Pandemic perpetuates dental worker shortages in east Texas
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Dental offices in eastern Texas have experienced staff shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those shortages continue to persist.
Megan Kiker, Regional Manager for East Texas for 3C Dental Group, manages four offices in East Texas. Kiker said their offices have experienced staff shortages throughout the pandemic.
“All of our offices are down about 1/4. Most of our offices have lost someone in the front or in the back for about a year, ”Kiker said. She said the research continues today. “I have one office in particular that has been looking for a reception for over two months.“
A dental hygienist from Best Dental Care in Tyler retired just before the pandemic.
“It took a little longer than it would have taken, during the pandemic, you know, to screen applicants and get them involved,” said Dr Sachin Kocharekar.
“We’re not getting as many applicants as we normally would,” Kiker said. “You used to post a job posting and get multiple applicants through Indeed and Facebook and things like that. I mean, you don’t get that many people applying.
Offices said they continued to follow CDC guidelines.
Texas Dental Association board chairman on legislative, regulatory and government affairs Matt Roberts said he hadn’t noticed a shortage, but staff shortages were common.
“It could be a multifactorial thing and staff and hygienist shortages were ongoing even before the pandemic,” Roberts said.
Roberts oversees a board that examines all legislative matters that affect dentistry. “We recognize that there are probably shortages happening and we don’t know how serious it is because our members don’t call us, but knowing that there are shortages there are with things in place to help recruit dentists, we’re not keeping our eyes closed on the situation, ”Roberts said.
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