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My Hygienist is the Devil


Dear Sharyn,

To my intense regret, I rehired my hygienist after she abruptly left us for 3 months. She resigned in a fit of rage and I was relieved to see her go. But I couldn’t find a replacement hygienist and even though she is a devil with her colleagues, she has a great rapport with patients. Some of them followed her to her new office and others refused to see the second hygienist. It was total chaos, so when things didn’t work out at her new office (no surprise) I took her back. But she has anger eruptions every other day and the rest of the team are scared of her. Frankly, I hate her too but I feel stuck. What do I do now?

A. S. N.Y.

Dear A.S.

I’m not surprised you feel stuck, because your mindset is that you are her hostage. You’ve resigned yourself to believing that this a no-win situation where either you have no hygienist and therefore chaos or you keep her and suffer. But is this really an either/or situation? Just like Dorothy and her red shoes, you can free yourself. The first step is to recognize that her behavior is so untenable, that you can’t spend one minute longer allowing her to terrorize you and the team. Therefore, your energy now must be on finding someone else. 

These days, finding new employees means you have to be proactive and creative. If you’ve exhausted your personal connections and no one is replying to your job ad on Indeed, then you need to actively meet potential employees on their turf. Volunteer to speak at or sponsor hygiene CE classes in your community. Don’t just post an ad at the local hygiene schools, offer to host the class at your office. The American Dental Hygiene Association lists job posting on their website and you can also check out these temp or permanent placement agencies:

  • Dentalcloud
  • Ondiem
  • Princess dental staffing
  • Direct dental
  • TempMee

Remember keeping a toxic employee can damage your team, your morale and your practice. Give 100% effort to finding the right employee so that you can all move on.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

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