Dental practice managers are responsible for the overall smooth running of the dental practice. Managing a practice, its staff and patients is an exciting and challenging role with a wide variety of duties, depending on the individual practice.
One of the main roles of the practice manager is to ensure that the dental team is organised and supported in order to provide outstanding patient care. Amongst other duties, practice managers are responsible for creating rotas, chairing staff meetings and ensuring that a safe environment is maintained for all patients, staff and visitors. The manager is also in charge of making sure that all legal, ethical and organisational guidelines are adhered to by team members and that the practice complies with industry and government guidelines.
Some practices also require managers to carry out a certain amount of non-managerial duties, such as provide reception or dental nursing cover when necessary.
Have you got what it takes?
Most dental practice managers have a dental background and extensive experience as dental nurses, receptionists, dental administrators or other dental healthcare professionals and some have managerial but no dental background.
Prior experience of working in the dental field and general knowledge of how to use and maintain equipment and materials will go a long way when managing a practice, even if these are not duties of the manager per se.
Essential skills to possess when undertaking any management role are organisational and forward planning skills to enable one to manage priorities and tight deadlines, leadership and team management skills to be able to coordinate all team members and encourage them to work to the best of their abilities and outstanding communication and social skills in order to reduce and resolve conflict, as well as to be able to relate to and engage others.
Dental practice managers do not need to be registered with the General Dental Council but must keep up to date with GDC guidelines and ensure that all employees that require it are registered.
Training as a dental practice manager
No academic qualifications are required to become a dental practice manager, but there are several options for gaining a formal management qualification, and with it, more confidence. Candidates’ knowledge, skills and career prospects can be enhanced by Business and Administration, Customer Service, Management and Team Lead courses which are available at various levels.