Getting back to ‘business as unusual’ can be overwhelming for everyone - dentists want to make sure that their practice is ready to care for their patients, staff may be unsure of what their new normal will look like, and patients may be equally anxious about venturing out and being in close contact with others.
COVID-19 has been a stressful time for everyone, but if your practice has been impacted by partial or full closures, reopening may be another stress on your shoulders. There are a lot of moving pieces to consider. However, there are a few key things you can check off your list that will help reduce the stress of opening your practice while making the transition easy for staff and patients as well!
Open Slowly but Surely
Re-opening your practice gradually, with limited hours and services can help alleviate some of the stress that a full reopening could bring. Not only will you be able to learn quickly what does or doesn’t work in your practice, you are also able to keep your overhead low while gradually building your practice back up. Instead of hiring a complete team of full-time staff, hiring temporary staff on a flexible schedule can help you gradually increase your operations and bridge the need for full-time, regular staff. Having reduced patients and team members in your practice can also reduce a patient's anxiety, creating a more relaxed experience for everyone.
There is nothing worse than opening your doors, only to realize that you don’t have sufficient protective gear, or having to scramble to put safety measures in place the day before you open. It’s important to make sure you have enough PPE, that your space has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and that you have the staff needed to care for your patients. It is important to be fully aware of the operating requirements set out by the province in advance. This ensures that you are set up for success before opening and helps make those first few days and weeks back in operation go smoothly for your staff and patients.
If you are planning on gradually reopening, you can book temporary dental staff in advance to meet a flexible and changing schedule. Expand or reduce your team as needed, all through the OpenTemp app.
There are many key resources that you should be monitoring to ensure you have the information and resources you need to operate safely. Check out our post with a complete guide to dentistry updates and resources in BC!
Address Your Own Anxiety
As the leader of your practice, your mood will set the tone for how your staff and patients will feel under your care and guidance. Reflecting on any anxieties you may have regarding the virus itself and the operation of your practice will help you to feel empowered and in control when reopening. It is important to consider how this pandemic has impacted our communities as a whole, and take steps to address feelings around this issue. Think of ways that you can set up your office to ease anxiety. For some, this may simply be preparedness. For others, having plants, calming music, or a personal memento may help ease their worries and maintain perspective.
We know that this pandemic has impacted each of us differently, and this new chapter can bring new worries and concerns. By giving yourself the time to fully prepare and allowing yourself to reopen at your own pace and timing, we hope that your reopening is made less stressful for you, your staff, and your patients!