Interview Scenario Series – The Clinical Department Dental Assistant

CApic SetTheStage

We continue to understand that dental practices vary as to how they perform (and subsequently present) various treatment recommendations for a variety of dental problems or conditions, but there are a number of consistencies that we should see from practice to practice.  These would be:

  • the attention and care that the clinical dental assistant offers each and every patient
  • their attention to the practice operations and “health” of the business
  • how efficiently they utilize their time
  • their observance of OSHA and HIPPA protocols

“Real life” scenarios for the dental assistant should be presented, since lots of valuable information can be gathered from this exercise.  This provides the interviewer with the feedback needed to understand if the job candidate appears to value the importance of a number of areas when working with patients clinically.  The truly talented ones will also take a little more into consideration and demonstrate that they go the extra mile.

Understandably, some practices will instruct the clinical assistant to focus and devote all of their time to the back office and not to even consider the administrative needs of the patient.  But let’s set a sample scenario and see how it is handled.

What a refreshing approach, wouldn’t you say?  It’s the thoughtful, go-the-extra -mile employee that everyone should be seeking out.  The video example here clearly “showcases” someone who sees the whole picture, and is clearly the team member that realizes her job doesn’t necessarily come to a halt once their patient leaves the treatment room. This particular scenario will give you, the interviewer, the opportunity to determine if the candidate is someone who is a problem solver.  They consider the entire process and avoid “tunnel vision”, as they realize the patient isn’t necessarily complete for the visit once they leave their area of the practice.

The response could have easily gone in a completely opposite direction based on how the job candidate chose to address it.  This is a great scenario question and one that I have used with great success numerous times.

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