How Does A Dentist Go On Vacation?

In order to operate a maximum efficiency, it is necessary that we get a vacation once in a while. This also applies to dentists. Although it may seem like dentists need to be in their office twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week to accommodate their patients, this is simply not the case. There are lots of ways dentists facilitate taking vacations.

To start with a dentist must make their vacation plans some time in advance. This gives them the opportunity to notify patients and contact colleagues who may need to help cover for them. As a dentist, taking a spontaneous vacation is not recommended, but it is certainly doable to take a good quality vacation with a bit of planning.

Once you have your vacation dates solidified, it’s time to develop an out of office strategy. The details of this strategy will depend on the type of dental office you are working in.

Multi-Dentist Office Vacations

If you are working in a multi-dentist office, your strategy is fairly simple. All you will need to do is make sure that your vacation dates are coordinated with your colleagues. This means that when one dentist is out of the office, the other dentists are around to cover for any needed patients. Basically this requires good communication and schedule coordination between the dentists in the office. It is also necessary that any receptionists are aware of all the schedule changes well in advance. That way all clients get clear information which can be relayed to the customers.

Single Practitioner Office Vacations

If you are running a single practitioner office, then your strategy may be a little more complicated. There are a couple of different ways a vacation can be handled by a single practitioner office. The main idea is that the vacationing dentist’s clients have an alternative dentist to turn to if needed.

Locum Tenens Dentists

One way this alternative dentist can be found is through a service which hires such individuals on a short term basis. This has several advantages, Doing this allows the client to come to the same office and be in a familiar setting when receiving help. In addition, there is less complication for secretaries and general communication to the client.

Colleague Replacements

Another way to accommodate this is through developing a relationship with nearby colleagues. If you have a positive relationship with a dentist in your area and you are confident in their abilities, then you can recommend that your clients visit this alternative dentist while you are on vacation. This works well if your vacation is not too long and you can establish good communication between clients, secretaries, and this alternative dentist’s office. It is crucial that your clients understand that another dentist will be taking over during your vacation period and he or she may need to travel to a different office to get assistance. It is also important to consider how busy the alternative dentist may be during the vacation period. Most likely this dentist will be placing a priority on his or her own clients, and your clients may not receive ideal service as a result. There is also an additional risk that your clients may decide to switch to this alternative dentist if they like their service. Despite these challenges, sending your clients temporarily to another dentist is a good way to get yourself the vacation that you need and deserve.

Communicating To Staff

Once you have developed a strategy for accommodating your client’s needs during your vacation period, it is essential that the relevant information is clearly articulated to all the relevant individuals. This includes your secretary, clients, and other relevant doctors. Failure to do this can result in frustrating miscommunication between parties.

If you are a dentist wondering how on earth to work in some vacation time, these steps can help give you some ideas. It is perfectly reasonable for dentists to take time off. In fact, doing so can actually contribute to the dentist becoming more focused and better able to conduct their work. All you need to do is develop a strategy to accommodate clients while you are away and make sure all the relevant parties are adequately notified. With these two items complete, you will be free to enjoy your vacation time.

This article was written by Louise Williams, a freelance author from Tucson, AZ. She has a few dentists in her family and knows all too well the pain of them never having much time off. She’s hoping some of her family members will read this piece and take some dang time off.