We’re Hiring: Do You Want to Run Our Front End?

smiling desk

We’re looking for a receptionist/office administrator to run our front end. We typically work four days per week, Tuesday to Friday, but require flexibility to work the occasional Monday.

We’re a small, family-oriented dental practice in Saskatoon. Our team is friendly and fun and focuses on creating a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. It’s a pretty great place to work.

Wondering if you’re a good candidate for the job? You might be if you are friendly, enthusiastic, hard-working, detail-oriented, and courteous. You’re a skilled communicator and are excellent at building and maintaining relationships with customers and team members alike. You love to learn and develop your skills and knowledge, and you’re personally committed to oral health. As part of the team, you spend most of your time working independently on a variety of tasks, but you also communicate effectively with the clinical team throughout the day. Punctuality, initiative, and a sense of humour are required qualities.

Responsiblities:

  • Answering phones
  • Booking appointments
  • Greeting patients
  • Asking for and collecting payments
  • Enforcing office policies with grace
  • Preparing daily deposits
  • Invoicing patients
  • Keeping public areas tidy
  • Communicating with vendors, service providers, and insurance companies
  • Patient follow-up
  • Callings patients for recalls and continuing care
  • Daily administrative updates for the dentist
  • Other general administrative duties as required

Required skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Have used Dentrix, as well as Excel and Word
  • Experience working in a dental office
  • Knowledge of dental insurance processes
  • Have used email (Outlook) and voice mail

Details:

  • Hours: Tuesday 8:30am-5:15pm, Wednesday 10:30am-7:15pm, Thursday 8:30am-5:15pm, Friday 8:30am-3:45pm
  • Wage rate: commensurate with skills and experience

To apply:

  • Email your resume and cover letter to Joanne at drbourgault@jones-dental.ca
  • Start off your cover letter with ,”Dear Joanne,” and explain why you want to join the Jones Dental team and what makes you qualified for the position
  • At the end of your cover letter, tell us one fun fact about yourself
  • DEADLINE: noon on Monday, August 15, 2016

Want to get to know us better? Check us out on Facebook.

How The Walking Dead is All About Living

 

How TWD is All About LIving v2

Sunday nights from October to April are sacred in my household, because it’s the one night where I watch TV as it happens, just like when I was a kid and “The Wonderful World of Disney” was on.

There were no PVRs in the 80s.

Now, though, instead of tuning in to see Herbie the Love Bug, I’m diving into the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead (TWD) to watch Rick et al fight for their lives, and for each other.

When I tell people that I am mildly obsessed with TWD, they’re often surprised. I guess that as a forty-year-old mother, dentist, and former accountant, I don’t appear to fit the zombie-nerd profile. But heck, given that TWD is one of the most popular shows on TV right now, there are plenty of unexpected zombie aficionados out there.

I’ve been enthralled by zombies ever since my friend Jackie and I rented Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (the 1978 version) from the Shell gas station down the street back in elementary school. (It was the 80s, so we had a lot more freedom then than my kids do now.) If you aren’t familiar with what is (arguably) considered the best zombie movie ever, Dawn of the Dead features a group of survivors who take refuge in a shopping mall and must fight off the undead while adapting to the collapse of civilization.*

I like action, horror, and Andrew Lincoln as seen in Love Actually as much as the next girl, but that’s not why I watch TWD. Ultimately my fascination with the zombie genre stems from several key themes found in The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic worlds.

Theme 1: Humanity persists

I believe that humans are fundamentally good. Yes, there will always be bad guys and good people who do bad things, but most people try to connect to each other, no matter how awful things are. TWD brings to life scenarios in which some seriously malevolent jerks threaten the survivors we know, love, and identify with, in a world where the trappings of modernity have been stripped away and humans are struggling at their most basic level for survival.

When I’m watching TWD, I’m imagining myself as part of Rick’s group, and I’m wondering what I would do if I were being held hostage by the Governor in Woodbury, or if I came across a stranger in the woods. Would I be like Glenn and help Rick make it out of the tank, or would I be like the Terminites and lure in the unwary so that I can butcher them and feast on some tasty human steaks? I like to think that I could maintain my humanity when threatened with starvation and violence, but that’s easy to say from the comfort of my couch.

Theme 2: What would you resort to in order to survive?

