Someone needs to drive the vehicle, preferably someone who is qualified and comfortable driving a large vehicle. Anyone with a regular auto license can operate the vehicle, however, vehicles with GVW of 26,000 pounds or more require that the driver have a commercial drivers license (CDL). While this additional requirement may seem burdensome and limit those who can drive the vehicle, it does assure that the driver has been properly trained and tested.
Sometimes the dental staff perform this function, while other programs hire former professional truck drivers or off-duty firemen and police personnel to assist in the safe delivery of the vehicle to the site. A major consideration is what responsibilities a driver has after the unit is set up. Might this person serve as patient escort and receptionist? See a sample role description (WORD doc) for a bus driver with additional duties.
Some programs hire outreach workers and program coordinators to coordinate marketing, scheduling and recruitment of sites. Depending on the local communities, it may be important to hire bi-lingual staff or other members of the community for some of these positions. You will also need to decide how to deal with need for language translation during appointments. Some schools report that they now have families in their district that represent 40-100 different language groups. Will you be able to use staff or volunteers from host sites to meet these needs? This also impacts translation of any consent or history forms, as well as letters or educational materials. Liaisons from host sites or local communities are crucial in making decisions about these issues.
An example of responsibilities during a typical day at a school site might be the following:
School hours 7:45 am – 2:15 pm
View some examples of tasks to develop and maintain a mobile dental practice (WORD doc) that may need to be accomplished.