In-office communication among team members is a very important component in an efficient office. There are many systems out there which range from simply screaming down the hall or more sophisticated systems like Intra-Office Communication software. In today’s blog, I’ll discuss my Nifty and Thrifty option for In-office communication using two-way radios and an earpiece.
Three main things you will need for effective in-office communications using two- way radios.
- Two-Way Radio
What I have learned in my experience is that you can skimp on the two-way radio but you cannot be cheap with the earpieces/mic. If an earpiece is uncomfortable or hard to wear, you and your team WILL NOT want to wear them. An earpiece should be comfortable and not very noticeable. Same thing can be said with a microphone. A good microphone should allow for clear and crisp sound. Also, it should be easily accessible and comfortable so that you and your team can communicate without restriction.
Now for the two-way radios. There are many well-known brands out there ranging from Motorolla and Kenwood. The better-quality radios will give you a clearer sound, better durability, and more range. But in a Dental office setting, the only thing you need to be concerned with is sound quality. This is where I and now you can save the most money.
My recommendations for two-way radios, earpieces, and microphones:
BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
The Bao-Feng is essentially a Motorola/Kenwood knock-off. I have used these radios for a couple of years now with little to no problems. I had one radio break because my assistant dropped it and the antenna fell apart. No problem since it’s so affordable and I had an extra six radios in my closet. The only issue users may find with this radio is that the sound quality is not as good as its name brand competitors. So, no… you can’t have a really good 5-minute conversation on this radio. You CAN have good 30-60 second chats. For the price, it’s worth it and if you really need to have a long talk with you staff member then just go do it face to face.
Sentinel LE (SENTLE-0001)
Semi Custom Earmold
Sentinel LE is a very durable, very comfortable earpiece designed for normal to noisy conditions. This earpiece also has a Microphone PTT unit that is worn on your lapel. The semi custom earmold attaches to the earpiece of the Sentinel unit. The earmolds vary in sizes – small, medium, and large. Most women are in the small range unless you have bigger ears. Most men, including myself, are mediums. If you’re 5’10 and up then go for the large earmold. Also, when ordering from Black Diamond Radio, make sure you choose the K1 connector type for the Sentinel LE.
This is where you cannot go cheap. This set-up is by far the most comfortable and most stable of the earpiece/mic set-ups. The earmolds are placed within your ear and is very stable and comfortable. The mics, which are on your lapel, can easily pick up your voice without you directly speaking into it. Now, you can go cheap and use the mics and earpieces that come with your two-way radios BUT they are not comfortable.
As I mentioned earlier, this particular set-up is good for the users who prefer to keep their conversations short and sweet. I recommended this to a colleague and he did not like the radio at all. Then again, I have seen this doc work in his office and he likes to have full conversations with this staff on the radio. My conversations are limited to, “where am I going next” and “can someone bring me this instrument.”
For those of you who want higher quality radios, then one of the most affordable places to buy them from is Black Diamond Radio.
They also have custom set-ups that come with the higher quality radios with the earpiece/mics that I recommended.
Now understand this. For the price of one of the higher-end two-way radios, you can buy six Baofeng radios. So if you’re worried about the Baofengs breaking down, just buy extra ones just in case.
You can also purchase the earmolds and Sentinel LE from Black Diamond Radio if you don’t want to fool around with Amazon.
Whichever two-way radio system you decide on, just remember that it has to be comfortable and easy to use. Two-way radio communication has worked great in my office and it can work great in yours as well. If you have questions, feel free to ask in our Facebook group or e-mail me at [email protected]
Till next time,
Dr. Glenn Vo
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