With Thanksgiving across the pond in America just last week, I’m going to share a personal message about gratitude with you.
I’m normally quite private when it comes to family etc and try to keep work / family separate from the public eye at times.
As you know, I’m fairly organised (arguably a little OCD).
But this week brought a few unexpected turns that were not part of the plan.
Our daughter Sophia ended up in hospital for 3 days with a severe viral infection.
Things started off as a cold/flu on Monday evening.
But her breathing gradually worsened over the next few days – to the point where she was really struggling, and we eventually ended up in resus department in A+E.
Thankfully – she is well on the mend now.
Still a bit chesty / crackly and could be for a few weeks - but getting there.
We all receive the “50% off at [Insert 5 star nearest spa hotel]” at this time of year.
A 2-night stay in the Paeds department was not what we expected on Friday past!
Seeing your daughter hooked up to oxygen, an NG tube, various heart/respiratory rate monitors is not something anyone can really prepare you for.
But home again now, breathing much improved and lying low for the next while.
Just waiting for Lauren and my heart rates to come back to normal again now!
So just looking back at the past week, there are some a few thoughts that come to mind.
The hospital staff were brilliant at every stage.
Whether that’s keeping us informed, seeming in control of things (even if they couldn’t be completely) – or something as simple as some tea and toast in the middle of the night.
Sometime the small things make the biggest difference.
What might seem relatively routine for them, was certainly not for us.
And, just like you, myself and Lauren are both dentists, we understand more of the words being used when the doctors are chatting.
At times, we can get caught up the ‘teeth’ part of being a dentist.
But remember - what is routine for us can be a very big ordeal to a patient.
Keep in mind – when you’re having a bad day – and the crown doesn’t fit, the extraction is happening in 100 bits, the endo file separates…
Very often, somebody somewhere is going through something much worse.
You never know what is around the corner.
When the emergency patient walks in… at 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon… I’d never, ever turn them away.
And I’m proud of that fact.
We’re part of a caring profession.
And it’s good to remember the difference we can genuinely make to some people’s lives.
Especially when they are not having a great day or week.
So, now that Thanksgiving has passed, I urge you to seriously consider the following actions, known as the 4 A’s, with patients and loved ones:
1. Appreciation - Say thank you, tell them you appreciate them.
2. Approval - Give praise on their accomplishments. It could be something as simple as coping well with a difficult root canal treatment.
3. Admiration - Tell them something you like about them - their traits, their outfit, attitude etc.
And most importantly…
4. Attention - Listen patiently, thoughtfully and without interrupting. Absolutely one of the top characteristics in the most successful dentists I know and work with.
Dr Leonard J Maguire BDS LL.M MBA
General Dental Surgeon
Co-Founder of The Dentists Academy
- “TheComplete Business Toolkit for Dentists in General Practice”
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