We are writing in response to a letter by Dr. Lansdowne of Wichita, Kansas ("DA`s are not subservient, November 1996). His letter was in response to the article, "Everybody`s a Critic" (September 1996), which addressed how to help the team perform better. As practicing dental hygienists who are currently enrolled in a bachelor`s level course in education, we recognize the need for harmony in an efficient practice. The article showed how to get the team performing a better job. We agree that the article suggested good critique techniques.
However, we must agree with Dr. Landsdowne that dental assistants are not subservient. The article should not have been focused on criticizing the dental assistant. The methods written about here can be used with any member of the dental team to help increase production in the office.
According to Webster`s, teamwork is defined as a cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal. Every member of the team has a specific job which, when done effectively, contributes to the production of the office. One way the receptionist contributes is providing a full schedule of patients for the dentist and hygienist. This will enable both practitioners to produce money for the checks to be written. The dental assistant helps the team members maximize their production capabilities.
As a member of a dental team there is not one person who is superior whether it be assistant, receptionist, hygienist, or even dentist. We are all joined together for the same goal and that is to provide total oral health care to the patient.
Lauren Jaccodine, RDH
Kerri Boyle, RDH
Bayonne, New Jersey