Your article stressing compassion in the August 1998 issue gets my highest praises. It conveys the simple truths that we should all live by on a daily basis as individuals in society, no matter the profession - that is, to help others. Or, as we were taught as children, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
It is difficult to put ourselves in the place of patients we have never met before since we don`t know their personality traits, priorities, apprehensions, or past dental experiences. The intimate and personal experience of a dental cleaning will leave a patient feeling vulnerable and isolated if a hygienist does not recognize his or her needs and emotions, as well as express concern. People can be very particular, but all people have the basic need to feel loved. My mother told me when I was young that there are two things that you can always give a stranger and they are totally free - a smile and respect. Respect is a form of love.Thank you for reminding us of the heart of our job.
Jennifer L. Badgett, RDH
Winston-Salem, North Carolina