January 20, 2012
By Sally McKenzie from Dental Tribune America
Amber is an assistant in Dr. D’s office. She’s what you picture when you think “free spirited.” She likes to color her hair a new shade every month: bleach blond, jet black, fiery red, etc. She has a few ear piercings. It’s a somewhat edgy style but not offensive … until recently.Her latest dye job is pink and green. She’s now sporting a large circular ring in her nose, a bar in her eyebrow, sleeve tattoos wind their way up both forearms and the letters J-A-M-E-S are now tattooed on her knuckles. Dr. D. is about to drop dead. His practice is in Manhattan … Manhattan, Kansas, that is, in the heart of the Midwest. Even in this college town, it’s fair to say that there is a somewhat conservative view of individual style. Dr. D has been in practice for 25 years and has many aging boomers who’ve long since forgotten the concept of free spirit and the psychedelic revolution. The dentist is hoping appropriate dress is covered in the employee policies and procedures manual. There’s just one problem: He never actually got around to finishing and distributing the manual. There is no policy on appropriate dress or anything else. Truth be told, the dentist never really thought he would need the manual until, of course, he needed it. Too often dentists look at human resources polices as an expense rather than a necessary investment in protecting the practice from potentially costly litigation. In other cases, a dentist may purchase a practice that has an existing manual and then simply assume that it is OK, that everything that should be addressed is … until the dentist discovers otherwise.
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