How to Create a Medical Office Emergency Plan

A medical office needs to be resilient in times of crisis. FEMA recommends that all businesses plan in advance to manage any emergency. They recommend being prepared to assess the crisis situation, use common sense and use available resources to take care of the those involved.

During a crisis is the time when patients are at their most vulnerable and when medical offices may need the most support. It is very important that a medical office and all its employees know how an emergency plan operates. Medical office administration staff are ideal at developing emergency plans.

Risk Assess the Potential

One of the most important things for the medical office assistant to do when developing an emergency plan is to consider the potential risks to the medical facility. This ranges from flooding from a nearby river making roads impassable to a chemical plant being in the neighborhood. An emergency may include illness striking the staff and the need for an emergency staffing plan. The medical office may fall into darkness with an electricity outage. Increasingly the risk of computer system failure and hacking is a hazard as more records and systems go digital. It is also recognized in emergency planning that it is impossible to plan for everything as the unexpected can and does occur. Being prepared for common scenarios increases the resilience of the medical office and the likelihood that everyone involved will be safe.

Stock Emergency Supplies

Every medical facility needs to be prepared for a crisis and have the proper supplies to combat any situation. Basic supplies include fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Each employee should have a personal kit that satisfies their specific needs including any medications they may need. First aid kits should be available in case of an emergency. Other items that may be supplied in case of an emergency include a battery-powered commercial radio, extra batteries, flashlights, whistle to signal for help, and tools to turn off utilities.

Clearly Display Emergency Routes

It is important to include the emergency routes out of the medical office. Staff and patients need to be aware of the emergency routes and follow them in case of a crisis. These emergency routes must take into consideration the use of stairs rather than elevators and access for disabled co-workers. There should also be a rally point set for everyone to meet after leaving the medical office. Make sure to account for all medical staff and patients when arriving at the off-site emergency location.

Pick an Emergency Leader

The medical office administrative staff should be in charge the day of the crisis. They will be fully in charge of the medical office emergency plan and have the authority to make decisions to keep people safe. The medical office administrative staff will also have the knowledge, skill set and available resources to implement the emergency plan. They will also become ambassadors for new employees and those needing retraining.

Develop Contingency Solutions

Once the medical office is aware of potential hazards they can create an emergency plan in case a crisis occurs. Having a contact list of all staff is vital. The plan needs to list the processes to take should an emergency situation occur. An example is a scenario where all the doctors have contracted influenza and are unable to work. Solutions might include cancelling routine surgery and getting colleagues from another medical office to cover for the sick doctors. If there is deep snow, or flooding, some of the administrative work may be continued remotely by staff having access from home. Another critical solution for emergency planning is to make sure computer systems are backed up off site. If the office caught fire destroying computers, it is essential to have access to medical records.

Working with a Larger System Plan

One of the most important things for medical office administration staff to do when developing an emergency plan is to connect to other organizations. The city government may have systems in place that the medical office can take advantage of. The community can come together to plan with local hospitals, and the fire and rescue services in case of a crisis. It is also vital for a medical office to partner with other medical facilities in the area to ensure plans are consistent and there is cross coverage. The medical office can also provide support to a hospital in an emergency if there is an overflow of injured patients. By being part of a larger plan, across a region, there is likely to be consistency with planning in emergencies.

Test the Plan

One of the most important things to do is test an emergency plan by having a trial drill. This can be organized by the medical office administration staff who also keeps records to ensure everyone has received training. Practice exercises identifying issues that need to be resolved and amended for the medical office emergency plan. The practice also ensures that medical office staff is familiar with the plan and can act in an emergency situation.

Emergency planning is a vital part of running a safe medical office. By having an agreed upon and tested emergency plan, a medical office can be as prepared as possible for a real-world crisis.

Ready to be a part of a community that takes care of all medical staff and patients? Want to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance billing, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk, in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

 

 

Preparing Kids for a Dental Procedure: A Dental Assistant’s Guide

 

The dental office can be a scary place for a kid. The noises, the prodding of teeth, and the dentist’s drill are all things that a kid waiting in the dental office will be wary of and the reason they are reluctant to be examined.

Dental assistants have a major role in helping kids who are having dental treatment by:

  • Creating a child friendly environment
  • Thinking safety and security
  • Explaining the procedures so that the child can understand and pay attention
  • Using distraction as a calming tool
  • Asking the kid what they would do to make the dental office child friendly
  • Helping the children and their parents deal with the fear
  • Educating the kids to prevent cavities in the first place.
  • Helping kids understand who people are thereby creating a friendlier environment.
  • Having an atmosphere that looks welcoming and friendly

Explaining the Procedures

If kids know what is happening and the rationale for doing things, they are likely to be more cooperative. A dental assistant can explain procedures in a child friendly way, using simple descriptions and ensuring things are clear. Using a doll or teddy as role playing model is another technique that works with small kids. Another way to get messages across clearly is to use animation that can be shown on a TV screen. The dentist assistant needs to identify a way to explain the procedure so that children will not only understand but will be attentive to the message.

