How to Create a Dental Employee Handbook

If you’re wondering how to compile a dental employee handbook, we can help you out.

Imagine this scenario: You’re working on a patient in one room, and you hear your hygienist and office manager arguing in another. They’re trying to figure out whether or not your staff is working on a particular holiday. Your office manager doesn’t have the date designated as a vacation day in the office schedule, but the hygienist, who’s worked for you longer, is positive no one worked the past few years. The conversation is escalating, and you can tell your patient is listening as well. Next, they both knock on your door, asking you to make the final decision.

Doesn’t seem like the most professional atmosphere, does it? How can you prevent this scenario from happening at your office?

Simple – create a dental employee handbook for your practice! If you address all employee needs in one place, your staff will know exactly where to turn when they have questions.

What to include in a dental employee handbook


Confidentiality and anti-discrimination laws

All dental practices are required to comply with laws regarding health, safety, fair practices, and confidentiality. Your dental employee handbook should familiarize all staff members on how to maintain HIPAA and OSHA compliance in your office.

All state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, such as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII also need to be addressed in your dental employee handbook.


Compensation and benefits

You shouldn’t be posting your employees salaries in this section, but you should be addressing employee pay schedules. Explain any required deductions from employees’ pay, such as federal and state taxes, as well as mentioning voluntary deductions available. These would include:

  • health insurance
  • retirement
  • disability insurance
  • employee assistance programs
  • worker’s compensation plans
  • tuition reimbursement

Other topics to address include how employees should be tracking time, specifically when work begins, ends, and any breaks taken. You never want to worry about employees taking advantage of your practice, by writing more hours in than worked.

02_handbook_leaveLeave policies

Vacation and sick policies should also be included, so you’ll never end up in a situation like the one we mentioned above. Even if your entire office takes the same couple weeks off of work every year, the specific dates should clearly be stated in your dental employee handbook. Also, be sure to check state and federal laws to make sure you’re supplying appropriate leave to your employees. You may be required to allocate a certain amount of sick or personal time in addition to vacation hours. If your office allows for a varied vacation schedule, make sure to indicate how vacation time is earned, how it can be requested, and how it will influence patient scheduling.

Any additional practice leave policies should be documented as well. Don’t forget to include information on leaves approved law-dictated leaves, such as bereavement, family and medical leave (FMLA), jury duty, military leave, and voting.

dental employee handbook dress code

Dress code

If you require your staff to dress in a specific uniform, it should be clearly stated in the dental employee handbook. Mention whether or not you’re providing scrubs for your staff or requesting they all dress in a specific color. Any specifics, like whether jewelry is allowed, how nails should be manicured, or whether open-toed shoes are allowed, needs to be outlined.

A few additional notes on your dental employee handbook

  • Be sure to include the date completed on your cover page. Every time the handbook is updated, the date should be changed as well. This will ensure all staff is accessing the most up-to-date information.
  • Don’t forget to ask other co-workers what they would like included. Their input is very valuable!

As your practice grows, your dental employee handbook will change, too. We can help you adapt. The Umbie DentalCare employee management system helps your practice set goals, provide time card management, vacation requests, and opportunities for development. Learn about everything else Umbie can help you with and sign up for a free demo!

Have you ever written a dental employee handbook? What else did you include? Let us know in the comments!

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