Let’s face it, the daily practice of dentistry is hard work. I have heard older dentists state that their back and neck hurt, their shoulders are tired, and they often wonder if their eyes are as good as they used to be. I’ve met hygienists whose hands, neck and backs are sore and assistants who feel the same. The average person has no idea how physically taxing the day to day grind of dentistry really is.
This is when the practice owner hires an associate and slows down. Hygienists can still make a terrific income in a part-time position and I know assistants who tell their doctors they only want to work part-time. Our employee, Kim, is one of those assistants. Kim is an extraordinary dental assistant. She recently told her doctor she wanted to cut back to a three-day week. She is so valuable, he agreed, but continues to hint at her return to a four-day week. It’s just not going to happen.
Maybe you’ve acquired a medical condition that has forced you to work less. Maybe you’re new to an area and want to get your feet wet before taking a permanent position. Maybe you want to work, but your kids come first, and you want to be there for them as they grow up. Whatever the reason, maybe you’re just tired and you want to slow down, so why work on a regular schedule at all?
Why not work just when you want to work? Why not try putting yourself out there as a dental temporary?
Becoming a temporary has a lot of advantages, and some disadvantages, at least in the beginning. Here’s the deal…
When you temp there’s an initial period when you’re not well known and not working as much. Know this going in and prepare for it. It’s a little like real estate; there are busy, lucrative times and quiet periods in the market. As time goes on, if you’re good at what you do, you’ll develop a rhythm that becomes comfortable.
But there are many advantages…
- Sometimes (a lot of the time?!) there’s a lot of drama in dental offices. When you come in as a temporary you don’t have get caught up in the drama. You’ll come in, do your job and go home.
- You can name your fee and walk out at the end of your workday with a check.
- If your day is planned and you get a call, you can decline. Work as little or as much as you want
- You basically work for yourself, so there are tax advantages to temping.
- You’ll work at a variety of practices and this works well for those who enjoy a variety.
Let’s say you’re interested in temping, but you’re not sure where to start. You can start by placing your resume in the Temp section at https://dentalstaffing.org. You can leave it there for as long as you’d like. At this time dentists can search for temps at no charge and it’s always no charge to our temps. Thanks for listening and if you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And be sure to read my blog on “Plan Ahead”. Most dental practices don’t think about planning for a temp until it’s an emergency.
“Everyone enjoys doing the kind of work for which he is best suited”
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.