Distraction

No one likes the sound of the drill, especially kids who are about to have a treatment. One way to help kids in the treatment room is to distract them. Music is one way of providing a distraction. A ceiling mural is an alternative for kids to

look at as they get examined in the dental chair. Talking to the kid and maintaining eye contact is calming which something a dental assistant can do as they are helping the dentist. Sometimes, having a parent in the room can help a child receiving treatment.

Ask the Child

When creating a child friendly space in a dentist’s office one of the best ways to get some creative ideas and insights into what is needed is to ask a child or parent. This is an easy task for a dental assistant who can gather opinion in a dental exam room or support managerial staff with focus groups and questionnaires. By listening to the people who visit the dentist’s office, issues that are problematic can be easily addressed. Kids observe things that are overlooked by an adult, and yet these are really important issues.

Dealing with Fear

A dental assistant can be proactive by helping kids who are afraid of dental treatments. In working with the dentist dental assistants can help calm children by using local anesthetics along with well-honed techniques. The dental team can work to get procedures done fast and efficiently on children by operating in a confident and seamless way. Dental assistants can also work with parents to calm and reassure the kid having treatment. The goal of a dental assistant is to gain the confidence of frightened kids rapidly, so they cooperate to complete the dental treatments. They must also calm anxious parents, so they do not exacerbate the situation with a frightened kid.

Education

One of the best ways of avoiding problems with frightened kids in the dental office is to do as much health promotion and education as possible to prevent tooth decay. A dental assistant has a vital role of teaching kids how to brush and floss their teeth. This includes reducing sugar consumption and avoiding too much candy. By using child friendly teaching methods, a dental assistant plays a huge role in helping kids stay healthy, so they avoid dental treatment in the first place.

Child friendly areas in dentist’s offices are vital and a dental assistant is ideally placed to maintain them and to work with the dental team to deliver care in an appropriate setting. Having space that is bright and welcoming, calm and full of games and toys, is an excellent way to care for kids during a dental procedure. Dental assistants are vital in ensuring the department is a proactive and attractive environment for any kid.

Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-informationDental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

5 Job Ideas for Dental Assistants Beyond the Dental Office

Dental assistants play a critical role in a dental office. A dental assistant regularly aids the dentist, ensuring that patient care is completed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Dental assistants often work in traditional office settings. However, dental assistants who are feeling adventurous can consider a career beyond the typical dental office. There are several creative possibilities for jobs beyond the dental office that dental assistants can consider including working as a dental office manager, teaching dental assisting, selling dental products, dental assisting in the military, and a dental insurance claims processor.

What A Dental Assistant Does

A dental assistant works with the dentist to offer proper dental care and educate patients on good oral hygiene, according to the American Dental Association. They will assist the dentist during treatments, exams and procedures. The dental assistant takes vital signs and records the patient’s medical history. They will also take impressions of the patient’s teeth for casts and models. The dental assistant will assist the dentist whenever they are caring for a patient to make sure the patient is comfortable and properly informed during any procedure.

Dental Office Management

Dental office managers have administrative roles and oversee the functioning of a dental office. They answer phones, greet customers, order supplies, manage bookkeeping, take inventory and cover for other dental office staff. As a dental office manager, you’ll work with front desk staff, hygienists, dentists, and staff to ensure that the dental office is functioning smoothly, and that patients are receiving the best care possible.

Teaching Dental Assisting

Some dental assistants may become teachers in different teaching capacities. Dental assistants who decide they want to teach can get a simple certification that allows them to provide education to others who are hoping to pursue a similar career path.

Dental Assistants can also work in schools to educate students on proper oral hygiene. Habits are learned at a young age and helping youth with preventive dentistry will set them on the path to healthy teeth and gums.

Selling Dental Products

Dental product manufacturers and distributors employ people with a distinct knowledge of dentistry to sell their dental products. Dental assistants are often qualified to hold these positions because they have an in-depth knowledge of oral health, teeth, and how the dentist office works. Dental assistants can consider getting into sales if they want to use their knowledge and continue to improve dental offices, while not having to work chairside assisting a dentist.

Military Dental Assistant

Dental assistants may want to travel or be in more exciting work environments than a typical dental office. For those dental assistants, there are careers in the military. Military dental assistants work for military dentists, who provide dentistry to people in the U.S. armed forces. The main job functions include education of troops in preventative dentistry, radiology techniques, and dental office procedures. The dental assistant may be stationed in military dental clinics or deployed where soldiers are located. Some military dental assistants may even serve aboard a ship. The military dental assistant will help the troops with oral hygiene and serve their country at the same time.

