Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin June 2016 Contents COVER STORY
TAILOR MADE VERSUS GENERIC
With so many professional courses
offered by a wide range of organisations,
Dr Srinivasan admits it is easy to be
overwhelmed about what training best
suits the necessary outcomes.
Just as confusing is knowing whether
the team should attend off-site training
sessions, or if an industry consultant should
come in to create a bespoke program
across all levels of the team.
The Dental Board of Australia requires
dental practitioners to complete 60 hours
of Continuing Professional Development
over a three year period, and Dr Srinivasan
believes all staff should work towards the
"There are so many courses in CPD that you
need to be specific about what outcomes
you want," he says. "There is merit in having
a consultant come in, observe what is going
on and offer direct feedback and then
devise training for the areas to be improved."
Dr Phillip Palmer follows the rule that any
training is better than none at all. "It comes
down to understanding what will work
best -- not one model is right for everyone."
He explains the advantage of having a
consultant work directly with the team is
the training can then be tailored for the
team's precise needs.
"If one training group is attending to a
practice's needs, then there is consistency
across the board in the messages being
CPD ON DEMAND
The ADA provides a broad range of
training to suit all needs, whether it be
face-to-face or on demand. To find out
what is available, go to your local ADA
branch, or for web-based learning, go to
the CPD Portal (previously known as the
Digital Media Library or DML). You can
access the ADA CPD Portal by logging in
to the Members area at www.ada.org.au
explored, and everyone is also on the same
page," he explains.
If time at work is tight, Julie Parker suggests
online webinars can prove a valuable
option as they allow greater flexibility.
"It is far easier than closing the practice
down for hours or expecting everyone to
go away for a weekend," she says. "I've also
noticed the absorption of information can
be more effective.
"Whatever the team decide to work with,
just be sure it has some real value. It's no
good if the entire team heads off to update
their Excel skills, if only one person in the
clinic has ever used Excel!"
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFT
As the process of communicating has
undergone a dramatic revolution over the
past two decades, so too has the process of
modern customer service.
With contact today able to be made
between patient and practice via phone,
SMS, email, letter and social media, the
rules of engagement is an ever-changing
"Never underestimate the value of
communication skills training as it is
such a big part of the complete patient
experience," Professor Heiko Spallek says.
"What goes on in the front desk with the
patient is just as important as the skills of
the dentist, and yet the rules with front
LESSON: THE VALUE OF TRAINING
It is a tale told in many training seminars and
credited to numerous sources, but the point
of the tale of an overheard conversation
between two colleagues remains valid.
The CFO is alleged to have said, "What if
we train our staff and they leave?" to which
the CFO responded, "What if we don't and
A company's staff has long been identified
as the most valuable asset any company
has -- and ongoing training plays a key role
in helping nurture that investment to its
"I have heard people say, 'I will start a
training program when I get a team I think
will stay around'," Dr Phillip Palmer says.
"But the problem with that is they won't
stay unless there is training. It's a cycle that
then just continues."
desk job might be changing all the time
with managing messages coming in
through various channels, and so training
in keeping up with that is vital.
Managing the social media profile of the
business -- its public face to the online
world -- demands regular attention too in
terms of strategy and approach.
"Good social media communication takes
dedicated work," Professor Spallek adds.
"Things can change and adapt so quickly
in the online world, which is why this role
demands regular training just to be across
it and up to date."
AT THE END OF THE SESSION
"Once regular upskilling has become part
of the approach towards your professional
life, it must continue to be so into the
future", adds Julie Parker.
"Just remember that upskilling is not a
one-off activity; it's lifelong," she says. "As
the dental world continues to change,
everyone needs to continually review and
update their skills, or run the risk of sliding
backwards. And no one can afford that."
30 | ADA NEWS BULLETIN | JUNE 2016
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