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Afternoon/Evening Hours

Discussion in 'Dental' started by I'mFillingFine, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    Hey fellow dents! Dreaming about how I'm going to set up my practice is one of the ways I get through dealing with 10 exams in two weeks....:D

    Anyhow, I'm considering opening practice with late hours...something like 1-9pm or even 2-10. (This would be for every day of the week, not just one late night.) My natural sleeping pattering is from ~1am-11am anyway ever since I was a little girl, not to mention the benefit of working patients not having to miss work for their dental appointments.

    Do you think that I'll be able to staff my office with people who are willing to take those hours? I imagine it would be tough for anyone with a family. (Additionally, once I have my own kids I doubt I can keep those hours.) Are there always people willing to take a job as long as I'm clear about the hours? Will patients really want a 9:30pm appointment? (I'll send them home wired on epi :D)

    Also, on a staffing question: Have you practicing dentists found that the most successful employees are veterans with tons of experience, young but certified (of course the RDH would be, but the others), or brilliant college kids with no experience, but a desperation to learn medicine? I wonder if people with tons of practice like to have things their own way, and a predent would make a great receptionist (but of course would have to leave on applying to school.) Are there issues with maternity leave? Do any staff members who work for retiring dentists stay on with the new practice owner?

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
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  3. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    I imagine it could be hard to staff a practice like that, but I think the benefits may be worth it. Everyone I've ever talked to about this would love to be able to book a dental appointment without having to schedule time off of work to go to it.

    :thumbup:
     
  4. pacbum

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    the practice that i worked at was open until 7 and sometimes even 8 at night. patients loved it, and the late appointments were always booked months in advance. as armorshell said, it makes life easy not to have to take off work. i cant imagine many people scheduling a 9pm appointment for the dentist though. thats the last thing i'd want to do that late at night. but i think later in the evening works well, as long as its not too late.
     
  5. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    I can definitely see my future practice having a few nights a week with late bookings, maybe even make those extra long days (12-14 hours) to get my weekend started as early as possible. :)
     
  6. rocknightmare

    rocknightmare Senior Member
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    i met a hygenist at a bed and breakfast one time.. she said she worked at a night dental office her shift was something like 3 to 10.... so does happen.
     
  7. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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  8. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    You'll have 2 groups of people, both staff and patients to deal with with those hours. First off, as you correctly stated, staffing much past 7PM or so can get difficult do to family commitments. Additionally, patients may sometimes love the concept of a 7 or 8PM appt, especially 6 months out when they're scheduling their cleaning appts, but then as the day draws near and they see that their son/daughter has a baseball/softball game at the sametime, your schedule looses out, not a big deal if you have an active "on-call" list, but it makes for somemore work for your receptionist, and often on short notice.

    Secondly, you'll find that some folks on the day of appt, and often just a few hours before will cancel real short notice (i.e. 4PM for a 7PM appt) just simply because its been a long day and their just too warn out for their appt.

    Third some folks are morning folks, and want nothing to do with anything afternoon.

    If it works for you and your patients, great, but it might not be a bad idea to have a mix of early and late to accomodate all patient preferences as your getting started. I'm fortunate enough to have an extensive patient base who can accomodate/deal with my preferred 8 to 5/ and 8 to 1 schedule for the 3 and a half days a week I work. :D
     
  9. myrmie

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    In the office where I've worked for many years, prime patient hours are on Saturdays before noon. (We're open until 3pm on Saturdays.) Saturday mornings are usually booked out about 10 weeks; Saturday afternoons are booked about 8 weeks out. For comparison, you can get a weekday appointment w/in 4-5 days tops.

    We used to work 11am-7pm Tuesday through Friday, but as someone else already said, we found that a lot of patients would hit the end of a long hard day and call to cancel. (Or just no show.)

    My dentist is a morning person, so in the past we have offered appointments beginning at 6:30am. Patients loved the convenience of coming in before work or school. Everything was great until our primary dental assistant started her family. After her pregnancy leave, she told us she wouldn't be in before 8am. We tried to continue it without her, but we weren't as efficient and didn't want to replace her. Now we work 9am-5pm on Wednesdays and Thursday, 8am-4pm on Fridays, and 8am-3pm on Saturdays. (Our receptionist also comes in on Tuesdays to answer the phone and be available for any patients that stop by.)

    About staffing: You'll find great staff with experience, and great staff without experience. The same can be said of the lousy staff members too. Remember, if they do have experience, you may have some "untraining" to do. Also, you can train the skills; you can't train attitude. That said, I'd go with the enthusiastic beginner anyday over the experienced and possibly set-in-his-ways veteran.
     
  10. myrmie

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    Someone once told me that in Vegas there are dental clinics open all night long to accommodate those who work 3rd shift. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?
     
  11. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    Thanks for all your replies! I hadn't even thought of the idea that people will be too tired at the end of a long day. So perhaps a weekend workday (removing it from the traditional work-week of course ;)) is a much better concept.
     
  12. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    There's an office by me in central CT that advertises itselfs as being "available" 24 hours hours a day in their TV commercial. Heck, with my cell phone # on the answering machine at my office I'm available 24 hours a day, but if you tried to show up at the office at 2:30AM with a raging toothache, chances are you'll find a dark, locked office. The nuances of marketing!
     
  13. Daurang

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    Yes it is possible. When I first open in 2001, my office hours were 9AM-9PM everyday, including Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, I took 8 walk-ins in addition to the appointments.
     
  14. docj1

    docj1 Walleye Whacker
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    I used to be open until 8pm on tues and thurs. and 2 sat. per month. With alot of evening and sat hours patients are more likely to cancel. 3 years ago we went to 1 sat per month and 1 evening per week. It is the most productive time now and honestly almost 0 no shows and very few who cancel without 24 hr notice. You also need to have morning hours for your senior citizens.
     

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