A dental surgery can be a busy place and, to ensure you see all your appointments on time, it’s important to keep patients moving through the clinic. Although that can sometimes be tricky if you have a patient who has a lot of questions.
Of course, you want to give them the best treatment possible and have them leave feeling happy with the level of service you’ve provided – but you also can’t spend an hour answering questions in a 15-minute appointment slot. So what do you do?
The first thing is to understand why a patient might be asking so many questions. They might be genuinely curious about their treatment options and how things work, but they may also be nervous and using the questions as a delay tactic or a way to feel more in control. These are often subconscious reactions to fear and anxiety, so try to gauge the situation and provide plenty of reassurance.
Here are a few other things to try:
- Be clear about what’s going on – At the beginning of the appointment, take a couple of minutes to review the situation and explain what treatment will be carried out, then let them know there will be time for questions at the end. Once the treatment is finished, the patient will be feeling less nervous and more relaxed.
- Delegate – The dentist won’t necessarily need to be the one answering every patient question. In many cases, the nurses and other staff members will also be able to field the questions.
- Provide informational documents – Leaflets about treatments and conditions, as well as home-care instruction sheets, can provide much of the information that patients are looking for. Plus, they can be taken home and read at the patient’s leisure, rather than taking up valuable clinic time.
Whichever method – or methods – you use, try to remember that there are no stupid questions, and that dealing with the situation effectively is essential if you want the patient to leave feeling satisfied with their treatment.
For more information on the types of courses we offer for dental surgery staff, contact Designer Dental Training today.