Dental Insurance Claims Processing

If you have trained to be a dental assistant, you are qualified to work in the dental insurance industry. Working in dental insurance allows you to process dental insurance claims, verifying the treatments that were given to patients and deciding whether those treatments qualify for coverage. Working in dental insurance is a good way to use your dental knowledge in a more business focused position.

Being a dental assistant is a fulfilling job where you get to provide oral health care for those in need. While many dental assistants choose to work in a regular dentist’s office setting, some may be looking for more unique career opportunities or interesting work environments. Those dental assistants, upon gaining experience in the field, can consider working as a dental office manager, teacher of dental assisting, selling dental products, becoming a military dental assistant or become a dental insurance claims processor.

You can graduate from a vocational school’s dental assisting program in as little as 9 months and start your new career in the dental industry. Many dental assisting programs offer in lab training and off-site externships to prepare graduates for real world situations Whether at a traditional dental office, in the military or working in a related field, dental assistants have the opportunity to help people live healthier lives.

Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-informationDental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

How to Stand out in a Dental Assistant Interview

Interested in learning more about a dental assistant interview? The best way to look at the dental assistant job interview is to see it as an opportunity to stand out. Everyone will come rehearsed. Chances of anyone showing up inappropriately dressed are slim. You must come prepared to shine. This checklist will help you prepare for that interview with the dental office panel. Learn what the employers are looking for in a candidate and make sure you are a good fit.

During the dental assistant interview, the candidate will need to know an in-depth understanding of the role. They will need a level of compassion and technology. The dental assistant candidate will need organizational skills. Their communication will be tested, and they must endure a tense situation. Preparing for these situations in a dental assistant interview will help you stand out among the crowd.

An In-Depth Understanding of the Role

The prospective dental assistant has to display a thorough knowledge of the functions. That includes knowledge of tools and techniques used. They must show proficiency in conventional dentistry procedures such as took excavation, extractions, crowns, and polishing teeth. The dental assistant should show knowledge of regulations and privacy guidelines as well.

When explaining anything, the dental assistant candidate should refer to processes and experiences in various work situations. That way, the interviewer can properly gauge their level of expertise. They can take a typical dental assisting day that they mastered in the past and let them see the things they did on that day to shine.

A Level of Compassion

There is no better way of showing compassion than an inherent desire to help others. An interviewer can inquire about the dental assistant’s immediate reaction to someone who checks in to the dental practice with an acute toothache.

One’s ability to relieve the patient’s pain immediately is imperative. Rushing to give a painkiller shows concern but rushing to process the patient is better. Such processing will include medical history, insurance, and current complaint. The employer will want to see that level of craft and resourcefulness.

Helping is a team effort. It pays to show that one understands teamwork as a core value in dentistry. Borrowing an example from chair-side assisting can help the candidate demonstrate their ability to anticipate team needs.

A Level of Technology

It is now a requirement in most jobs to be computer literate. Showing computer literacy and a desire to adopt emerging technologies will help improve the chances of landing a dental assistant job. The dental assistant is the face of a dental clinic. Patients will come armed with information from the Internet. The dental assistant should also be abreast of such information. It is not necessary to know all the technical resources that a dental practice Including dental office management software and showing a fast learner’s attitude. The dental assistant must also demonstrate competence in data handling from capturing to retrieval.

Organizational Skills

When answering questions, one’s answers should flow logically. The interviewer can spot the ability of a successful dental assistant to transition effortlessly from task to task. However, it is not easy to keep a steady flow. It requires plenty of practice and knowledge. One must deliberately accustom themselves to operational processes of dentistry. How to conduct an initial evaluation, take patient information, do x-rays, root canals, and make dental impressions are some of the things the dental assistant is expected to know. One must also show that they can schedule and multitask effectively.

Communication is Tested

A dental assistant has to show that they can communicate with a problem patient effectively. That must come out through effective people skills. They must practice being resourceful in challenging situations.

It is up to the dental assistant to prepare adequately by brainstorming and practicing various situations. They can rely on their experience. Do not dwell on the positives only. There are days when things did not go as you envisioned. Sharpening verbal communication is also important.

Testing Nerves in a Tense Situation

The interviewer will devise a situation that the dental assistant must diffuse. The first thing that they will want to see in a successful dental assistant is active listening. If the dental assistant manages to display that, they will have a good chance of getting that job. Remember, a dental assistant can nurture this trait through regular feedback and improvement. They can use their friends or family to try different situations. Further, the dental assistant must show adaptation and composure.

