If you work in a dental practice, it might be time to diversify your career and make a change for the better. As an experienced dental nurse or dental receptionist, the next job for you could be right under your nose.
Rather than looking outside your current place of work, you could consider taking on the role of Practice Manager. This role will offer you an entirely new range of tasks and responsibilities. Also, you will likely receive a pay increase, and it will mean you don’t have to leave a workplace where you have built strong bonds and relationships with your colleagues.
Additionally, dental practice management is an excellent option for anyone who has worked in medical administration or nursing that might be looking to switch up their career.
So, what steps do you need to take to fit the Dental Practice Manager role? Do you need a specific set of skills? Should you look into further education? Let’s explore which courses are most beneficial to help you achieve your career goals as a dental practice manager.
Is a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) worth it?
Deciding to undertake further education is an important decision and weighing both the pros and cons is a worthwhile exercise. However, there are so many benefits that the pros usually win out.
Choosing to study a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) can provide dental nurses or dental admin staff the additional skills they need to enter a more managerial position within their practice. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for hospital staff or general practice workers to transition into an environment that is more amenable for all-important work/balance.
Beyond all those benefits, the College for Adult Learning offers flexibility with online courses. Students can complete their diplomas at their own pace, in their own time, and from the comfort of home. Features like this are incredibly important, particularly for students who need to work, or may have families that they need to fit a study schedule around.
What does a Practice Manager do?
Practice Managers have a wide and varied role within their respected workplaces. It is their responsibility to maintain the daily operations and running of private and public medical offices or clinics.
Every day is varied for a Practice Manager. They must oversee anything that happens within the practice, from staffing to schedules and rostering, and patient complaints. All staff are under the supervisor of the Practice Manager, including receptionists, nurses, medical assistants, and more.
Practice Managers must be across all areas of the business. Day to day tasks including keeping all client medical records maintained and updated, ensuring Human Resource processes are followed, legal and safety obligations are being met, billing is handled correctly, and that all necessary supplies and medical equipment had been ordered and delivered promptly.
Three core soft skills required for this role include:
There is frequent interaction each day with patients and staff.They must be able to converse with these people effectively.
Complaints are a normal part of every workplace. You are never going to be able to please 100% of people 100% of the time. However, having the problem-solving abilities to manage the complaints and resolve them is a very valuable skill.
Medical practices are often busy. Being able to stay organised and maintain a steady and consistent workflow is essential to success.
Dental Practice Manager Salary
Salaries for Dental Practice Managers are quite competitive. Depending on variables like training and experience, most practice managers earn somewhere between $40,000 per year and $87,000 per year. On average, most Practice Managers specialising in the field of dentistry can expect to receive around $63,200 each year.
Comparatively, this is very similar to the General Practice Manager salary in Australia. For someone in the Practice Manager role, they can anticipate earning within the range of $55,000 per year to $100,000 a year. Meaning that, on average, you can expect a salary of about $83,400 per year.
What are the benefits of a practice management diploma?
A career in dental practice management can be rewarding and varied. Anyone serious about succeeding in this career pathway should obtain a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715). A diploma could be the factor that sets you apart from other applicants who are vying for the same position. Showing initiative and upskilling is always looked favourably upon by potential employers.
If you have experience working in a dental practice already, then a promotion to Dental Practice Manager could serve as a smart stepping stone to a long-term aim of General Practice Manager. You may also find that the current practice owner will give you time off to study, or offer to subsidise your tuition, knowing that they will benefit from your loyalty in the long-term.