is the busiest? Are there any openings for last minute treatment needs? It’s helpful if these things can be reviewed at the morning meeting. If the staff is aware of where the rub is going to happen, events can be managed in a more timely fashion.

Instrument Management:

Make instrument maintenance a priority. Routinely check the quality of your hygiene instruments. Devise a plan to inspect and sharpen dull instruments and/or to replace older ones. Often, too much time has passed between purchasing new items. Discuss with office manager or dentist a yearly budget for hygiene. This will allow for you to have the supplies needed to work efficiently, such as having enough hygiene set-ups to get you through half the day.  Make dentist aware that its time for instruments to be replaced.

Check Sterilization:

This should be done by the hygienist and the assistants. Prepare tray sets ups, stock supplies that are needed for trays. A thoroughly stocked sterilization area will keep you from running around too many places looking for supplies.

Get Organized:

Meet with the other hygienist/assistants and come up with ideas to get organized. Maybe its all the hygiene operatories are set up the same or placing office referrals in a central location. Utilize your time while waiting on the dentist by pre-wiping your room, write up chart notes, & checking sterilization.

In all my years of hygiene, I’ve never had nothing to do. This is a busy, busy profession. I’m always looking for ways to improve my day. But lets’ face it, sometimes it’s just “ONE OF THOSE DAYS”! No matter how hard you try!

Saving Graceys, LLC

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