Maxine Fennell


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Empower your nurse and support teamThe start of the new year is the perfect time to create a new habit for the team – regular...

Empower your nurse and support team

The start of the new year is the perfect time to create a new habit for the team – regular monthly team meetings!

Whether you see three patients a day or thirty, whether you have four or twenty-four individuals working in the same building, you need staff meetings.

The busier you are, the more patients you see, the greater is your need to regularly stop, sit down, look into the eyes of your work friends, and learn how to define mission, collaborate, and build the daily energy necessary for prolonged success.

If a commitment to serve the patient is not enlivened by your team members, you do not have a team. Unless they understand the vision, believe in the dedication required, and are willing to hold each other accountable for defined outcomes, you do not have a team. Staff meetings are foundational to the success of a team.

Agree on Success—Order without Control

Definition of success for the team: the entire staff enjoys, participates, takes away lessons, and improves service to the patient and to each other. Definition of success for the dentist: you develop rapport, educate, challenge, affirm, and grow a team of people to expand your ability to help patients make better choices.

You have an orderly pattern to your office systems without having to control or dictate the daily patient encounters. Involve your entire staff in the process of patient service. Their confidence and authority to act comes from shared goals and common expectations for success. You can focus on direct patient care while your team demonstrates the attentiveness and service you would want if you were a patient.

Team meetings must be:

·       Regular but team-driven

·       Focused but flexible

·       Fun but productive

In order to become regular, team meetings need to be scheduled at a definite time with no opportunity to change the date or shorten the length of the meeting.

Six parts to predictably successful team meetings:

1. Rewarding experiences

2. Action list

3. Reports: hygiene, dentist, supplies, gift account

4. Housekeeping list

5. Education topic

6. Evaluation