Today we shine the spotlight on Shahrzad Sajadi, Manager, dentalcorp Float Team at the Support Centre. Shahrzad tells us about her background in dental hygiene, her transition to people management, and her commitment to lifelong learning.
Tell us about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp and what were you doing before you joined?
I am coming up on my fourth year as a member of the Operations team at the Support Centre. Before I joined dentalcorp, I had just finished my university studies while practicing dental hygiene at one of the Practices in our dentalcorp network. I have been a dental hygienist for 13 years. I completed my hygiene and university programs while being a mom, and I am hoping to complete a Master’s program sometime in the future.
Have you always wanted work in healthcare? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always knew that I wanted to be in the healthcare field, but I didn’t know in exactly what capacity. Growing up in the Middle East, much of my childhood was filled with harrowing experiences brought about by the 10-year armed conflict between Iran and Iraq. During the relatively quiet periods of the war when there wasn’t shelling or sonic booms from the fighter jets, I would pretend that I was a teacher by lining up my younger siblings and cousin to teach them how to solve math problems on a board using colourful chalks. But I would lose their attention pretty quickly to distraction and chatter (haha).
Tell us about your role on your team. What does a typical day look like?
My role within the Operations team has evolved quite a bit over the past three years. When I transferred from a practice to the Support Centre, I embarked on a pilot project with Vikas (Vik) Sharma, VP, Operations, as the first Floating Dental Hygienist. I organized my own schedule with a few practices to support them by filling in for their dental hygiene team’s time off. During this time, I worked closely with Vik, who coached and shaped me into a manager of a team that currently has 10 members and counting.
I have utilized my knowledge and experience at the grassroots level to look for qualities in practitioners that would be a good fit for our dentalcorp Float Team. My typical day in the past year has evolved from being face-to-face with patients, to directing my team to deliver the same quality care to the community. I liaise with the Directors of Operations, my team, and the Practice Managers to ensure that our team operations run smoothly. I have been working with the amazing Talent team to find quality candidates to expand my team further into major Canadian cities. I also work closely with HR to explore and set up policies and draft contracts for my team. I connect with Payroll regularly to ensure everyone gets paid on time. And soon we will create continuing education courses with DC Institute to support the Float team’s ongoing professional development. There is lots to do everyday, which is only made possible by the support of my incredible colleagues and staying highly organized.
What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp’s Support Centre?
You’ll be working with brilliant professionals here at dentalcorp. Learn lots, work hard, stay focused, and success will follow.