Thursday, July 29, 2010

My View 32 Hours Per Week


As some of you know, I work in a dental office. This is my view as I sit in my chair with the telephone, appointment book and computer within easy reach.
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Everything I need is easily reached from my chair on wheels. To keep my blood circulating, I always get up and walk the folders to their place in the file cabinets.



Straight ahead of me is the waiting room. We use the television to show movies for the children who come in with their families.









If I rotate my chair to the left, I have a nice big window. I can't imagine spending eight hour days without the ability to see outside.
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We're located on a busy street with a wide variety of businesses all around. My window is facing a side street while the main street is to the right of the window.
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The white building ahead and to the right is a car wash. Beneath the tree is a hair salon and to the left of it is a U.S. Cellular/Directv store. An adult day care center is across the empty lot in front of my Avalanche, the dark green truck. Our dental office shares a building with a drycleaner and a dog groomer. Through this window, I can watch the small dogs as they're carried or led by leash to the groomer's suite. I hope to capture some photos and post a blog on the daily parade of dogs that pass by.

I've lost most of my table top space to the copy machine and fax/print/copier.
Since I started working for Dr. Onderak in 1992, we've accumulated several file cabinets full of patient folders.










Last week, we added a fourth file cabinet in order to provide relief to the tightly squeezed folders. They're breathing a lot easier now and I don't have to play tug-of-war with a folder to pull it out.










As we journey to the left, I'd like you to meet my printer, an office essential.





Pictures of Lon, Jared and the fruits of their fishing labors are great conversation starters when patients are at my desk. The hammerhead shark, the stingray and muskies draw nearly everyone's attention.












This is Operatory #1. When I first finished the dental assisting program at the local vocational school, I did some chairside assisting. I haven't done that at all since I started working for Dr. Onderak. I like the office work and the variety of responsibilities in my position.












Instruments are cleaned and sterilized in this area. I pass through this area frequently on any given day. The ladies' room and the refrigerator necessitate this route.










I seldom enter this room, Operatory #2 or Operatory #1. Unless I need to ask the doctor an urgent question or deliver a message to a patient, I stay out.












The south end of the reception area provides this view. I roll behind that tall section of my desk when I'm eating my trail mix bar, drinking my smoothie, spooning straight peanut butter from the jar or applying lipstick or powdering my nose. Nobody has a clue what I'm doing when I disappear.
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The tricky part is when the phone rings just after I've taken a mouthful. I chew as fast as I can, push whatever I'm eating into my cheeks and say "Wewoh, Doctoe Ondewack's awfith."



This interesting work of art hangs on the west wall in the reception area. This framed wallhanging is composed of a painted barn and an assortment of other materials depicting the rest of the scene. Fabric, yarn, paper and cotton were used by the artist.










These close-up shots reveal the artist's materials.

































Here's another view of my work area. You can probably guess where I am!!















I start my work day with a cup of coffee in this unique mug. The design reminds me of the rosemaling my mother used to do. Its bright color and unusual shape start my day off on the right note. Of course, the coffee inside jumpstarts me too.

























The screensavers on my computer monitor provide me with glimpses of the rest of the world beyond my little niche.





A second or two of looking at these photos revives me throughout the day.












I mostly like my job. My boss and coworkers are easy to work with and I've made friends with many of our patients. I'm only a few minutes from home so that's a plus also.
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Thanks for coming to work with me. Grab a snack from my drawer before you go.

17 comments:

Jana said...

I enjoyed the tour. It looks like a very pleasant place to work, and very tidy and organized, too!
I've never seen a coffee cup like yours -- way cool and appropriately unique.

Parrot Writes said...

As Jana mentioned, you have the spaces organized and tidy just as I picture you and your home. Thanks for the tour and the descriptions of your work place. I can just see you ducking behind the wall for a quick pick me up mid morning. And a sneek peek at your writer friends blogs at lunchtime. Is the hair salon Paula's?

Gullible said...

ACK! ACK! ACK! I need multiple tranquilizers right now just from looking at pix of a dentist's office. I spent half my childhood in a dentist's chair. The other half in a tree. I wonder if there's a connection there?

You coffee mug, though, was a delight to see.

Plus, now I know where you were when you were sneaking into BWW while at work.

Gullible said...

PS: I've always wondered what the color coding in those filed meant. Can you tell me? Does it really mean something, or just there to brighten up the files?

Anonymous said...

This brought so many memories back! I haven’t worked in a dental office since 1988. But attribute what I learned there about office management with my future/past success. It’s amazing how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. Especially, the Avery color-coded tabbed filing system. I used to have so much fun pulling the tabs from the roll and sticking them on the folders.
Thank you so much for allowing us to spend a day with you at the office!

Darksculptures

Natasha said...

I love the mug! Thanks for the tour.

So, Shaddy, in your spare time (heh heh) maybe you could computerize all these office records? That's sure a lot of paper!

Looking forward to pics from the dog groomer.

Beth said...

Terrific tour, but since I broke half a molar on my breakfast Kashi bar the other day and have to go for a new crown next week, if it's all the same to you, I don't think I'll dwell on this tour, but will move right along . . .:)

Gullible said...

I'm having second thoughts on that coffee mug, and I've decided that I have enough trouble trying not to spill all over myself with a regular mug. Yours would be a sure way to need several changes of clothing left at work.

