Introduce your dental nurse to the patient


A couple of weeks ago I got to test drive a series of fresh specialist dentists from a clinical point of view. Let me briefly explain the context: I had some RCT about seven weeks ago which was carried out by my usual GDP. It failed so I decided to get a second opinion from a specialist and because I am in the business I decided to get a second and a third – all three all on a self-referring basis. 

The three clinical opinions were identical, which was reassuring, yet the approaches were quite different, not bad or better, just different.

However, one thing that really stuck out was the relationship each had with their nurses, without exception all were very tuned in to each other and to some extent slick, yet only one of the specialists actually introduced me to their nurse and explained that she would be assisting him.

The impact this had on me was considerable; it felt like dentist, nurse and patient were connected and that I was being attended to by a very talented nurse. I felt very reassured. Vicky the nurse became part of the process in a real person way as opposed to a piece of equipment which to be frank is the way, as a patient, I have been trained to think of nurses.

In my dental experience to date the dentist has been the main act (which of course is true) and that the nurse was always simply a lowly assistant that did not even warrant being introduced. Odd really, as I cannot think of any other intimate human interaction where all the protagonists were not introduced to each other.

Wouldn’t it be better for all three of the humans in a confined space if Dr Smith said: “This is Vicky Holdsworth who will be assisting me and Vicky this is Mr Fine who is having a problem with a recent RCT, let’s take a look…?”

Does introducing your nurse improves the patient experience? Connect and share your thoughts with me on LinkedIn.

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