We know that job hunting can be unnerving. There are many different situations when a dental assistant needed help in many situations when they are stuck. The candidate will need an in-depth understanding of the role of a dental assistant. People skills and that ability to be a calming presence should come naturally. It is up to the dental assistant candidate to prepare. Utilize these tips to stand out among the crowd of dental assistant candidates.Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

 

How a Medical Office Assistant Can Organize a Disorganized Physician

Medical Offices and departments that are organized are more likely to operate efficiently than those who work in chaotic environments. Physicians are incredibly busy people and do not have time to do clerical tasks that are often business critical. That’s where medical office assistants are indispensable. With their unique skill sets they can create order and organize a physician.

To create an organized physician’s office, the medical office assistant will want to establish a filing system and use electronic health records to allow care providers access to patient information. They will want to set up the billing and coding processes, so the physician gets paid for services rendered and the patient is billed properly for healthcare services. The medical office assistant will want to also keep staff records and calendars organized so continuing education requirements are met and meetings don’t overlap. The medical office will want to draft an emergency plan in case disaster strikes. Finally, the medical office assistant will need to make sure the medical office abides by HIPAA guidelines to minimize legal ramifications for patient privacy breach.

Establish a Filing System

One of the most important tasks when organizing a medical office is to set up a filing system. Using alphanumeric and tabular filing systems can allow medical staff to find paper records when needed. However, a filing system is not just for paper records and invoices but there needs to be an online file as well for electronic correspondence. The use of electronic health records allows the patient’s entire medical history to be accessed by all medical providers. Making this easy to access will help anyone find the medical information they need. The medical office assistant will also need to ensure there is a secure data system and that patient records are secure as they should only be accessed by the staff working directly with the patient.

What is an Electronic Health Record?

The electronic health record (EHR) is a systemized collection of a patient’s electronically stored health information. The electronic health records can be shared by all providers in a patient’s care including physicians, medical offices and healthcare professionals. Medical records can be shared in minutes and better healthcare can be administered to patient with the help of electronic health records.

Some of the information recorded in electronic health records includes patient personal information, vital signs, medical history, medications, immunization status, laboratory test results, and all insurance billing information. It is important that only authorized medical staff have access to electronic health records and abide by HIPAA guidelines.

Set Up the Billing and Coding Processes

Medical offices need to ensure they have a robust billing and accounts system. Without cash flow the medical staff wages will go unpaid and ultimately the physician’s office could close. Alongside this system is the clinical coding process where diagnoses and treatment of care need to be recorded using internationally recognized codes. The different internationally recognized codes include the International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD-10), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). If this process is done incorrectly it can result in under or over payment, and incorrect diagnoses on medical records. Medical office assistants have educational training to review the records and ensure everything is correctly coded. By having these processes in place in a medical office, billing and coding is more efficient. Proper processes also ensure the medical office keeps the business cash flow in check.

Organize Staff Records

Staff records are another area that needs to be in order. Medical office assistants can set up a filing system for personal records. In the medical world there is a requirement for appraisals, revalidation and renewal of some qualifications, and annual training. If they are not completed there are serious consequences. Medical staff may need retraining or not be allowed to perform a procedure until the staff’s required paperwork is in order. By setting reminders for staff, the medical office assistant can help the medical office transform into an organized system and one where training obligations do not lapse.

Schedule an Office Calendar

Having a single office calendar will enable medical staff to see vacation time, clinic time, and specific meetings. It will also act as a booking system for teaching, specific administrative tasks such as signing off invoices or documents, and reminders when due dates are near. An office diary or calendar avoids double booking appointments and keeps the medical office organized.

Have an Emergency Plan

All medical offices should have an emergency plan, so they can stay resilient in an adverse situation. Medical staff need to plan for adverse weather. For example, snow or floods may inhibit medical staff to reach the office and alternative plans must be in place as patients will still become ill and injured. It may even be more vital in an emergency situation to have a plan to manage multiple patients through a triage process. If the computer system was destroyed, is there an off-site back up set up that is data secure? Developing a plan for emergency situations will enable the medical office to be prepared if a crisis occurs. Making sure all the physicians are aware of and read the plan is essential.

Know and Follow HIPAA guidelines

The medical office assistant will need to keep all patient information confidential as a disorganized physician may inadvertently reveal private patient information to people that are not authorized to view it. Following HIPAA guidelines is important to not only keep patient information confidential but to not experience any legal implications for breach of patient confidentiality.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 was developed to help ensure the confidentiality of medical records in the age of the computer. The HIPAA privacy rule requires that healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses gain authorization before they can use or disclose protected patient information. This privacy rule requires that the covered entities provide patients with written notice of their privacy practices and the patient’s privacy rights. All pharmacies, health plans and other covered entities must obtain an individual’s authorization before sending marketing materials. Finally, patients must be able to access their personal medical records and be able to request changes to correct any errors.

