doctors pet peeve responses

Dec. 15, 2011
Applause and Hisses: Hygienists respond to doctor's pet peeve. RDH eVillage readers respond to a doctor's pet peeve about employees.

The last issue of RDH eVillage published the pet peeve of a doctor who grumbled about "lazy, whining, and gossiping employees." To view his entire comments, click here.

Meanwile, RDH eVillage readers reacted to the doctor's comments, and some of the reactions are below.

Dear RDH eVillage:

Grrrr! After working as a hygienist for forty years, this is one dentist that I would NOT work for. He lacks either the leadership skills or an office manager to stop the whining and laziness, or he should fire them and hire "enthusiastic" employees.

I worked for dentists who let these types of employees stay on and ruin the morale of the hard working people. These offices never reach the level of greatness they could achieve because the dedicated staff that really cares about the patient's get frustrated and leave. Dentists with weak management skills! THAT is one of my pet peeves!

Judith, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

I totally agree with the doctor’s pet peeve! I would like to add, however, if an employer knows this is going on and does nothing to stop it, it will only continue. This is what we deal with at our office. One assistant even complains, becomes inordinately angry, and swears loudly in the office within earshot of patients. Yet the doctor does nothing about it. So the drama goes on.

Roseanne, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

The atmosphere in the office depends on the staff and their employer as their leader. I've worked in the dental setting for over 20 years, both as an assistant and now hygienist. I've found gossip and whining at almost every office I've been in. You're either part of it or not; if you believe in focused work, patient tailoring, and a good office morale, you often stand alone. Each day I lead by example and bring that good attitude. I find being direct with my co-workers works the best, and after a bit of self-reflection they either avoid me with their gossip or try to aspire to the better environment.

There are exceptions. I recommend the doctor keep them busy with work, and reward positive atmosphere. I witnessed one doctor's office actually have to ban cell phones due to texting and distractions from personal use, hard to believe that grown-ups exhibit no self-control.

Anna, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

After I read the segment on what the doctor's pet peeve is, it took me back to an incident that happened just a week ago. Let me just share a little bit of my situation. I have been a hygienist for five years and worked at this particular general practice part time. My attitude with the dentist and other staff has always been positive and flexible. I've said yes to coming in early, staying late, moving my schedule around to accommodate the patient and sometimes even working in my lunch because doctor is running late.

Just a week ago, a patient came in for some restorative work with the doctor. The same patient was scheduled for a hygiene appointment. After waiting around for 15 minutes and doctor still working, I approached the dental assistant and was told 5 more minutes. By the time the patient was in my chair I had 30 minutes left to do 1110 and on a patient with poor home care as it was indicated by a previous provider.

I made the decision to advise the patient that this amount of time may not be adequate enough to complete the work and that he may needed to come back. Patient opted to wait and rescheduled for next week. After the patient left, the doctor approached me and angrily asked why I didn't clean the patient's teeth. I tried to explain but he turned and left to his office.

A while later, I walked to his office to speak to him and he clearly told me that he was angry. He's exact words with an angry voice were "You had time to take your lunch but you stood around twirling your fingers instead." What he said and how he spoke to me really took me by surprise because I sacrificed so much of myself to create a productive, comfortable, and enjoyable hygiene department. At the moment, I'm questioning if this environment is working for me and I'm starting to develop a pet peeve of my own: "Doctor being late and expecting a magician for a hygienist."

Sent from iPhone, RDH