Archive for September, 2012
This is a great Blog post by Rachel Wall who discusses why it really is not beneficial for an office to have regular cable or movies playing in the operatories, titled “kill your television”. Check it out, it’s worth the read!
This blog describes exactly what I have been saying for years! Once a TV is placed in the operatory for entertainment purposes it creates a huge wedge between provider and patient. My goal as a hygienist is not simply to clean teeth, it is to educate and help people achieve optimal oral health. This goal cannot be met alone, I need the patient to want this for themselves and take responsibility for their role in this. It becomes impossible to develop the type of relationship needed for this while the patient is engrossed in a television. I need patients to trust me and to value what I have to say and the only way to do so is through discussion, much of that takes place during the cleaning itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly understand why an office might think it’s a good idea, for some it probably does relax them or take their minds off of what might be a bad experience. In my years of practice I can count on one hand the amount of patients that I have seen that have a true phobia that may benefit from something that allows them to escape. For the vast majority, television is simply an added bonus.
I sometimes feel as though in such a fast paced world people even expect dental visits also be that way, forgetting that your dental hygiene visit should be thorough and tailored to what you need. You should feel confident that your provider cares about getting to know you as a person and does not just see you as another number in their schedule. The only way to have this type of relationship is by communicating and while a TV is blaring in your ears this become next to impossible.
If people want an opportunity to watch television then my clinic will never be a fit for them. I feel strongly about developing relationships with my patients and in the value of education. I enjoy the social aspect of my job, and I like to teach people things that can help them, all of which becomes very difficult when a TV is distracting my patient and no doubt me as well!