Medical office assistants have a vital role in organizing disorganized physicians and their medical offices. From setting up a filing system to developing an emergency plan and getting coding in order, a good medical office assistant can create order out of chaos.

Enjoy managing the front office and bookkeeping duties? Want to become a medical office assistant? The Medical Office Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates to work as an entry-level medical front office assistant, receptionist, insurance billing, insurance collector, appointment scheduler, medical secretary, or medical records clerk, in health care centers, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and medical billing offices. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical office assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

8 Questions to Prepare You for a Dental Assisting Interview

Ready to become a dental assistant? Have you graduated from a vocational school’s dental assisting program? If you are ready to interview for a dental assisting position, here are 9 questions you will want to prepare for before meeting with the dentist or hiring manager.

Question #1: Tell me about yourself

This is a standard first question for dental assistant interviews. Prepare a short statement that talks about your vocational school and prior work experience. Don’t talk about your personal background. This is a chance to make your introduction and a good first impression. Are you a quick learner, good with patients, and/or passionate about the dental field? Take this opportunity to explain what you can add to the dentist’s office.

Question #2: What do you enjoy the most about working at a dentist’s office?

Enjoy supporting a dentist or working with patients? Prefer greeting patients, scheduling appointments and processing billing? Want to help the dentist with exams and minor surgery? Tell the dentist what you are looking for during the interview, so they can match you with the right opportunity. Some positions will work alongside the dentist exclusively and others will involve clerical work. Being honest is important in an interview but always stay positive.

Question #3: What are your weaknesses?

Always make sure you answer this question positively. Find something that may be seen as a negative for you but that would be a positive attribute for the dentist. Do you get so involved in the job that you forget to take breaks, or you take on additional duties without being asked? Again, make sure you are positive during the interview as negativity will make a bad first impression.

Question #4: What are your strengths?

Take this time to explain why you are the best fit for this position as a dental assistant. Prepare a few strengths and try to tell a story about how it helped you in the past when you were responsible for customers. The strength should be work related and not about personal strengths during the interview. The strengths highlight you and your work experience and how these positive skills will help you at the dentist’s office.

Question #5: What is your familiarity with computers?

Most dentist’s offices will have some type of appointment software, billing interface and word processing software. The dental assistant should be very familiar with different types of software and be ready to learn new computer applications. This is a good time to mention a short list of the computer software you are familiar with including Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, or other dental software.

Question #6: How much experience do you have as a dental assistant?

If you just graduated from a dental assistant program, make sure to show how passionate and ready you are to start working. Let the dentist or hiring manager know if you have any administrative or customer service experience as these are skills you will need to be a successful dental assistant. Discuss your training from school plus any externship experience you may have completed. Not all experience is important to mention so don’t worry about a newspaper route or babysitting. Focus on recent job experience that mirrors the skills that will be needed to become a dental assistant.

Question #7: Why are you leaving your current position

If you are a recent graduate, this is an easy question to answer. You are moving forward in your career to become a dental assistant. If you have already been a dental assistant, think of reasons that are positive. Is your current job too far away and you want to relocate? Are you looking for a position that allows you to grow and learn new things? Come up with an honest but positive reason for leaving your current job. Stay away from speaking negatively about your former boss or colleagues during the interview as this will make a bad first impression.

Question #8: Why This Dental Office?

Take the time to learn about the dentist and the dental office. What is their philosophy? Do they offer something that other dentists in the area don’t? Understand how you can help this specific dental office and let the dentist or hiring manager know that you fit the culture of the office. By doing your research and showing the properly responding to this question, you will show the dentist that you are serious about this interview.

Now It is Your Turn to Ask Questions

After doing your research you may find that you have some questions. Try to ask at least one or two questions as it can be awkward when the dentist asks if you have any questions and you say no. This may tell the dentist that you are not interested in the position.

Stay away from salary and benefits questions in the first interview. If you are a good fit that will naturally occur in subsequent meetings. What is the culture like at the dentist office? On average, how long have our employees worked for you? These types of questions will let you understand whether you are going to like to work at the dentist’s office. Don’t forget that you are interviewing the dentist as much as they are interviewing you.

Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

How Motivational Behavior Skills Work in the Healthcare Sector

Motivation can be defined as the basic driving force behind human action. A person’s needs and wants impacts the direction of their behavior. There are four forms of motivation: extrinsic, intrinsic, physiological and achievement. There can also be negative forms of motivation. Extrinsic motivation is behavior driven by external rewards from outside the individual. Intrinsic motivation is the opposite of extrinsic, where motivation originates from within to strive toward personal satisfaction. Physiological motivation involves a need from the body for things like food or water. Achievement motivation centers on the need for humans to succeed or to attain excellence.

