Which patients' need your help the most?
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
I want to share an experience with you from last week.
It was one of those days where I was praying that my next new patient was a healthy patient. One of those days where I was working my behind off and every patient either had heavy staining, perio, or build up. We've all had "those days" where you feel like you just can't catch a break.
I had two patients that were from other countries on this particular day. One from Columbia and one from Romania. Both patients were very nervous. One will need periodontal therapy, so we spent a majority of the appointment reviewing the etiology of periodontal disease, treatment recommendations, and future periodontal maintenance frequency. The second patient spoke very little English. Her son brought her in and assisted in filling out the paperwork, but left a few minutes into the actual appointment. I was met with a ziplock bag that contained a six-unit broken bridge, a tooth, and a flipper. The son wanted the patient to have a loose tooth extracted and dentures made. We struggled to take a pan. We struggled to effectively communicate. When I was dismissing the patient she turned to me and thanked me profusely for my help. She said she was so scared when she arrived, but now she is not. It brought tears to my eyes. The son finally returned after I seated my next patient. The dentist reviewed the treatment plan once the interpruter was there so the patient could understand her options and plan.
That evening I was sitting and reflecting on my day when I had an epiphany. Those healthy patients don't need you as much as the diseased patients do. You see I prayed that morning to be a vessel for Spirit. To be the love, compassion, and light in someone's life that needed it.
So, even when your day is hard. The divine places people in your path that need your help. It may seem like a burden at the time but really you are being guided to be a blessing to someone else. I hope we can all take a minute every day to reflect on the difference we make in our patients' lives.