DentaltownUK August 2017 - 85

Fig. 2: Herzberg's hygiene
and motivational factors.2

Dissatisfiers

Motivators

Working conditions

Recognition

Maximizing the
doctor/patient
relationship

Patients form the
backbone of a dental
Advancement
practice; without them,
Growth
Salaries and benefits
there is no income.
Responsibility
Therefore, we must
Supervision
Job challenges
rovide great quality of
Status
care and value.
Job security
Part of quality of
Co-workers
care is having a mutual
Personal life
trust with the patients,
to the extent where they
have confidence and
trust in you as their dental professional. The
secret to keeping a practice running in the long
Team members in a dental practice will term is to build and maintain relationships
always be looking for training support and with every one of your patient-and the tool
professional progress opportunities. You is using your communication skills.
I categorize communications into:
can train your members through providing
practical hands-on sessions, by suggesting * Verbal: speech and noises.
books and journals for them to read and * Nonverbal: body language and
eye contact.
engage in self-directed education, or by
hosting lecture-based seminars. All of these * Written: direct messages an
letters to patients.
improve their skill set and knowledge, allowing them to become better at what they do.
Our aims in improving our relationships
Reinforce the need to set, monitor and with patients are to reduce the stress they
reviews 'SMART goals': specific, measurable, experience; to improve compliance with our
achievable, reviewable, time-sensible aims. recommendations and advice; and to reduce
When they meet these goals, you must the number of complaints that they make
appraise them. Very often in the professional against us. The latter has become particularly
environment, we give feedback only on what important recently, because today's patients do
is not done well; we must remember to also not hesitate to take health care professionals
give positive feedback when it's deserved, to court if they feel they've been wronged.
Some methods you can use to improve
because it boosts the team member, who
will work harder to receive more appraisals. your dentist/patient relationships:
Having a practice management handbook * Listen carefully to what patients have
to say, and indicate that you're actively
is a good way of ensuring that each team
listening and are interested in what's
member knows vital details regarding her
being said by nodding and using small
role in the practice-employment condi'approval' noises.
tions, duties and tasks, clinical processes,
health and safety practices, and behaviour * Keep the language simple. We've had
rigorous dental training, but using
expectations, for example. Providing this is a
jargon when talking to patients will
great way of ensuring no misunderstanding
only confuse them.
or disagreements occur.
Policies and
administrative
practices

Achievement

*

When speaking to patients, give them
your complete attention. Don't engage
in other duties at the same time, such
as typing on a computer or otherwise
multitasking.
* Be supportive and nonjudgmental.
* Ask open-ended questions-ones that
can't be answered with a mere 'yes'
or 'no'-to get patients to expand on
their answers. Asking closed-ended
questions will lead to little rapport
between you and your patients.
* Never speak while your back is turned
away from a patient, and don't speak
to patients while you're looking down
at them-it can be perceived as threatening if you're looming overhead.
* Don't interrupt patients when they're
talking or answering your questions.
* Maintain eye contact.
* Use appropriate body language.
* Speak slowly and stay calm.
* Never rush patients for answers.
* Ask personal questions to show
patients that you are interested in
them, not just their teeth.
* Try to remember big life events that
your patients experience-having a
baby, for example, or getting married.
This will demonstrate your caring
nature.
* Maintain space between yourself and
your patients during conversations.
I hope that by implementing these
methods you begin to reap the rewards of
better patient relationships, which help you
to stand out the crowd. It can be challenging
but will also be rewarding-and remember
these are some tricky skills to master, so keep
at it and your communication techniques
will develop over time. ■

Resources:
* UNITY: a question of happiness, http://www.unity.org/
publications/unity-magazine/articles/question-happiness (figure 1)
* NW: Herzberg's Hygiene and Motivational Factors, http://www.
nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/history/herzberg.html (figure 2)

dentaltownuk.com \\ AUGUST 2017

85


http://www.dentaltownuk.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DentaltownUK August 2017

Cover
On Dentaltown.com
Editorial with Mike Gow
Meet the Team
Howard Speaks: Drive-Thrus and Dentistry
Endodontic Reboot: Part One
Classified Listings
Brand Advertising
A United Voice
Adhesion in Primary Dentition Restorative Dentistry
Additive Dentistry
Zero Moment of Truth
Through the Keyhole
Message Boards: Re-treats question
Due Diligence—A Vendor's Perspective
Message Boards: Antibiotics after Surgical Extraction
Adding Value to the Patient Experience
Lifestyle
Poll: General Dentistry
CE Update
Students Section
Wishlist
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Cover
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Cover2
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 3
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 4
DentaltownUK August 2017 - On Dentaltown.com
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Editorial with Mike Gow
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 7
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Meet the Team
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 9
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Howard Speaks: Drive-Thrus and Dentistry
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 11
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Endodontic Reboot: Part One
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 13
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 14
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Classified Listings
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 16
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 17
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 18
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 19
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 20
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 21
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 22
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Brand Advertising
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 24
DentaltownUK August 2017 - A United Voice
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Adhesion in Primary Dentition Restorative Dentistry
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 27
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 28
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 29
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 30
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 31
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Additive Dentistry
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 33
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Zero Moment of Truth
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 35
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 36
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Through the Keyhole
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 38
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 39
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 40
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 41
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Message Boards: Re-treats question
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 43
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 44
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 45
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 46
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 47
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 48
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 49
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 50
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 51
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Due Diligence—A Vendor's Perspective
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 53
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 54
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 55
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Message Boards: Antibiotics after Surgical Extraction
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 57
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 58
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 59
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Adding Value to the Patient Experience
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 61
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Lifestyle
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 63
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 64
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 65
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 66
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 67
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 68
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 69
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 70
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 71
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 72
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 73
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Poll: General Dentistry
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 75
DentaltownUK August 2017 - CE Update
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 77
DentaltownUK August 2017 - Students Section
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 79
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 80
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 81
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 82
DentaltownUK August 2017 - 83
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