Patients view medical assistants as healthcare professionals.  These medical professionals have influence on patient motivational behavior. Helping people improve their ability to manage a chronic condition or modify their behavior is something a medical assistant can do on a daily basis. Using the correct technique is critical to making a person feel empowered and motivated to change. One of the most effective techniques used is teaching motivational behavior skills.

This does not mean just handing out a leaflet or verbally relaying instructions. Motivational skills are imparted in a positive way to encourage the patient to take action. Here’s some insight into how motivational behavior skills work in the health sector:

What Do Motivational Behavior Skills Do?

Motivational behavior skills help people change an aspect of their health. They integrate several elements needed to make sustainable change and are regularly used by healthcare professionals, including medical assistants. From a health promotion discussion to enabling someone to learn new ways of moving about in a rehabilitation scenario, motivational behavior skills are a vital part of the medical assistant’s toolkit.

The IMB, or Information, Motivational, Behavior Skills Model, targets three areas of the brain to enable changes. The cognitive area of the brain is targeted by giving information and offering knowledge to support the change being made. Motivation is targeted using the affective domain of the brain. This part of the model creates conditions favorable to change so that the person will want to do something about an issue. The third part of the model focuses on the psychomotor domain and uses examples of what is effective in making a difference.

Motivational behavior skills can also help a patient from relapsing. Patients need to improve confidence and self-efficacy to resist the unhealthy behaviors associated with the  challenges of addiction.

Examples of Motivational Behavior Skills in Action

There was a time when patients with medical conditions or risk behaviors were simply given leaflets or were told to change. The move towards motivational behavior skills models in the health sector has seen a transformational approach to helping people change. An example of how this works in practice is helping a patient who is overweight and does no exercise. Many people are unaware of how little exercise they do, so helping someone realize they are sedentary and overweight is the first stage. This is a core part of the work of a medical assistant. This has to be done first by building rapport with the patient and gaining trust. Techniques include listening, good eye contact and engaging them in conversation.

Raising awareness in having a problem is the next stage of the process. Motivational interviewing techniques that focus on the present and aim to reduce ambivalence in change are used. These raise awareness in a motivational way by getting the patient to work out their individual goals to make a change. This technique is completely different than simply giving instructions to someone.

Once someone is motivated to change, techniques to change behavior can be introduced through goal setting. Examples include taking a five-minute walk around the block each day or giving up a sugary snack mid-morning. By getting people to achieve small, tangible goals, they can work towards the next few changes with more confidence. Medical assistants have a vital role in goal setting and supporting people to achieve behavior change.

Where Has This Technique Worked Effectively?

Motivational behavior skills techniques are used in several settings across the health sector and are increasingly popular. The town of Frome in England has used health connectors to work with the community using motivational behavior changes to combat social isolation and help cope with long term illnesses. The results saw fewer re-admissions to the hospital and improved the feeling of loneliness. This concept is transferable to the medical assistant role as a key element when helping people plan their care.

The Center for Motivation and Change in Manhattan uses motivational behavior techniques to support people with drug addiction and alcoholism. Using a blend of counseling, goal-focused planning and support has seen positive results with people changing behavior. This is supported by studies which show motivational change was more effective at reducing addiction than other standard facilitation programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous. Medical assistants working in addiction clinics can integrate these techniques into their work to help clients effectively.

In the physical therapy sector, a study looked at the difference in outcomes in people with low back pain receiving motivational techniques to change behavior compared to physical therapies alone. The research reported better health outcomes in those receiving motivational behavior change, as this was more sustainable for the long term. This supports the role of the medical assistant in using these techniques in their work with clients.

Motivational behavior skills are a critical part of the role of a medical assistant and can be embedded in a variety of settings. With the increase in people with lifestyle problems, chronic medical conditions and the soaring cost of healthcare, integrating this concept into care planning is vital.

Did learning about medical assisting and motivational behavior interest you? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

 

7 Questions to Prepare for Before a Medical Assisting Interview

Candidates succeed in job interviews when their answers match employer expectations. In a medical assisting interview, employers ask questions that reveal the candidates’ skills and whether they are a fit with the medical facility.

Medical assistants should take updated copies of their resume, relevant certificates and licenses to the interview. They should also have researched the medical facility interviewing them.

Interviewers ask questions common to all jobs apart from those specific to a medical assistant interview. Here are seven of the most common questions asked during a medical assisting interview:

Question #1 – Tell me about yourself.