After the world ends and civilization regresses to pre-industrial levels, life gets a lot harder physically. Combine the end of agriculture and modern utilities with hordes of the undead who never stop trying to eat you and you get an environment that most modern city dwellers would be completely unprepared for.

Take me, for example. I don’t garden, know how to can anything, or raise livestock. How long it would take me to adapt to a world where I had to hunt and gather my own food and manage day-to-day life without the conveniences that I consider necessities (washing machine! running water! flushing toilets!)? Would I have the guts and persistence to keep on going in the face of the ever-present and inexhaustible undead?

And I would not only have to provide for myself and my family, but also learn how to kill walkers and defend myself and my kids from malicious humans. First-world problems would be put into stark relief in a hurry.

Theme 3: The mama bear mindset

Carol is one of my favourite characters from TWD, but she wasn’t always. In Season 2, Carol’s daughter Sophia goes missing, and Carol wrings her hands and cries a lot. In any scenario in which one of my children disappears, hand-wringing and quiets sobs would not make an immediate appearance. My default would tend to be clear rage and obsessive pursuit. I may not always like my children, but I love them with every single cell of my being. Threaten them (and I don’t mean by calling them names or tripping them in a hockey game – I consider those situations opportunities for character building) and prepare yourself for my barely-contained fury. In the zombie apocalypse, “barely-contained” would no longer apply.

To me, TWD isn’t simply a zombie show. It’s about maintaining humanity in the face of brutality and overwhelming hardship, and about the importance of family and relationships not only as the reason for survival but as a way to achieve it. In this age of sleep deprivation, iPhones, and keeping up with the Joneses, The Walking Dead is one way that I remind myself to focus on what’s important and to appreciate all that I hold dear.

Need An Apocalypse Fix?

I’ve got a few recommendations for you:

World War Z is one of my favourite books of any genre. It is NOT AT ALL like the movie, so don’t judge this book by its film version!

The Stand is not a zombie novel, but does explore good and evil after the world’s population is decimated by a nasty virus. Bumpty, bumpty, bump!

The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Road is also not a zombie novel, but its post-apocalyptic imagery will haunt you long after you finish it. The movie features Viggo Mortensen.

Need something a little lighter? Try Shaun of the Dead, with Simon Pegg. Killing zombies has never been so much fun or set to such great music.

Zombieland has its own set of zombie rules, and a cameo by the ever-quirky Bill Murray.

Another light-hearted movie about the undead, Warm Bodies departs from the Romero rules (see below) and tells its story from a zombie’s perspective. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my list.

Do you spend your Sunday evenings with The Walking Dead? What do you love about it? Do you remember watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” with your family?


 

*Dawn of the Dead not only captured my imagination, but also was key in establishing the zombie rules for the entire genre. According to Romero’s movies:

  1. Zombies are slow (I’m giving you the side-eye, movie version of World War Z).
  2. To kill a zombie, you must destroy its brain.
  3. The undead are ravenous for human flesh.
  4. Zombies are relentless, unfeeling, and can function with damage to any body part besides their brains. They. Never. Stop.

 

5 Reasons I Practice Yoga

5 Reasons I Practice Yoga

I first tried yoga about 15 years ago, as it was moving into the mainstream. I have to admit that at the time, I enjoyed the level of relaxation that I found at the end of class, but I felt that if I was going to spend so much time on a physical activity, I wanted to sweat.

After I finished my intro course, I promptly forgot about yoga. Heck, I didn’t even own a mat! Life proceeded as usual.

Fast forward about ten years and two kids later, when I found myself completely stressed out. I was in my third year of dental school and having a really hard time dealing with a prof – actually, several of us were having a really hard time dealing with a prof – and that, combined with a heavy course load, meant that I wasn’t sleeping well, I was dealing with digestive issues, and I was getting sick all of the time.

At this point – I can’t remember why exactly – I thought that yoga might help. I promptly did some searching on Amazon.ca and found what is still one of my favourite yoga DVDs, Shiva Rea’s Daily Energy – Vinyasa Flow Yoga. During the Christmas exam period, I would study until late, practice 20 to 30 minutes of yoga, usually falling asleep on the mat during shavasana, sleep like a rock, get up early to study, go to school to write exams and study some more, heading home for studying, yoga, and bed.

A lather, rinse, repeat situation.

Over the next few years, I would drift away from yoga for a while, and then return to it in times of difficulty. Each time, yoga was a source of calm and relaxation for me. I always walked away from the mat – I now owned one – happy that I had practiced.

