Healthy Employees, Happy Workplace: Ideas For Improving Wellness At Your Dental Office

Posted on: 13 October 2016

Investing in the health of your employees can really pay off. Healthier people take fewer sick days, get more done in a day, and contribute to a more positive work environment. If you're hoping to improve employee wellness at your dental clinic, here are a few things you can try.

1. Provide activity monitors to motivate assistants and receptionists to stand.

As the proprietary dentist or clinic owner, you may spend a lot of time on your feet during dental procedures, but other office staff do not have the same luxury. Excessive sitting leads to health problems later in life, and can contribute to discomfort during work that distracts from the tasks at hand. Provide fit trackers for dental assistants, accountants, HR representatives, and your hygienists. Make an office competition to see who can get the most steps in a month, and provide opportunities for sitting staff -- like those at the front desk -- to get more steps, such as putting file cabinets across the room or extending lunch for 15 minutes to allow for a walk around the block. 

Bending over a dental patient can take a similar toll to consistent sitting. If you're doing a long procedure, have your assistant or hygienist switch places with you periodically, or stretch occasionally to prevent muscle stiffness and misalignments.

2. Be a stickler for cleanliness.

Because you and your staff work so closely with the mouths of patients, the risk of contracting illness is higher, especially if you have a patient who is ill and does not tell you. Have a strict hand washing policy. For even better containment of sickness, require that each staff member change clothing after long or messy procedures, and keep a washer and dryer on site to help clean clothes that are marked with blood or excessive saliva. 

3. Provide healthful snack options for staff.

Keeping a vending machine in the office can be a great way to supplement lunches. As a dentist office, you probably have limited sugary options, but you should also take care to reduce the availability of diet sodas, chips, and other processed foods. Opt to replace typical vending machine foods with healthy vending options like popcorn, baked whole grain crackers, and lean beef or turkey jerky. If you really wanted to go the extra mile, you could get a refrigerator vending machine that offers fresh fruits and sandwiches made with whole wheat bread. Create a staff challenge where those who go without sugar, soda, or snack foods for a month could win a free dental procedure or health-promoting device, like a set of bluetooth headphones to wear while working out.


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