This is an open-ended question intended to help interviewees relax. However, candidates should not talk too much, especially about their personal lives. Instead, they should mention a few interests relevant to medical assisting, such as volunteering, or focus on their professional skills or academics.

Candidates can discuss their employment history, including number of years, locations/facilities worked, as well their various responsibilities as a medical assistant. If asked to elaborate, they can mention taking patient vitals, medical histories, etc. If this will be the candidates first job after graduating, the candidate can talk about relevant work experience and how they work with people offering quality customer service. Candidates can also talk about their externship during the interview and hands-on experience gained while attending a vocational school.

Question #2 – What are your strengths and weaknesses?

While discussing strengths, candidates should avoid boasting. Ideally, they should share some job-related skills they are strong in, along with a few people skills or instances of academic excellence.

They should avoid using use the word “weakness.” Instead, they must talk of “areas that need improvement,” which can be perceived as a positive too. For example: “I am obsessed with completing all daily records diligently.”

Question #3 – Do you like being around people?

Since people skills are very essential for medical assistants, candidates should try to show that they love interacting with others and truly enjoy helping them.

Question #4 – What schedule do you hope to work? Do you have any scheduling restrictions?

Candidates can agree to work whenever needed, on the hope that once they get the job, they might be able to adjust the schedule. They may however refuse to work late hours, overtime or weekends, citing genuine unavoidable reasons.

Question #5 – How do you protect the rights and confidentiality of patients?

Candidates’ answers should focus on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training they received and how they apply it by being discreet in their dealings with patients and their records.

Question #6 – Describe a difficult situation at your workplace and how you handled it.

Candidates should talk about a real experience, where their actions helped resolve the situation. They should also share the positive aspects of the experience, without blaming others.

If this is their first job, they can refer to instances from their training, externship or even from their personal lives.

Question #7 – What do you like most about being a medical assistant, and what do you like the least?

Although many candidates might say that they like everything about the job, it is better to say what they specifically like and why. Candidates can be open about what they find difficult, which would help employers to provide training or support in those areas.

Usually, interviewers close the interview by asking if the candidates have any questions for them. The answer should always be a “yes,” followed by at least one question — maybe about the possibility of future advancements or training. However, if interviewers have already covered everything, they can ask a general question about the working atmosphere or locality.

Did learning about medical assisting interview questions interest you? Ready to work with colleagues who want to help their patients stay healthy? PCI Health Training Center’s Medical Assistant program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Medical Assistant. Within this general career category there are several specialty areas, including Medical Administrative Office Assistant, Clinic Assistant, Clinic Tech, Medical Office Manager, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapy Aide in a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital out-patient clinic. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a medical assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information.

 

Educating Our Youth Toward Preventive Dentistry

Tooth decay is the number one chronic health problem of children, according to the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry. Dental assistants should strive to help our youth develop good dental habits thorough preventive dentistry. The dental assistant can be a powerful motivator for children to take care of their teeth and empower their parents to lead by example. Most children trust authority figures like dentists and dental assistants, so they can have an influence on the child’s dental habits.

The dental assistant and parent should complement the child on their good dental hygiene. By building the child’s trust, the dental assistant can help motivate the child to practice good dental hygiene.

Preventive dentistry should have a goal of helping patients of all ages to practice good dental hygiene throughout their lives. The parent and dental assistant must work together as a team to prevent dental disease. The dental assistant is responsible for educating the kids and their parents about dental disease and how to prevent it.

Parents Role in Preventive Dentistry

Parents are a motivating force for their children to practice good dental hygiene. This can include proper brushing techniques, use of fluoride, application of dental sealants, proper nutrition and plaque control. Learning proper dental hygiene starts at birth. As soon as the first tooth appears, the parent should start teaching their child about proper dental hygiene. The parent should also take their child into the dentist office every six months or no later than the child’s first birthday.

Dental disease can affect infants, toddlers, and children. It is important for the parent to take their children for regular check-ups at the dentist office to identify dental disease before it becomes an issue. Dental disease can become irreversible and may cause adverse long-term effects or dental anxiety.

Teeth Evolve & So Does the Preventive Strategy

As a child ages, not only do their baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth grow in, but their teeth evolve. The teeth go through changes in the enamel cementation, dentin and pulp. The dental assistant is responsible for educating children and their parents about proper dental hygiene based on the stage of their teeth.

Are Dental Sealants Good for My Child’s Teeth?

A dental sealant can help protect a child’s teeth with a coating that covers pits and grooves in baby teeth. Dental sealants can be used to protect hard to clean surfaces of the teeth from bacteria that causes decay. Dental sealants have been proven to be safe by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Is Fluoride Ok for My Child?

