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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hygienist in jeopardy of getting sued over wrong tooth getting pulled-are you protected?

 A few years ago a message board that I follow had a post by a hygienist who filled out a referral slip incorrectly, the oral surgeon pulled out the wrong tooth. The hygienist was in jeopardy of getting sued.

 
Another possible scenario involves a dentist suing his hygienist for "fraud and grand larceny"

We are human and chances are at some point in your career you will make a mistake.

       Should you carry liability insurance?                                     YES!!Protect yourself.

Most dental hygienists work in a private setting.  This means that the dentist who employees you is held liable for the acts of the employee while the employee is carrying out the business of the employer. A personal policy is a good idea for the following reasons:

Three reasons to protect yourself
1) Protect your assets
2)The employers policy in most cases only represents the hygienist if the dentist is
     also named in the suit
3) Each policy has limits for coverage

Two types of liability insurance:
  • The occurrence policy-protects the professional against claims occurring during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is presented to the insurance company. In addition, this protection exists whether or not the policy is still in force at the time the claim is made. With this policy, there is no need to purchase additional insurance coverage to cover past acts when changing insurance carriers, retiring from practice
  • The claims made policy. This policy covers the dental hygienist against malpractice allegations that arise from dental treatments rendered and reported while the policy is in force.

Recommended liability insurance companies
Additional Information

- Liability insurance for dental hygienists is relatively inexpensive- under $100 a year, the cost of the insurance is very low because hygienists are rarely sued, usually the suit will be against the dentist
-Some states require that you have liability insurance to carry a license- check with your state board to see if it is a requirement


Need more information on liability insurance: click here

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keeping Your License Up to Date

All hygienists know that it is important to keep your license current. To do so you must accumulate a certain number or CE credits. Each state has different requirements, if you are unsure of your states requirements click here to check.

There are numerous ways to obtain these credits-
Courses/Classes
OSHA/CPR training
Magazine quizzes....

Try to pace yourself over the 3 years so you aren't scrambling at the last minute

A chart is a good way to keep track of your credits



The state government also charges a licensing fee, most states will send out a renewal notice a month or two before you have to pay it. It is critical that the licensing agency knows your address. If you have moved since your license was issued you need to call that agency to make sure they have your current address.

Most agencies have a website and you are able to renew online.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The follow up

Sending a follow up "thank you" within 24 hours of your interview is a must!

You can send a card, letter or an email.

Personally I would opt for the email since it is the fastest and you can set it up so that you are notified when it is opened. In the past I have sent cards and felt unsure weather or not it  reached the office/ person it was intended for- email eliminates any doubt.
The other benefit of an email is that you can send a few without it seeming like overkill.
Send one to anyone that warrants it; the office manager, assistant,doctor... anyone that you had contact with. While in the office I try to get business cards from those I speak with so that I have their email addresses.

The purpose  of the follow up contact should be to reiterate your interest in the position, mention anything you forgot in the interview and to simply say "thank you" for their time. Keep the note, letter or email short and to the point. Have someone else proof read anything before you send it- grammatical errors are a BIG "no-no."

Sample follow up letters
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