Joanne Iannone Sheehan, RDH
Your afternoon resembles a scene from "Malcolm in the Middle." The first patient was stopped for speeding and arrives 14 minutes late. The second was the state trooper who gave your first a ticket. You predict you will get the next citation from Officer Nailem — for failure to be on time. You hurry back from the darkroom to find your uniformed patient peering through the window at your minivan. The back window is smashed through in two places! A very large lawn mower has flung two slightly smaller rocks at the vehicle`s glass, resulting in added ventilation. The lawn-mower man makes a hasty retreat with your patient in hot pursuit — unscaled, unpolished, and unseen by the doctor. You estimate a $500 deductible. And now Johnny, your next patient, is the 3-year-old hiding behind the silk tree ... crying.
"This place is a zoo!" The word evokes memories of a favorite childhood story. Dr. Seuss had the right idea: Take control! Lay down the law! Like he said in his book, things would be different "If I Ran the Zoo!"
There`d be no boulders flying and no patients spying
And no children crying and hiding in trees!
The kiddies would open when asked, "Pretty please?"
And grownups with MVP make it a breeze!
They all would remember to premedicate.
Though some would come early, they`d never come late!
The left-handed dentists would not be so careless,
While checking your patient, they won`t leave you chairless.
No talker would make you run 12 minutes late,
No gagger would take films right after he ate.
No balker would get scared and run down the hall,
No lagger turned "no-show" would not come at all!
No talker or gagger or balker or lagger!
If I ran this zoo it would make your mind stagger!
Hygienists would not have to ask for a raise
And the office would close at three on sunny days!
Little Johnny is now perched atop his mother in your chair, determined to keep his dentition a secret. Being 3, Johnny must have a pleasant visit today at all costs. You were just a bit older when you discovered The Cat in the Hat and at age 5 had it memorized. Just then a staff member popped in to remind you of the meeting tomorrow morning. It got you thinking ...
There`d be donuts and coffee at each morning meeting
And bosses would praise their staff while they were eating.
And "RDH" meant passed the National Boards,
And years spent in college would reap just rewards.
Hygienists would always be paid what they`re worth,
And the raises would be retroactive to birth!
And offices would give respectable bonuses.
This boosts production as studies have shownuses.
Profits that share and the bosses that care
Make long days that get wearing
Not quite such a bear.
And speaking of wearing, new uniforms all!
They would be custom fit every springtime and fall!
No patient would come after drinking three beers!
And you`d get brand new instruments every two years!
Johnny wins the battle, and his teeth remains uncounted, unidentified, and untouched. But he had a great ride in the chair and left laughing. You seat your last patient of the day and expose the appropriate films. As you leave for the darkroom, you notice his hat hanging on the hook. It has a red and white stripe. That`s all you needed ...
Developers wouldn`t eat films for fun
At 8 you`d start work and at 4 you`d be done!
Nobody`d be bossed and no tempers be lost,
And your patients would come in all brushed, rinsed, and flossed!
No suction would clog and no ultrasonic bog.
Every patient would listen to your monologue!
Your boss wouldn`t mumble,
Nor instruments tumble
And when taking X-rays
No fingers would fumble.
All barriers would stay exactly where placed.
No assembly-line hygiene, no! Not so fast paced!
You`re finished with your last patient and, although you`ve used your water syringe and suction, your patient is determined to rinse. Oops! There goes the cup! What a mess! Hey, that`s another thing ...
And those little pink cups that have no weight at all
Wouldn`t slip and tip over, spill water and fall.
No one would expectorate on their pink bib.
When asked, "Do you floss?" they won`t tell you a fib!
A shingle would hang by the door with your name
Announcing your expertise or who to blame.
But wait! Here`s a treat!
You`ll get coupons to eat
(Just your hubby and you)
At Chez Bon Appetite
Every time you get called
At a quarter to four
To fill in for someone
You`ll get seven more!
As you clean your operatory getting ready to leave, you are so glad it`s Friday. You`re tired, and you can`t stop thinking in "Seuss!" Maybe you just need a vacation. You jump into your car and head home ...
When you would get home at a quarter to five,
A big feast would wait for you when you`d arrive!
No mess to clean up and no dishes to do!
The children would do it, if I ran this zoo!
Joanne Iannone Sheehan, RDH, is a frequent contributor to RDH. She is based in Huntsville, Alabama.
Author`s note: This was written in loving tribute to a man who invited millions to stretch their imagination, lighten up and laugh. Thank you, Dr. Seuss!