Survey results: Now what?

Here are some "better" statements you can make than the "Top 10 things your doctor should know."

The "Top 10 things your doctor should know," gives a voice to situations that exist in our profession. So in that regard, these surveys are helpful. Yet, now what?

The two challenges I see with this survey is that the foundation of the survey focused on what is wrong with a practice or relationships within a practice vs. focusing on what is right! And it never asked the respondents for any self-reflection or making note of one's own attitude and ownership of situations.

Many of the responses, to me, are more than simple complaining, blame, judgment and or lack of vision or mission. The heart of all these issues, it appears, may stem from a conflict of values and beliefs between employer and hygienist.

One way to move toward changing via a positive light is to step back and talk one on one with your doctor/ employer and come with ideas of how things could change — solution-driven, not problem-driven.

Consider, before actually sitting down with your doctor/employer, reframing the most applicable statements from the "Top 10 things your doctor should know" in a positive way for proactive communication and change.

Survey statement: Patients lie.
Positive reframing: I feel grateful that patients value me as a practitioner for their oral health.

Survey statement: Say "thank you" when team members work hard, maybe even give them a reward.
Positive reframing: I appreciate it when the doctor compliments me in front of the patients and other team members.

Survey statement: A doctor should back up the hygienist in discussing periodontal recommendations and perio findings with patients. Or, a dental hygienist is part of the team.
Positive reframing: We collaborate for the best outcomes of our patient's oral health. Or, I appreciate it when you involve me in the treatment planning of our clients.

Survey statement: The dentist needs to arrive to work on time!
Positive reframing: I love it when we all start our day off together on time. I feel connected from the beginning.

Survey statement: Don't bill for a prophylaxis (1110) when the patient is receiving/needing periodontal maintenance (4910). Also, if the patient needs periodontal therapy, don't bill as a prophy 1110; bill as 4341 or 4342. Or, dental hygienists should not be thought of as a cleaning person.
Positive reframing: When we all work together for a common goal, more is achieved! Or, thank-you for taking time to explain in detail a patient's options in treatment.

Begin with the mantra: "I accept that I can only be responsible for my feelings and actions!" Yet, what you can do is let the doctor/employer know that you appreciate the opportunity to sit down and discuss ideas and thoughts on increasing production and facilitating change in the practice — solutions-driven, not problem driven!

We all need reminders to focus on what is right in our day, and position and move toward change in a positive light.

Patty Mansfield
Personal and Business Image Enhancement Coach

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