BECAUSE PATIENTS JUDGE YOUR SKILLS BY YOUR BEDSIDE MANNER
A woman goes to her doctor who verifies that she is pregnant. This is her first pregnancy. The doctor asks her if she has any questions. She replies, "Well, I'm a little worried about the pain. How much will childbirth hurt?"
If the procedures you perform involve pain, you have a built-in bedside manner generator. Just perform pain-free procedures. Patients rave about many practitioners who have absolutely no bedside manner, as defined throughout this book, just because they don’t hurt them during a procedure perceived to be painful.
The dentist and most dental specialties have this advantage. Since dentistry is probably the most feared health-care need, patients who survive without any pain will go back over and over, even if the doctor has no personality or people skills.
While performing pain-free procedures offers a way to be loved without all the usual skill sets, it also presents many challenges. There are reasons people fear dentistry. It does, at times, hurt. Everything from administering an injection to working on a tooth that can’t be numbed puts tremendous pressure on the dentist and justifies the anxiety and fears the patient experiences.
The importance of learning techniques to give virtually painless, highly effective injections is the key to winning over the patient. Leaning advanced techniques of sedation or general anesthesia, when indicated, should be considered since some cases involve unavoidable pain with conventional pain control modalities.
The dentist isn’t the only one delivering potentially painful procedures. Many other areas of practice are not as feared, so unsuspecting patients end up being catheterized, scoped, or otherwise probed and prodded painfully, but without the preconceived fear associated with going to the dentist.
Whatever services you perform, learn to do them as painlessly as possible, and you will have a patient for life. Make sure you utilize the latest and greatest techniques for pain control. Give extra anesthesia and wait longer for it to take effect if necessary. Don’t rush when it comes to pain control.
When you think the procedure can’t be done without pain, or if you believe the psyche of the patient is such that he is not a good candidate for the procedure, consider referring him to someone who can provide sedation if you don’t utilize that modality.
• Ben S
• Craig C