2021: A Look Back
By: Dr. Ng | February 14th, 2022
As with many people, it feels that the pandemic has gone on forever. Like a heavy wet blanket weighing us all down and hampering our normal movement. Life continues but it feels as though we are on pause. We have overcome many obstacles and there will be more in 2022. But brighter days are ahead and I am grateful for all that I have.
2020 was a year of having to deal with new protocols, finding supplies and protecting ourselves. The challenges of 2021 would prove to be more human in nature.
Firstly, it involved ensuring that my staff and I were all fully vaccinated. Fortunately, we live in Canada where we have access to vaccinations readily and relatively quickly.
Next, it was juggling staff and patients in an ever changing environment. Where a hint of a sniffle or headache meant quarantining. I had to accept that there would be many changes to the schedule and many missed appointments.
Staff changes were never ending. As many of you are aware, Roxanne is no longer with my office. It was a big change as she is good at her work. Finding a replacement would prove to be more difficult than I imagined.
But the hardest hit came in finding a new assistant. At the end of April, Danielle decided to move back to PEI to be closer to family. She was followed shortly after by Somalin, who left the profession to pursue her masters degree in Vancouver. Both their departures left huge holes in my practice. They made an excellent team and their contributions were many. If finding a new hygienist was hard, finding a new dental assistant would nearly push me to the breaking point. I, like so many other businesses, had to deal with a shortage of workers especially experienced ones. Over the summer and into the fall just as my hopes would be raised they would be dashed.
The staffing turmoil began a period of deep introspection. Am I a good boss? What am I doing wrong? The effort spent trying to find new staff left me demoralized and questioning myself. I began to doubt whether I was any good at being a dentist, employer and leader. I was not having fun at work any more. I was spending so much time away from home and I was burning out.
But self-pity does no one any good. I had to remind myself that I am still surrounded by many amazing people. And I was fortunate that my office was still running.
Sam has held up the front of the office with grace, hard work and long hours. I can’t imagine how I would have survived this past year without her. Thank-you.
Eun Hee, my ever-suffering assistant. She has been on a steep learning curve. From being a secondary assistant to Danielle and Somalin to my primary assistant. Through all the mishaps of finding a new assistant, she has often had to manage everything herself. Adding to her heavy workload, she has also had to endure my bad days and frustrations. Thank-you.
My hygienists, Louise, Janna, Claire and Kaila. How I appreciate these women! They are each unique and hard working. They share a genuine care for patients. They have been understanding and accommodating to the numerous and constant changes. Their personalities and laughter brighten my day and the office. Thank-you.
I would like to welcome Melony and Laarni.
Melony is my newest hygienist. She is fitting in well and I hope many of my patients will have an opportunity to meet her.
Laarni is my new assistant. She is quite new to the position but I am confident that she is up to the task.
Lastly, I have been blessed with so many wonderful patients who have given me the greatest gift. Their continued confidence in me and my team. At a time where so many businesses have suffered, I am eternally grateful. My humble thanks to you all.