Cheers to Heidi Emmerling for her recent article. Money isn`t everything! When I was in dental hygiene school (more than 25 years ago), we were taught that we were providing a service to our patients, not pushing them through an assembly line.
The most "successful" practices I`ve worked in were those where the patients spent time with the dentist during their appointment, aside from actual procedure time. They knew the dentist as their friend rather than the doctor who filled their teeth. Taking time with patients reduces the chances for making mistakes for which one might later be sued. If an unavoidable accident should happen, a patient is less likely to sue a professional who has been patient, friendly, and caring with them. They are also more trusting and quicker to accept treatment recommendations.
On the professional side, it`s easier to sleep at night and enjoy time away from the office when you`ve had the time to do your best for your patients, rather than keeping to strict procedure schedules to mass produce. There is a lot to be said for efficiency, but patients sense when you are in a hurry to get them out of your chair.
If we don`t take time to enjoy life on a daily basis, it soon rushes past and we may have a lot of money, but be too physically, mentally, or emotionally impaired to enjoy it. Heidi`s dad knows the secret. He is enjoying life all along the way and he can look back with no regrets.
Karen Marrell, RDH
Asheville, North Carolina