When shadowing...what can you do to keep everyone comfortable?

Jul 19, 2009
28
0
Status
I'm going to a pretty high-class practice next week to start shadowing (it's got like conference rooms and everything) and I just wanted to know if anyone had tips for how to handle something like this. So far I have only had experience with tiny offices that don't see that many patients a day. I'm sort of nervous about it since the staff there will probably not have much time to really even talk to me when I'm there so I want to figure out a way to keep busy and not look awkward and pathetic. I want to obviously watch procedures but when none of that is going on what can I do? Thanks
 
Feb 21, 2011
1,118
8
Status
I'm going to a pretty high-class practice next week to start shadowing (it's got like conference rooms and everything) and I just wanted to know if anyone had tips for how to handle something like this. So far I have only had experience with tiny offices that don't see that many patients a day. I'm sort of nervous about it since the staff there will probably not have much time to really even talk to me when I'm there so I want to figure out a way to keep busy and not look awkward and pathetic. I want to obviously watch procedures but when none of that is going on what can I do? Thanks
Ask them if you can help them do anything. I'm sure there's always SOMETHING you can do i.e. seat patients, breakdown rooms, sterilize stuff, etc..
 

SeattleRDH

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 10, 2010
888
3
Duh
Status
Shadow the front office manager. Ask questions about scheduling and insurance.

Also, don't just observe procedures, shadow exams too (especially new patient exams).
 
About the Ads

nboogie

7+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2011
146
2
California
Status
Dentist
There was a bit of downtime where I shadowed. I carried around a notepad and took notes on everything. Once I felt comfortable and I got the go ahead, I started prepping and tearing down rooms, sterilizing, pulling charts, etc. They got so used to me helping out they hired me ;).
 
Jul 19, 2011
132
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm going to a pretty high-class practice next week to start shadowing (it's got like conference rooms and everything) and I just wanted to know if anyone had tips for how to handle something like this. So far I have only had experience with tiny offices that don't see that many patients a day. I'm sort of nervous about it since the staff there will probably not have much time to really even talk to me when I'm there so I want to figure out a way to keep busy and not look awkward and pathetic. I want to obviously watch procedures but when none of that is going on what can I do? Thanks
tell them that you dont want to just stand around and not do anything while there are no patients, ask them if there is anything to do like clean, put away charts, dress up operating rooms...
 
Aug 15, 2010
21
0
Status
Pre-Dental
When I shadow, my dentist and I hang out the whole day. Even during breaks we go to his office and talk about dental school, the profession, any complicated treatment plans he may be working on, and whatever else comes to his mind. If you act sincerely interested, I'm sure the dentist won't let you just stand around waiting on more patients. Most dentist are very professional and freindly. Take the opportunity to talk to him and learn about what being a dentist is really like.
 

dantemac

5+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2011
2,279
18
Philadelphia, PA
Status
Dental Student
If you have down time, talk to anyone you can. Patients, assistants, the dentist. They will all give you a perspective on private practice from their viewpoint.

Also, dress nice if it is higher end practice. I always show up in a shirt and tie. Can't go wrong.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,285
2,433
Status
Dentist
If you have down time, talk to anyone you can. Patients, assistants, the dentist. They will all give you a perspective on private practice from their viewpoint.
Taking the liberty of talking to patients may not necessarily be a welcome move unless you limit the topic to the weather. Why not take your cue from the practitioner/staff?
 

setupben

10+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
74
0
Texas
Status
Dental Student
Introduce yourself to everyone and explain your situation.


First just let them know that you are shadowing and that you are happy to do anything that they need help with.


They may be comfortable letting you help out or you you just may end up watching. Be friendly and hopefully you can go back.
 
Jan 18, 2010
26
0
Status
Pre-Dental
During extractions, say things like...

"So you said this is your first time doing this?"

"Oh, I have one of those in my tackle box!"

"Wait, so you pretty much just use a pliers and rip that thing out?"
 
About the Ads