Team Building Through Continuing Education

The pandemic has left its negative footprint in many ways in our everyday lives, but it has also had some very positive effects in our lives as well. One of the most positive ways that the dental world has pivoted is that a lot of your CE is now available online. 

As dentists you were always cognizant of growing your skills and collecting your CE points. Many dentists have attended a multitude of courses and brought some of these ideas back to their team. In a number of cases though, it very often happens that the only CE that the rest of the team receives is IF they attend the ASM each year. CE for your teams both clinical and administrative is just as important as for yourself. Not only does it introduce new ideas for growing their skills, it also is an ongoing team building experience which will benefit all.

Many training programs have been allowed to languish through the pandemic as there were other more pressing issues to be dealt with. Here are some points to consider when re-booting or beginning your team training program:

  • Build a plan for the type of training that you are looking for, once you determine the areas that you would like to cover you can then do the necessary research to find an applicable program. If you wait until something pops up, then your training program will continue to languish.
  • At this point we are still planning online events only but there is actually a plethora of them available. Choose wisely, you should also have some of the training completed for cross training purposes as well. This means that even if an event is about clinical, it would be effective to have at least one administrator listening to report to the other administrators to help with training for verbiage around new skills. The converse is true for administration courses as well.
  • When in person events are starting again, plan wisely for a variety of courses for your entire team. This doesn’t mean taking your team on a vacation, but it does mean that in most geographical areas you can do some research and find the courses.
  • Ask your team members what training they feel they could benefit from. Very often you may hear suggestions that you would have never thought of, for example a basic Excel Course (training can be provided by someone in your community), some advanced training from your software company, perhaps some clinical support training about a new procedure you are doing in the office or updates in the hygiene department. Giving your team a chance to help shape their training program to build their skills, will only improve your office culture and skills.
  • Spend time after training to review the benefits of each course, did it deliver what was needed or should you look for something that will take the team one step further. There should be at least one person responsible at each course to deliver a summary at the next team meeting of anything that was learned and how it was applied in your office situation.

Having a haphazard training program in your office will provide you with haphazard results. All team members should be expected to continue learning and growing their skills. Staying in maintenance mode is no longer a sustainable model for dental practices today. There are three steps to complete right now: decide the skills needed in your office, find courses or get creative and find an expert and ask them to teach your team and last of all get your calendar out and plan your CE for the next year. 

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