THE DENTAL TEAM: LOOKING INWARD

by Karen Reiner, RDH

Well Being Program Missouri Dental Hygienists Association Representative

 

Written Spring 2015

 

As an RDH for 20 plus years, it is my “passion” to help people and take care of my patients. It is also my passion to educate my patients about their oral health, their nutrition and their medical issues as it concerns their oral health. The focus is usually about their sickness, instead of concentrating on their “wellness”.

 

We are always concentrating on our patients, but what would it look like if the dental team looked inward, to ourselves, to OUR overall wellness?

 

I am new to the Missouri Dental Board Well Being Committee and the MDA’s Dental Well Being Foundation, but definitely not new to what this committee and foundation represents. We have always focused on the employer/dentist and how, as a team, we can rally around the employer and support her/him. But what about when one of the staff falls into a situation? How does the dental team support a staff member when this happens, and how often does it happen? In my efforts to uncover this information I have enlisted comments from other team members, employees and a few friends—all confidential! I hope you find their insights helpful.

 

  • There is a fear of the unknown. What will happen to my job, my career? Will I still have a job, what about this career that I’ve worked so hard to get?

  • What are my options or do I have options?

  • Is there support for me as a staff person?

  • In most cases, the employer/dentist can retain the help of this committee and foundation, and if the task of following through is taken seriously, the employer/dentist returns to work, with discernable consequences, but, still back to being employed. Not so much for a staff member. I would love to see more dental staff members be made aware of the Well Being Committee and the resource’s available to them through this foundation!

 

The Well Being Committee is a source of help, information and support. And the Foundation is developing a range of wellness resources from nutrition to depression and everything in between. I look forward to working with this committee and getting its message through to the dental team as a whole, to give insight and recommendations, so that impairment or disability can be prevented for the entire dental team. 

 

 

We are always concentrating on our patients, but what would it look like if the dental team looked inward, to ourselves, to OUR overall wellness?

 

But what about when one of the staff falls into a situation?

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Missouri Dental Well Being Foundation

3340 American Ave | Jefferson City MO 65109

 

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The DWBF is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation created by the Missouri Dental Association.