You’re a dental professional, you want to do your job well, accomplish a task and then move on to the next one. But there’s one critical thing that can make or break you, no matter how excellent your clinical skills are: you must also speak to the subject of your work.
Duh, talking about patients here! They’re your subject, and they expect to have somewhat of a conversation with you. You must use words to initiate your job, and a few to end it as you leave. Otherwise you’ll look like an assembly-line worker that’s too good to talk to the product. Hey, Doritos. You’re going into that bag nicely. Thanks for the job security.
So you create little lines here and there that you find yourself repeating to Mrs. Graham, Mr. Burgess, little Jacob. Hi, how’s it going? What concerns are you having? We’re going to lay you back now.
Eventually patients are able to pick up on the fact that you’ve turned a phrase hundreds of times, said it to hundreds of people. That’s when your assistant cringes because those stale words sound like the flight attendant talking about the mask that will drop down out of the ceiling if heaven breaks loose and descends into the airplane cabin. Sheesh. You’re just trying to fix a tooth here.
If you can’t get a personality transplant (which I did once and it was great at first, but then my old personality got bored and ate it), then your other alternative is to ditch the worn-out words and get new ones! Might I suggest trying on a few of these to make a change in your patient rapport:
•Dude, what’s your problem? Just kidding, it’s right here in the schedule.
•You’re going to feel a little mosquito-bite with this injection, and then its momma will be by to bite you GOOD!
•Alright, now turn to the left and cough.
•So what’s going on in your life that you’re too stressed to talk about? Don’t tell me about anything fun or interesting, that’s too easy.
•Hole La. May yammo ace Doctor Bacon. Day donday ace el dough lore? (Say this to everyone, even if they don’t speak Spanish. Or even if your last name isn’t Bacon.)
•Tell me, what hole do you want to have filled today?
•Uh oh, 15 minutes to Judge Wapner.
•(singing this song as you lower the chair): Baby going down down down down down.
•You say you’d rather be at the OBGYN than at the dentist office? Well make up your mind so that I can shine this light in the right place.
•See you in six months, or whenever you work up the courage to come back.
•Well that was easy. For me, at least.
Now it’s your turn. I’m sure you’ve heard colleagues use phrases that make you grit your teeth every time you hear them. With all anonymity please share yours in the comment section below. Words are powerful, even ones that are tossed around long after they’re worn out.
So what phrases are you tired of hearing? Which ones crack you up?