Running a practice and your health
Owning a practice might be your dream career move. But, it’s a huge undertaking and responsibility, which could turn into the challenge of your professional life. Sarah Bradbury explores the health implications of running your own practice.
Dental hygienists and therapists have been able to buy their own practice since 2006. It has been the removal of the barrier to direct access by the GDC six years ago that has made it easier to do.
This is an extremely exciting venture. After all, you get to make it truly yours. Choosing everything from the members of your team, the equipment and materials you use. To the branding, decor and even the colour of the walls.
However, if you don't truly prepare for it, it can become more than you bargained for. Taking up all your time, putting significant pressure on both you and your family and causing untold financial worries.
That’s all before you consider potential staffing issues, patients’ clinical needs and expectations. Not to mention the increasing regulatory compliance requirements you will need to tackle. When dentistry is already widely considered to be a stressful profession, before you take the plunge take this into consideration.
There is little research into the stress DCPs experience. The last report on stress and DCPs, published in 2011, showed the stressors are similar to that of dentists’ experiences. (for which there are more recent studies).
In 2011 news reports stated that running late caused stress for more than half of all dental professionals. Around a third citing problems with achieving or maintaining a work-life balance. Conflicts with team members were further stressors.