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Dental Consultant Advice: Staff Unacceptable Conduct

Dental Consultant Advice: Staff Unacceptable Conduct

Groups of people who work together for any purpose require guidelines. The same is true for the management of your dental practice. The purpose of these guidelines is to improve staff relationships and to enhance production. They are to be enforced in a constructive manner.

It is important to clearly define and make these guidelines available in writing to all your staff as part of your dental employee handbook. That way your staff become familiar with what is expected. Disciplinary action then becomes predictable and not based on opinion or bias.

Violation of acceptable conduct may result in one or more of the following forms of disciplinary action: verbal warning, written policy review, interview and discharge.

In arriving at a decision for proper action the following facts will be considered: the seriousness of the violation, the past record of the employee, and the circumstance surrounding the matter. 

Although it is impossible to identify every violation possible in a code of conduct, the following is a partial list of violations that may result in warnings and/or discharge: 

1. Interrupting or distracting other staff from their work with things that could be put in writing and/or things that do not further production.

2. Conducting personal business during working hours.

3. Failure to establish good rapport with office staff, dentists, the office manager and patients.

4. Gossiping.

5. Failure to report a situation that should be reported.

6. Intentionally creating problems for other staff, office manager or dentists.

7. Acting in discourteous or insubordinate manner.

8. Divulging confidential dental patient information.

9. Negligence or deliberate inattention to dental patient care on your job.

10. Frequent absence or tardiness.

11. Unprofessional conduct such as loud arguing, threatening or intimidating people, or abusive language.

12. Negligence of safety and health rules.

13. Knowingly violating written policy.

14. Failure to perform duties adequately, properly and willingly.

15. Lying.

16. Use of alcohol or illegal drugs during the workday.

17. Theft.

18. Displaying a negative attitude that affects your patients and/or staff.


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 


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