…a conversation with Sarah Weinstein, Practice Manager
This month, we're shining the spotlight on Sarah Weinstein, Practice Manager at Tweed Dental Care in Tweed, Ontario. Sarah tells us how she navigated the pandemic, her passion for honest and ethical dentistry, and the importance of excellent record keeping.
How long have you been a Practice Manager with Tweed Dental Care?
I joined Tweed Dental Care in 2007 as a Dental Assistant. As the office expanded and new employees joined the team, I transitioned into my current role as Practice Manager.
Can you tell us about your career path, from what you wanted to be as a child to where you are now?
I had wild ambitions as a child. I envisioned myself as a successful celebrity — either a singer or an actress. Dentistry wasn't on my radar until I got braces when I was 12. I've always been a problem solver and enjoyed challenging puzzles, and I remember thinking how fun it must be for dentists to put such an intricate puzzle together.
What do you enjoy most about coming to work?
I love my team. We work exceptionally well together, and each team member comes ready to give their all every morning. We genuinely offer our patients the best care suited to their individual needs. Our shared passion for honest and ethical dentistry shines through everything we do.
How has COVID-19 impacted you, your role, and the practices?
The pandemic brought many challenges to the industry. We faced daily protocol changes, but thanks to the continuous support from dentalcorp, we managed the requirements and remained open. Many other practices couldn't do the same, so we're very proud of this accomplishment.
What are some of the ways you have been coping, personally and as a practice, during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, I worked around the clock to support our staff. I assisted our dentist with re-scheduling patient appointments and maintained sterilization protocols. We did our best to adjust schedules to accommodate our team. Some people worked fewer hours to spend more time at home and others had longer shifts to earn extra money. These changes allowed us to increase our hygiene hours to catch up on overdue patients.
On a personal level, I helped my grade 12 daughter navigate the challenges of her education. She's now a confident first-year university student in Ottawa. With our busy careers and concern for our parent's health, we couldn’t gather as an extended family. This seemed like an eternity as our family is close. So once the dust settled my brother and I bought a cottage. We wanted everyone to have a place to relax and unwind, and it has brought us so much joy to give that to our loved ones. Also, my husband surprised me with a puppy!
What does a great patient experience mean to you?
A patient should feel at home in our practice. We strive to find ways to connect to our patients by building relationships with them. Our team offers personalized care, starting from the moment they step through our doors to the treatment we provide and the scheduling of their next appointment. We note patients' preferences, including how they like to be addressed, the time of day that works best for appointments, their dental chair comfort preference, and even if they want music during treatment. We do our best to accommodate our patients and show them how valued they are. Remembering these important details is an integral part of our jobs.
What's next for you in your career?
I'm very happy in my current role, but I would love to be an office consultant. It's satisfying to visit other dental practices and discuss small changes that could lead to greater efficiency and productivity.
What advice do you have for dental professionals starting their careers?
Document everything because every detail is important. Excellent record keeping is a dental professional's best friend. Remember that dentistry is a commitment, so make sure it's something you're passionate about before diving in.