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The Big Sister Syndrome

The Big Sister Syndrome

Written By April Sluiter

I am the oldest child in my family, and they say that the oldest usually takes on the protective, nurturing role amongst the siblings (or..rumor has it).  I would say that it rang true for me, as I helped raise my two siblings into their formative years.  With this role, I felt as though I developed my maternal tendencies, and I had been told several times that well, I could be a bit too motherly.  

Those traits were ingrained in me, and over the years I feel they have given me a purpose to mentor.  I have been a big sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and in my industry, I  have been an instructor at two different DA schools. After 25 plus years in the dental world, I have witnessed or been on the receiving end, at times, of poor treatment in practices.  After so many experiences, you make the choice to defend yourself and others.  This actually helped boost my confidence, and I wanted to help others in not being a target, bring out their talents, and help them feel more confident.  Dentistry, like most other industries, can be quite competitive amongst colleagues and peers, fostering a culture of drama, insecurities, and feelings of ineptitude.  This also lit a fire in me, to be proactive in being a part of the solution in changing the environment in dentistry.  

I became an instructor at the suggestion of a newly minted DA who was interning at a practice I was working at.  She introduced me to the founders of the school, and after being hired, I discovered how much I enjoyed teaching.  I also noticed as an instructor, we had spent so much time on our curriculum that we didn’t have much time to prepare the students for what to expect once they were let loose into the dental world.  This is such a crucial element to their career, and they could be thrown to the wolves without the proper tools.  Tools such as soft skills, conflict resolution, treatment planning, and other skills specific to dentistry.  So why not start a mentoring program that bridges that gap from school to op? 

With my cohort Cindy, we decided to start a mentoring program called Root U On, and our vision is to help students and newer dental assistants/hygienists be better prepared for what’s ahead in their first job and to also help train auxiliaries that are already in practices.  The benefits are more productive, efficient, and confident team members.  And, because we are training the new team members, it frees up doctor time to do more production.  

Feel free to reach out to us; we are happy to help your team become the best they can be, and to help root them on! 

Find at rootuon.com to sign up for courses, and also to get our contact info for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

April Sluiter