Time management during big cases can get the best of any clinician. The combination of patient expectations, complex treatment modalities and handling of many different tasks makes the clock seem to run at hyper speed. It’s a balance of keeping the patient comfortable, maximizing efficiency and not running behind.
Time Management During Big Cases
As I was doing a dual arch case this week, I was reminded how these cases key me up a few notches. It all revolves around time. Am I going to get this done on time? Do I have enough time?
Then I reminded myself, I can actually control time by scheduling adequate time. Even after the chairside tasks are finished, we still need time to double check that all the models, impressions, bites, and photos are with the case. We even need time to write a complete lab script as well. I never delegate big case lab scripts. Single teeth, yes, all the time, but I’ve found a big case requires a doctor’s touch.
My solution to controlling time is to tell my scheduling department how much time I require specific to that case. I allow for the non-clinical time as well. I want the Is to be dotted and the Ts to be crossed as soon as I finish. This ensures things are clear in my mind, rather than fuzzier a day later.
Some cases I am now choosing to do on my day off so I am not interrupted by hygiene tasks and routine day-to-day interruptions. I value my days off but it does slow time down. Work with your personality in mind. If time is a stressor for you, that is easy to fix.
Do you have any handy time management tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!