Most patients become anxious and uneasy when facing a difficult medical or dental procedure. They feel unsure about what to expect and how things will turn out. Dental surgeons and their support staff should make every effort to calm and reassure their patients to make the process as comfortable as possible. Here are some things you can do that help to ease the worries of your patients.
Smile and Be Pleasant
A simple smile can immediately cause others to relax and smile back. This simple facial gesture helps to relax and reassure patients who may feel that if you are smiling, things can’t be too bad. A positive attitude also goes a long way to comfort anyone who is facing a difficult procedure, especially a serious one like a misaligned jaw. Patients already expect to be anesthetized either locally or generally, which means they will temporarily lose control of that body area or be put to sleep. In itself, this can be a frightening experience. Medical staff who remain calm, at ease, and upbeat do much to alleviate a patient’s concerns.
Explain what to Expect
The more that patients understand the complex procedure that awaits them, the better they can mentally and emotionally prepare themselves. While potential risks must be mentioned, it is also essential to indicate the high percentage of patients who have experienced successful outcomes with minimal side effects or setbacks. Education about the procedure often removes much of the fear that patients experience when facing an intricate surgery or procedure.
Many hospitals and medical offices provide soothing background music for patients who are waiting for a procedure or in the recovery area. If possible, ask the type of music the patient prefers and play it as the patient is prepared for the procedure. Depending on the type of treatment to be given, if the patient will be conscious, a fun or relaxing video can be offered for viewing. These options add a relaxing element to the waiting periods before and after the procedure.
Accompany the Patient
As much as you are able, remain with the patient before, during, and after the procedure, letting him or her know you will be there during the entire process or at certain times. The presence of a caring, compassionate staff member reassures patients that they are not alone and that someone is looking after them.
Simple strategies like these enable patients to relax before a difficult procedure. Adding the human touch of compassion reminds them they are in good hands with someone who cares.