Covid-19 pandemic isn’t the only challenge dental practices are currently experiencing. Dental offices nationwide are experiencing a severe worker shortage.
Many dental practices are currently experiencing low revenue, high stress, fatigue, and the chaos of dealing with the loss of staff, as well as the burnout of the remaining staff.
Dentistry is not alone. This is a national issue in a lot of industries, and dentistry is competing for the same skill-level workers that other industries are chasing.
Why is there a staffing crisis in dentistry?
Based on a survey by the ADA Health Policy Institute, more than 35% of dentists are looking for dental assistants, more than 28% are searching for dental hygienists, and over 26% wish to hire administrative staff.
More than 80% of those dentists searching for dental hygienists and dental assistants, and over 70% of those seeking administrative staff, say recruiting for these roles is extremely challenging—a significant increase from before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has put new pressures on dental offices as well as their staff, which is part of the reason for the hiring crunch.
In such cases of staffing crisis, dental offices can overcome the issue by outsourcing their dental billing processes to dental industry experts.
How to overcome the dental staffing crisis?
Meeting the staffing needs may require some changes in how you operate your dental office and how you think about your staff.
It’s an employee market right now; some individuals are willing to switch jobs for an extra dollar an hour. Most dentists seeking hygienists, assistants and administrative staff have increased pay for these roles, as per the HPI reports. Keep in mind that with a full staff, you’ll be better able to meet the demand for treatment.
Make a workplace where people would like to work
Dental offices can be extremely stressful, so it’s critical to create a workplace culture where the staff feel valued. Make sure you look for ways to help your staff balance work and their personal lives.
Focus on building a culture where staff support, pitch in, and care about each other. If your dental office is a place where people can find not just a job, but a satisfying career, you’ll be more successful in hiring.
Even when you’re not hiring, keep a check on for potential candidates
If someone contacts your dental office to ask about job opportunities, have them fill out an application and send a résume to keep on file. Get to know colleagues in networking organizations and social media networks, watching for people you’d like to have on your team. No one can tell when they may be available to change jobs.
Offering part-time work or flexible hours for your staff can assist job candidates manage childcare issues and further develop their work-life balance. In recent times, many patients prefer early morning, evening, or weekend appointments, so there’s no need for your office to be just 9 to 5.
Lastly, the solution to overcoming the dental staffing crisis while continuing to grow the practice is to outsource your dental billing processes to dental industry experts.
This allows the in-house team to focus on what truly grows the practice, while your cash flow remains consistent.