In the fall of 2014, I started to dig deeper into self-awareness, trying meditation for the first time and practicing yoga more frequently. My yoga practice was still home-based because I felt intimidated by the idea of trying out a class at a studio, but I knew it was time to start to expand my yoga horizons.

Luckily, I met someone who was really into yoga, and she encouraged me to attend a class with her. I was reluctant because I didn’t think I looked the part. I was overweight and not very flexible and thought I’d get the side-eye when I walked into a studio.

Despite my reservations, I went. Did I feel awkward? Yes. I had no idea where I should put my mat or what to do with my hair so that I could keep it out of my face in all possible poses. There were some mighty slim and flexible people around me, and everyone else seemed to know what they were doing.

Did I regret going? Not for a single moment.

In the year and a half that I have been practicing regularly, I have never regretted getting onto my mat. There have been teachers whose styles didn’t work for me, or studios that I tried that I didn’t find welcoming. There have been days where I mostly wanted to stay in child’s pose for most of the class, or where I had to really listen to myself and ignore what the teacher was saying because it didn’t work for me.

But, I have never walked away from yoga wishing that I hadn’t done it.

How Yoga Benefits Me, and Why It Might Benefit You, Too

  1. Stress Management. You, your mat, and deep breathing for an extended period. You may not experience pure bliss, but you will feel better and more grounded.
  2. Increased flexibility. Spend a big chunk of your day hunched over? I do. Uncurl your spine and stretch your hip flexors. Your back with thank you.
  3. Greater mindfulness. Word on the street is that increased mindfulness leads to greater happiness. Who doesn’t want that?
  4. Being part of a community. Now that I’ve been visiting the same studio for almost a year, I’m comforted by familiar faces, I have favourite teachers and classes, and I feel connected and accepted.
  5. Better sleep. I struggle with insomnia and often awaken in the early morning with my mind racing. Yoga quiets those thoughts and lets me get the rest I need.

Amazing Yoga Resources

Not quite ready to head to your nearest studio? Check out these resources online from the comfort of your home.

Yoga with Adriene

Curvy Yoga

Rachel Brathen

Wanderlust

Do you practice yoga? Have you been nervous about trying a class? Share your experiences with us!

 

 

Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

A friend of mine recently got sick. Super sick. So sick, in fact, that she ended up spending several days in the hospital. Not good.

After she had spent multiple days hooked up to an IV and being examined by specialists, I asked her about what she had been diagnosed with, expecting a straightforward answer. Instead, she told me that she hadn’t been taking proper care of herself and ended up having several medical issues erupt all at once.

Pretty scary stuff. Not only did she have the distinctly unpleasant experience of hanging out in a hospital, but she also had to scramble to get her support network to care for her kids, and she missed several days of work at her new job. Not the type of first impression she was going for.

While I usually end up simply getting a cold when I get rundown, her experience hit home for me the importance of practicing self-care. You don’t have to end up in the hospital to know that if you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s difficult to function at a high level and do the things that you want and need to do.

For me, functioning at a high level means having the energy to hang out with my kids and run them to their activities. It also means being able to provide high quality dental treatment to my patients. If I’m low energy and living in a slump, it means that I can’t participate in the activities that I want to, and often I’m choosing the couch over living the active life I say that I want.

My husband, kids, employees, and patients all depend on me in some way, and all of those people are important to me. Being able to meet their needs is important to me. If I’m sick with a cold, suffering from migraines, or dealing with insomnia, my ability to help others is seriously impaired, and that doesn’t make me feel good.

So often in this day and age, we equate being busy with being productive, and being productive with success.

Sit with that for a moment and let that sink in.

Consider how often it is that when you ask someone how they’re doing, they reply, “I’m so busy!” In fact, maybe that’s your stock reply. I know that it used to be mine.

About a year and a half ago, I made the conscious choice to stop declaring my busy-ness when people asked how I was. Sure, my schedule is still as full as ever, and I often find it challenging to manage my competing priorities, but I wanted to stop making being busy a status symbol.

I came to understand that being busy is not a competition, though it can feel like one, and a full schedule does not mean that I am a better parent, a better boss, a better sister, or a better daughter than anyone else.

Busy-ness was a wakeup call to take better care of myself and to consider what was truly important to me.