Systemic fluoride is ingested in the food we eat and water we drink. Topical fluoride is applied to the teeth with the help of toothpaste and mouth wash. To protect children from receiving too much fluoride, the dental assistant should educate parents about fluoride and its uses. The dental assistant should advise parents to not allow young children to swallow fluoridated toothpaste. The parents should also supervise younger children while learning to brush their teeth, so they learn proper dental hygiene from the beginning.

How to Choose a Toothbrush for My Kid

There are different sizes for children of all ages. Dentists typically recommend soft-bristled brushes for children since the bristles are gentler on the child’s gums. The toothbrush should remove plaque without causing any tissue damage in the mouth.

Proper Toothbrush Usage by Children

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child brush their teeth two minutes twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. It is recommended to replace toothbrushes every three to four months.  Toothbrushes should not be shared between siblings or with parents. The toothbrush should be thoroughly rinsed after each use. The toothbrush should be stored in an upright position after use to allow the toothbrush to air dry. Overbrushing by the child should be cautioned to not cause excessive wear to the teeth, recession of the gums or exposure of the roots.

Which Toothpaste should My Child Use?

There are different options for toothpaste depending on the child’s needs. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance must contain fluoride to strengthen teeth and ingredients to remove food residue. There are many different choices for dental assistant to recommend and should be matched based on the child’s needs.

Did learning about helping our youth with proper dental hygiene interest you? Ready to take a program to become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.

Regulatory and Advisory Agencies: A Dental Assisting Guide

It is important for dental assistants to become familiar with government agencies and dental assisting organizations that regulate and advise the practice of dentistry. Penalties for non-compliance with regulations may include fines, imprisonment, suspension or revocation of licenses. Other agencies only advise with no penalties for non-compliance. Both agencies are good resources for dental assistants and are easily accessible on the Internet.

Advisory Associations and Organizations

A few advisory associations and organizations support dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and other dental professionals with research, information and standards to keep patients safe and healthy. These advisory associations and organizations include the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), American Dental Hygienist’s Association (ADHA), Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and National Dental Assistants Association (NDAA).

American Dental Association (ADA) – the national professional organization of dentists with more than 150,000 members. The ADA offers a Seal of Acceptance for over 300 oral health products including toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, mouth rinses, denture adherents and chewing gum.

American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) – represents dental assistants with members that include clinical dental assistants, receptionists, dental office managers, and other administrative dental professionals. The goal of the ADAA is education, registration and certification for dental assisting professionals.

American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) – the national professional organization for dental hygienists. The goal of the ADHA is to provide members with the highest standards of professional support and educational programs.

Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) – the national certification board for dental assistants. With more than 37,000 members in the United States, the DANB offers certification programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

National Dental Assistants Association (NDAA) – members include dental office managers, dental assistants, receptionists in dental offices, treatment coordinators, clinical coordinators, finance specialist and other office personal in a dental office, excluding the Dentist and Hygienist. The goal of the NDAA is to provide an opportunity for intellectual growth and development through certified continuing education programs.

Governmental Regulatory and Advisory Agencies

A few regulatory and advisory agencies run by the Federal government to help educate, monitor and regulate the dental industry. These governmental regulatory and advisory agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that protects the health and safety of Americans. The infection control procedures for dentistry are based on the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings issued by the CDC in 2003.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – a regulatory agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA regulates the manufacturing and labeling of medical devices used in dentistry. The FDA must approve sterilizers, biologic and chemical indicators, ultrasonic cleaners and cleaning solutions, liquid sterilant, gloves, masks, protective eyewear, dental handpieces and instruments, dental chairs, dental unit lights, antimicrobial handwashing products and mouth rinses.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a regulatory agency that ensures the safety and effectiveness of disinfectants. The EPA is also involved in regulating waste materials and chemicals that are disposed of by the dental office.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) a deferral regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety and health of dental professionals. OSHA sets and enforces protective standards that dental employers must follow to provide a safe workplace for employees. OSHA set the Blood-Borne Pathogens Standards and the Hazard Communication Standard.

National Institute of Health (NIH) – a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that conducts and supports medical research. NIH scientists conduct research to identify the causes, treatments, and cures for common and rate diseases. The NIH also supports researchers with leadership and financial support throughout the world.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) – the dental research institute of the NIH that promotes the general health of Americans by improving their oral, dental and craniofacial health. Through research, the NIDCR promotes health, prevents disease and develops new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) part of the CDC that does not have regulatory authority and is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury.

Want to learn more about dental regulatory and advisory agencies? Ready to take a program to become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

**PCI firmly upholds its policy of nondiscrimination. Inquiries regarding policy may be directed to TitleIXCoordinator@pcihealth.com.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.