Showing posts with label Texas Dental Hygienists' Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas Dental Hygienists' Association. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dental Hygienists Struggle In Corporate Dentistry

Deborah Lynn Malone StewartDeborah Stewart is a dental hygienist, author, mentor, office manager, coach, consultant, and popular speaker for dental hygiene schools. She holds degrees in dental hygiene, organizational behavior and coaching as well as an MBA. She is author of the 2014 book Perspectives on Dentistry: An Insider’s Guide to the Professional Business of Dental Hygiene (available here).

Deborah passionately promotes collaboration, ethical standards, and high achievement in both hygienists and the dental industry she loves. A proud member of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, she is also an historian and a civic and community advocate. 

What Do Dental Hygienists Do to be Employed?
by Deborah Stewart

North Texas, the area where I live, was once roamed by Frank and Jesse James, and home to one of the top ten feuds in American history. The Lee-Peacock Feud was a continuation of the Civil War. North Texas was very prosperous with cotton agricultural growth after the Civil War, so a feud developed whether North Texas would continue to have slaves. Fighting a Civil War apparently was not enough for the additional 200 lives that were killed in the feud. 

To say North Texans are a bit hard headed is an understatement.  

One hundred fifty years later, North Texas dental hygienists are fighting another war. Striving to maintain respect for their profession, they fight the battles of what preventive dental hygiene services are to be performed and how they are to work in dental offices. Faced with very few options, what allies do dental hygienists develop in this fight to stay employed? 

What is obvious is disrespect and disregard for the dental hygiene profession by Texas dentists. This behavior by dentists provided a growth opportunity for corporate dentistry business models.  

You don’t have to have multiple offices and a logo to become corporate dentistry, you just have to have a mindset of disrespect. Texas dentists began disrespecting the profession of dental hygiene in the 1980s when the Texas Dental Association (TDA) decided that the Texas Dental Hygiene Association (TDHA) needed to have their own convention.

Since then, the industry has progressed to a corporate way of thinking that now thrives in North Texas. The “dental business” has a checklist for employment of dental hygienists.

Those items include: 

       1)  Businesses will set minimum production dollars per day 

       2)  “CREATE URGENCY” to pressure patients/parents to consent to procedures immediately

        3) Identify 3 patients that need SRP each day 

        4) Use intraoral camera to identify 3 patients per day that need dentistry with $1200-1900 per day. 

        5) All patients seven years and up need an orthodontic appointment    

        6) All patients 14-20 years of age need a wisdom tooth evaluation 

        7) All patients requiring Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) need to be referred to in-house Periodontist 

        8) Call 5 people per day to come into the clinic for treatment

        9) Clean the bathroom 

       10) No employment benefits with longevity  

       11) Hiring through temporary employment agencies; having no intention of providing full-time employment 

       12) Abusive employment policies.

Does anyone think this list of job duties is appropriate?