Have you recently graduated dental school and are looking to finally start your career? Here are the tips you need to keep in mind.
Understand your long-term objectives
First and foremost, it’s essential that you understand your long-term objectives. Are you happy working in an already established practice for the rest of your life? Is this a family business you will be joining? Or, on the other hand, would you like to run your own practice and slowly build it from the ground up? Where do you want to work and live? How about retirement – when would you like to stop working? Answering these questions clearly can help you narrow down your options and go with the best alternative.
Look for opportunities to improve your skills
Furthermore, even if you just completed your studies, you might still want to learn more. For example, you can always go back to school and get a specialization. Having more knowledge about prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, and other fields can help you get a better job in an established practice or attract more clients to your own. Just remember to balance your work, studies, and personal life.
Learn to manage your time properly
While on the topic of balance, managing your time will be crucial. You will see a big change from how things were in school. Don’t be surprised if you start running behind schedule in the beginning. It’s better to leave some room in between appointments than to try and cram everything into a single day and not be able to keep up. This will become easier once you settle in your office and get to know the people you work with.
Work on stress management
Having a lot on your plate can be very stressful, which is why you need to learn how to manage stress from the get-go. In addition to getting used to the new workplace, you might also have to work with patients that are afraid of the dentist or simply uncommunicative. You need to collaborate with your team to make sure you are properly organized and welcoming to clients as that will surely lower everyone’s stress levels.
Keep an eye on your tools
Something that can bring a lot of stress into your practice is damaged or broken tools. You don’t want your equipment to fail as you are with a patient, which is why you want to keep your eye on it. After you’ve chosen the right dental handpieces for yourself, you should learn more about their maintenance and find experts that can repair them as soon as you notice an issue. Preventing a bigger problem is always a great move.
Create a positive work environment
No matter if you join an existing practice or start your own, you surely want to work in a pleasant work environment. So, when opening your clinic, set some rules and try instilling certain behavior among your staff. You want everyone to be approachable and friendly to patients as well as helpful to others that work there. Organizing team-building activities or going together to lunch every once in a while can do a lot to boost morale. In case you’re joining an established company, be open to their way of work and learn as much as you can about the people around you.
Build relationships with peers
As a young dentist straight out of school, building relationships with peers will be vital. For example, keep in touch with other students from your class, seeing as how you never know when you might need their assistance with something. Maybe you can even start a practice together. On the other hand, don’t overlook the potential of making connections with established professionals that can serve as mentors and guide you in the beginning. What is more, if you decide to specialize in a particular field, other dentists might recommend you to their clients.
Don’t reject feedback
Finally, you also need to learn from the feedback you receive. It will not always be positive, especially for someone new to the field. So, when someone comments on your work, don’t be too offended but try to use it to your advantage. This can tell you in which areas you still need improvement so that you can grow as a person and as a professional.
Whether starting your own practice or joining an established one, keep these tips in mind if you’re fresh out of school.