Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dental prof. or patients please answer?

I have been a dental assistant for 10 years and it constantly amazes me how mean patients can be. Ok I know that some dentists can be jerks, I have worked for a couple, but usually the front desk and the assistants are who a patient is going to deal with the most. I would really like to understand why some people are just plain nasty when they call or go to a dental office. Why do some patients treat the staff like they are nobodys and want to only speak to the dentist? We are usually very well trained and are instructed by the dentist to get all the details we can before he talks to the patients. I would like to know if other assistants or dentists deal with mean patients and hear some good stories. Also if you are one of those mean, bbitchy patients who complain about everything, why do you do that? I would really like to know, so dont hold back ;)

Dental prof. or patients please answer?
HM, that amazes me also. It really lowers my esteem for certain patients when they aer sugar sweet to me and nasty to my staff. They think I don't know about it, either. A long time ago, I heard a story about a couple that broke up after eating dinner in a fine restaurant. It was a wonderful night, from all objective measures, but at the end of the night, the lady told the man that she would not see him again. He was very puzzled and asked what was wrong. Wasn't the dinner perfect? Didn't they go to the finest restaurant in town? Didn't he treat her like an angel? She answer that yes, everything he said was true, but she also saw how he treated the wait staff. He was condescending, overbearing and mean. She knew that these were his true colors and that this was what she could expect a couple of years into the relationship when he let his guard down.

I think there are many positive-negative categories that we can put people into. One pair is the givers and takers of the world. Some are givers and some are takers. The takers are just mean and that's all there is to it. They only see things from their point of view. If you don't give them what they want, they try to get the doctor on the phone. We have a practiced routine in our office. When someone tricks me into coming to the phone or calling them back on the pretense that it's a personal call, thinking they can sweet talk me into giving them an appointment when the time simply does not exist, I IMMEDIATELY say, "Sharon can handle that for you. She has the appointment book. Hold on and I'll get her on the phone. %26gt;%26gt;%26gt;CLICK%26lt;%26lt;%26lt;"

I had one last week that I have been DREAMING about for years, only in reverse. A lawyer/patient called with an injured party in her office. (First sign of trouble: Patient goes to a lawyer before the dentist when they have a dental injury.) The lawyer called me at 2:30 and I got on the phone. (Personal friend, long time patient.) She said that the guy needed to be seen "ASAP." (She actually pronounced the word ASAP.) I asked if that meant "today" or would 9:00 the next day be okay. She said abruptly, "This afternoon." I asked, "It will take him at least an hour to get here from your office. Should we give him your 4:15 appointment?" She declined. "Should we tell him to come right over and then I'll keep you waiting half an hour to 45 minutes to be seen?" She didn't like that either.

I say this is the opposite of my dream (yet somehow even better), because I always thought it would be fun to start reading a list of names. "Do you know John Smith? How about Bob Jones?" until the caller asked why I was asking. Then I'd say, "Well I am booked solid and if you know one of my patients, I thought you might call then up and ask if you could have their time." Of course, HIPPA dictates against this practice, so it will remain a dream.
Reply:I'm guessing you're not the only ones they treat as second class citizens...chances are if they are nasty to you, they are nasty to nearly everyone, especially those they consider 'beneath them.' It's unfortunate, but there are just so many mean people out there!
Reply:Hey Husky,,,, i feel for you... i really do..... I just went to my dentist and assistant this very morning,,,, we have a wonderful time together,,, but i to have run into jerks of the profession....

Sometimes,, you just have to overlook people,,, they dont feel good,,, and no one (except me) likes going to the

Some people are just down right rude....

good luck
Reply:I agree with the first answer.
Reply:Yeah yeah quite true. They go to the hotel and they tip the waiter irrespective of the fact that the food or service was good . Doctors nurses .. most of the people dont even thank them.

Hey but keep in mind these are sick people they may be in PAIN or some other problem. certainly not in the best Mental state. Get USED to it.
Reply:I'm amazed too. Here is the real kicker. They will chew you out and just ruin your day. Yet they always call you back and even refer their friends. I once had a mother chew me out for pulling her childs tooth that was hanging off to the side by 90 degrees. litterally haning off the gum swinging back an forth. She screamed bloody murder. Then the next year asked if she coudl be my patient. when her filling failed? Go figure.

Lets face it going to the dentist is at the bottom of some people to do list.
Reply:I work for an Orthodontist and there is this lady that I am terrified to work on. No one in the office likes to work on her and the first time I got her chart I had to put a really thick wire in. It wasn't going in very easily and she yelled at me. " Can somebody else do this because I have never had this problem before!" I got the Dr. to come work on her and he even had trouble getting it in. Those wires are just tough sometimes. Anyways another time we were bonding brackets one of her upper second molars, and her cheeks are kind of tight so I guess she was uncomfortable and she was cussing at us!!! It was horrible. And you know what I hate??? We CAN NOT say anything that we're thinking to these people. We have to be nice. There's another lady who is always telling me what to do while I'm working on her and I hate that....

And on days where we don't see patients we (the assistants) answer the phone and people are so rude for no reason. They throw mean little fits if they can't the appointments they want. WHEN IT'S IMPOSSIBLE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. Sorry. I could go on and on but I'm going to stop. That felt good.
Reply:I recommend to dental practices that they give the staff permission to "fire" two (or more) patients per year. They all have to agree, and then a letter of dismissal* is sent.

It's great for morale and the staff feels they have some input in what happens during their day. You'd be surprised how much better ALL the patients do when there are less disruptive people on the schedule. Don't forget, those inconsiderate patients disrupt the treatment of the NICE ones. Why make them put up with the noise?

*Consult your local dental society about how to word the letter legally. Most states require a certain amount of time where you must see the patient on an emergency basis ONLY while they find another dentist.

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