PS: I did NOT look at THE CHAIR pictures at all. I do not enjoy torturing myself. I'd rather look at spider pix all day than at one dental chair.

Shaddy said...

JANA: It's nothing fancy but it works for us and our patients. I've been with Dr. Onderak from the first day he opened his own practice. He worked for a dentist for a few years before he went out on his own. He saw his first patient in his own office on January 2nd of 1992. Yikes! I've been working for him for almost twenty years.

PARROT: I worked for an orthodontist in the late eighties. There's no way I could have gotten away with eating or drinking on the job; I was lucky I could breathe without criticism. I made the right move when I left there to join Dr. Onderak.

GULLY: We have color coded tabs for every letter of the alphabet. The first three letters of a patient's last name are affixed to the edge of his folder. These large letters aid in filing and retrieving folders. A badly misplaced folder is easy to spot because the sequence of three colored tabs doesn't match those on either side.

Dental phobias aren't fun. A guy the other day broke out in a major sweat when he sat in the dental chair.

My coffee cup is very stable; it just looks like it leans.

It never crossed my mind when I posted this blog that it might make my readers cringe. I went to the dentist regularly as a child and for me that makes it easy as an adult. I had several fillings placed and without getting numb. My mother hated shots so she told the dentist not to give me any either.

DARKSCULPTURES: As the printer rolls out the completed insurance claims, I remember back to a time when they were done by hand. I'm so thankful I never had to do that. I didn't realize you worked in a dental office once upon a time.

NATASHA: I like having something to hold in my hands rather than a totally electronic record system. Hopefully, I'll be retired before paper disappears. Our x-rays are digital so we have no hard copies of them. I e-mail the images when we refer patients to specialists.

I wonder how the dog owners will react when I approach them with my camera. If I ask them pleasantly if they'd mind if I snapped a photo of their dog, the worst they can do is say no. Or maybe, the worst possibility would be hearing them say, sic her! Tammy grooms only small dogs so I shouldn't be too apprehensive. I may be able to snap pictures through the window; that may be the best solution.

BETH: The nice thing about crowns is that if made to fit properly, the tooth it covers and protects is safe and sound for a long, long time.

Shaddy said...

JANA: It's nothing fancy but it works for us and our patients. I've been with Dr. Onderak from the first day he opened his own practice. He worked for a dentist for a few years before he went out on his own. He saw his first patient in his own office on January 2nd of 1992. Yikes! I've been working for him for almost twenty years.

PARROT: I worked for an orthodontist in the late eighties. There's no way I could have gotten away with eating or drinking on the job; I was lucky I could breathe without criticism. I made the right move when I left there to join Dr. Onderak.

GULLY: We have color coded tabs for every letter of the alphabet. The first three letters of a patient's last name are affixed to the edge of his folder. These large letters aid in filing and retrieving folders. A badly misplaced folder is easy to spot because the sequence of three colored tabs doesn't match those on either side.

Dental phobias aren't fun. A guy the other day broke out in a major sweat when he sat in the dental chair.

My coffee cup is very stable; it just looks like it leans.

It never crossed my mind when I posted this blog that it might make my readers cringe. I went to the dentist regularly as a child and for me that makes it easy as an adult. I had several fillings placed and without getting numb. My mother hated shots so she told the dentist not to give me any either.

DARKSCULPTURES: As the printer rolls out the completed insurance claims, I remember back to a time when they were done by hand. I'm so thankful I never had to do that. I didn't realize you worked in a dental office once upon a time.

NATASHA: I like having something to hold in my hands rather than a totally electronic record system. Hopefully, I'll be retired before paper disappears. Our x-rays are digital so we have no hard copies of them. I e-mail the images when we refer patients to specialists.

I wonder how the dog owners will react when I approach them with my camera. If I ask them pleasantly if they'd mind if I snapped a photo of their dog, the worst they can do is say no. Or maybe, the worst possibility would be hearing them say, sic her! Tammy grooms only small dogs so I shouldn't be too apprehensive. I may be able to snap pictures through the window; that may be the best solution.

BETH: The nice thing about crowns is that if made to fit properly, the tooth it covers and protects is safe and sound for a long, long time.

Gullible said...

Shaddy, I'm sure the coffee mug is stable. However, it looks like it wouldn't be level when the rim reached my mouth, and therefore would empty all its contents down the left side of my chin. :p

Shaddy said...

GULLY: Hey, I must be pretty talented to have used this cup for years without losing a drop of coffee. I'll walk a bit taller from now on!

Sarah said...

Now this is the way I like to visit the dentist. This'll work! Thanks for the tour Shaddy! It's nice to see where you spend your days. It looks like a comfortable space for you. I like how you've surrounded yourself with little touches of you.

Shaddy said...

SARIE: I'm glad you found this visit to be to your liking. Stress-free dentistry for all is my aim.

Sarah said...

LOL Shaddy, I think you should start a "stress-free dentistry" movement. Sign me up!

Allan Olson said...

Even if you don't mention it, I can feel that you love your workplace. I think the window was the best part for you. When you feel weary, you can just look out there and relax your mind and body for a while. Having a television in a dental office is good too, so the patients won't get bored. They can turn their attention to it while waiting.

Clayton Steadham said...

You've got an organized place, Shaddy! Working in a dental office can be stressful, but with how your office looks, you can easily relax for some time. The files are organized, and it'll be easy for you to locate what files are need by the dentist. Well, I hope you're still working here and are having fun in your office. :)

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