It was May 8, my first day back to work full time after Florida lifted the mandatory emergency only dental order put in place mid-March.
I felt strangely nervous to be back, even though I had been rotating in for emergency services for the past six weeks. However, we only had four people in the office, and getting back into the swing of things with a full house made me a little uneasy.
What was it going to be like now that everyone was back and patients were returning for routine care? In short, it was weird, but familiar at the same time. Our team took temperatures in the morning, had a huddle about new screening and cleaning protocol, and then just went back to work as usual. What had felt like an isolated island recently was now just business as usual.
In addition to having our full staff back, we had decided over the quarantine period to start the transition fully to electronic charting and scanning in the office. The team had to learn how to get on board with that change pretty quickly, which was an additional hurdle on top of everyone getting back to action after a long absence.
It has only been a few days since we started back, but so far it feels like nothing has changed – besides the face masks everyone is now sporting. Some patients are apprehensive about being treated, but most are eager to come back and have their cleanings and treatment completed, and everyone is commenting how it feels almost post-apocalyptic but good to be going somewhere – even if that somewhere is the dentist.
It is hard to imagine the long-term effects of this pandemic for our industry, but from what I have experienced so far, I think that dentistry is one of those resilient fields that can overcome the obstacles of the times.
We as dentists are accustomed to quick thinking and finding unique solutions to unique problems, and this is one of those situations. From what I’ve experienced thus far, I believe that we will overcome it as a collective unit, because our community has been more than willing to share information, resources, clinical and financial tips, and business strategies with each other – much more so than I’d ever experienced before.
It’s been a time to share our knowledge with one another in a supportive environment, with the ultimate goal of having our profession and practices survive and adapt. As long as dentists are willing to collaborate and use our collective brain power to find solutions to the many uncertainties we are facing, we will prevail.
Hey, if we could all get through the first year of dental school, we can do anything, right? I think so, and I am proud to be a part of this profession and look forward to seeing the results of our best efforts taking care of themselves.
Dr. Katie Champion is a New Dentist Now guest bloggers. She grew up in Ohio where her mother owned a dental practice, and graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in 2018. Katie is a general dentist in an established group practice in Deerfield Beach, Florida. She is passionate about dentistry and staying up-to-date with current dental practices, and attends multiple courses a year at the Pankey Institute for higher dental education in Key Biscayne, Florida. Outside of dentistry, she enjoys PureBarre workouts, hanging out with her husband and 3 dogs, and reading on the beach.