As a mom, I have often found it difficult to put my needs ahead of those of my kids (although, according to my family, I don’t give that appearance). Yes, sometimes their needs simply must be met. Kids get hungry, thirsty, and tired. They need hugs and kisses, cuddles before bed, someone to help them through difficult emotions that they’re not equipped to handle.

What I came to realize was that if I’m feeling burned out, tired, overwhelmed, or hungry (maybe hangry is more accurate), I don’t have the mental or physical energy to be there for them. I’m a much better parent when I practice yoga regularly, eat less sugar, get a solid night’s sleep, and spend some time on my own.

I admit that I don’t always walk my talk. Sometimes I overeat sugar (but I always brush and floss), go to bed late because I’m watching The Good Wife, neglect my exercise routine, and commit to baking cupcakes that I really don’t need to bake instead of ensuring that I practice self-care. I end up feeling grouchy, start to get a sore throat, and snap at my family.

Then I get back on the self-care wagon.

Self-care, like yoga, is a practice. It’s not about being perfect (because I think we all know that THAT is unattainable). There is no formula for the right amount of self-care. Rather, it’s about listening to yourself and recognizing what you need to restore and maintain your energy levels.

Ultimately, because you have given to yourself, you’ll have more to share with others, and that is definitely NOT selfish.

Ten Easy Self-Care Ideas

  1. Put on your favourite song and sing and dance like crazy.
  2. Buy yourself some flowers.
  3. Put yourself to bed early. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself that it’s bedtime.
  4. Take the time the night before to pack yourself a nutritious lunch.
  5. Wind down with a mug of herbal tea before bed. Mother’s Little Helper is one of my favourites.
  6. Go to a yoga class, or follow a YouTube yoga video. This one is one of my favourites.
  7. Curl up on the couch and read a novel for the pleasure of it.
  8. Meditate. I like the Calm.com app.
  9. Take a hot bath. Scented bath salts and mellow music optional.
  10. Practice gratitude. Write down five things that you’re grateful for and why.

Self-Care Inspiration

Jami Young

Danielle Laporte

TED

Kate Northrup

Sage Grayson

 

Tell us about your experience! Do you struggle to fit in “me time?” Is it even on your radar? What’s your favourite way to practice self-care? Or, if it’s not happening, what would you LIKE to do for yourself?

Welcome Mavis to Jones Dental

Please join us in welcoming Registered Dental Assistant Mavis to Jones Dental! Though Mavis will be with us on a part-time basis only, we’re sure you’ll notice her sense of humour and outgoing nature. You may also notice her crazy socks…

5 Fun Facts About Mavis:

  1. She loves dogs so much that she’s an obedience instructor and trainer. In fact, she showed Rottweilers in obedience for 30 years.
  2. Her favourite TV shows are The Big Bang Theory, CSI, and NCIS.
  3. She knows all of the words to the soundtrack of The Big Chill, her favourite movie.
  4. In addition to showing dogs, she used to show quarter horses.
  5. She dreams of spending the winter where palm trees grow outside her house.

A Warm Welcome for Jocelyn

We’re happy to announce the addition of a new hygienist to the Jones Dental team! Registered Dental Hygienist Jocelyn brings her years of experience and friendly personality to our office, and looks forward to building relationships with our patients. We know that change can be difficult (we’ll miss you Jenna!), but we’re sure that Jocelyn’s natural warmth and commitment to patient care will win you over.

5 Fun Facts About Jocelyn:

  1. She loves to bake and cook, but she often can’t eat her creations due to her celiac and kidney disease.
  2. Binge-watching British shows brings her joy because of the humour and accents.
  3. While she is already a “sort of grandma,” in the words of her son’s stepdaughter, she will soon be a “real” grandma for the first time. (Kids say the darnedest things….)
  4. She is a TCM fan and loves classic movies, though her son questions why she watches movies that are older than her mother is.
  5. This summer, she visited Quebec City and felt right at home in the old city. She jokes that she must have lived there in a previous, 17th century life.

Welcome Abbey to Jones Dental

We’re happy to announce the addition of a new team member! Abbey is returning to the dental world after pursuing other ventures for a few years. She joins us as our new office manager and will be running our reception desk. Please welcome her to the Jones Dental tribe.

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5 Fun Facts About Abbey:

  1. She loves to thrift and vintage shop
  2. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey is her favourite book
  3. Purging anything (and everything!!!) brings her joy
  4. Volunteer work is a passion of hers
  5. She’s into DIY projects and upcycling