Monday, September 14, 2015

Did That Really Just Happen?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you pause and ask yourself, “Did that really just happen?” I am referring to the moments in the office that make you want to smash your head onto the desk, and also those moments that leave your side hurting because you’re laughing so hard.   

There are, of course, those times when you haven’t even recovered from the two-week notice of one staff member and you are hit with another who is moving on to something else. You sit there silently, because there is nothing you can do to change the situation and yet you have no time to deal with it either. [insert head smash]  

Or, what about that moment when you see that patient on your schedule, the one who has fallen out of treatment and was a nightmare to work with previously. You already feel your stress level rising and the patient isn’t even due to come in to the office for two weeks.   

Of course, intermingled amongst the downs of the day, are the ups. I am very pleased and lucky to say that laughter is an ever-present sound in our office. We like to have fun with each other and our patients.

Some of the moments of laughter arise when you walk by a treatment room and you overhear your assistant teaching a patient who was concerned about her speech as she transitioned from a long-term complete upper denture to an open plate implant-retained denture. You hear the assistant teaching her a tongue twister to practice but you’re unfamiliar with it… then you hear it. “I slit a sheet a sheet I slit…” and the patient is laughing, because every other word is clearly not “sheet.” Between the laughter and the giggles, you can hear the improvement and confidence the patient is gaining in her speech. [insert full-belly laugh]

There also are those times when you can hear patients interacting across the hall during their hygiene visits and laughter resonates throughout the building. Those are the moments that keep you from smashing your head onto the desk at the end of the day. 

I also enjoy those times when the team shares the funny stories of family life that has everyone giggling so hard that no one can catch a breath. These are the moments that save us time and time again—those stories that you just have to question if they even really happened, because they were so funny you barely believe that your career can be that much fun!

Be the reason that someone laughs today—just try not to do it at your own expense!

Colleen B. DeLacy, DDS, FAGD

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