The holiday season is here! As you prepare to celebrate with family and friends, you might be gearing up for festivities at work as well. What are some common dental office experiences this time of year? Take a look below, and let us know if you see similar trends.
1. Last-Minute Dental Appointments
For some dental offices, the holiday season might bring an uptick in dental patients who are eager to sign up for those last-minute dental appointments. Some patients want to make sure to use their insurance benefits before they expire for the year. Others may be interested in tooth-whitening treatment to brighten their smiles for holiday photos.
“Some patients insist on getting teeth whitening,” dental assistant Ramil G. has observed, including around the holiday time.
Does your office seem to schedule more patients at the end of the year?
2. Holiday-Themed Tunes
It’s also about that time for holiday-themed music to be playing in the dental office. This might be a welcome addition to the workplace environment. We’ve heard music can help the atmosphere to feel more festive, and even help to alleviate some patients’ dental anxiety.
Sally S. agrees a song can be a positive distraction for patients, especially those who are young. “Sometimes I sing to them,” she says — including an occasional holiday jingle or two!
But, there’s always the risk of holiday lyrics “getting stuck” in your head, which could be a not-so-good side effect of spreading that holiday cheer!
3. Sweet Treats
Of course, who can forget about the mouthwatering spreads of holiday cookies, candy and other treats often found in the office break room? This can be true even in the dental office, where excessive sugar consumption is overall frowned upon. Although, we probably all can agree: ’Tis the season for a little bit of indulgence!
Ismary F., CDA, looks forward to sharing some holiday sweets with co-workers this year. “I plan on celebrating by eating the cake and desserts that I’m sure the doctors and all the other assistants will bring,” she says. “We also like to have a potluck!”
4. Gifts and Gratitude
Dental assistants agree it’s nice to feel appreciated year-round, and especially during the holidays. Small gifts, thank-you cards, or maybe some items from this list — it’s not uncommon for the dental team to exchange tokens of gratitude as the year comes to a close.
“The holiday season gives me an opportunity to show appreciation to my dental colleagues,” agrees Eryn E., CDA. “I like to give gift cards, and our team typically shares cake, which I believe helps to strengthen our team spirit.”
5. Out-of-Office Celebrations
Last but not least, some dental offices host holiday festivities after work hours, to spend some time together away from the office. Doing so can boost team morale.
“I always look forward to celebrating with my fellow dental assistants,” says Tara D., CDA.
Also, many dental assistants agree a benefit of their job is the fact their office typically closes over the holidays. Often, this isn’t true for professionals in other healthcare fields. As such, assistants usually are able to spend a portion of their holiday season at home with loved ones.
“I decided to become a dental assistant partly because I was tired of the stress of working weekends and holidays,” says Dana H., CDA, who previously worked in retail. “This schedule has made a difference for my family.”
What dental office trends do you see during the holiday season? Share your thoughts!