CHAPTER 2 TECHNICIAN ADMINISTRATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The efficient operation of a dental clinic depends upon its administration and its personnel. In this chapter we discuss some of the administrative responsibilities that a basic dental assistant is expected to perform. Such duties include:
Performing as a dental receptionist
Performing as a dental assistant in a clerical assignment
Answering the telephone
Receiving patients entering the dental clinic
Preparing and maintaining files and dental treatment records
Assisting patients in completing dental treatment forms
Maintaining central dental appointment desk operations
Maintaining dental recall
Maintaining the call list system
Other duties could involve the use of a computer to enter patient and dental information to update records or to generate required dental reports and correspondence and to keep track of dental supplies and equipment for your command. To perform the above duties, you must develop good communication skills. You will be required to receive, record, and relay information to others. You should be able to express yourself clearly and listen effectively.
As a health care provider, you will be assisting patients coming into the dental clinic for treatment. The most important aspect of dental care that your patients receive is quality dental care. You must always ask yourself the following questions concerning the care you give:
Was the care competent?
Was the care effective?
Was it of the highest quality?
Remember, as a member of the Navy and the dental health team, your commitment to professional excellence should always be your primary goal.
Patient contact is when two people interact, one requesting a service and the other providing the service. Three factors are involved at this contact point:
The health care provider
The physical spaces in the dental clinic
The most important concern is the patient. The receptionist is the first person in the dental clinic to come in contact with the patient. First impressions are lasting impressions and affect our attitude. They also affect the patient's attitude. If the first impression is favorable, there is a good chance that the patient's attitude will be positive. No two patients are the same. Each patient is cared for individually. Most of your patients have been treated at dental clinics before and will exhibit normal behavior. They are on time for the appointments and are cooperative during each treatment. On the other hand, there are patients who look at a visit to the dentist as an unpleasant experience. This behavior or attitude may have come from various factors that include:
Previous dental care received
Current situations in life outside the dental clinic
Anxieties, stress, tension, conflicts
Fear of pain
Being dental phobic (an overwhelming feeling of panic and terror)
The dental officer and you, as the assistant, must always be aware of the patient's responses. BeContinue Reading