Getting Rid of Your Patient

Put a clean saliva ejector in place before the patient sits in the chair. They might assume that it was used on the previous patient. Watch how they try to move away when you try to put it in their mouth.

Pick up something from the floor, especially with your gloves on. Now go to the patient's mouth. Pick up something from the floor and put it on the bracket table. You assume that the patient is blind.

How do you answer a patient who objects you putting something in their mouth that you picked up from the floor? One student told me that he needed the instrument. Tell that to your patient, it will certainly get rid of them. Of course that patient will tell other patients. (More than your patient is going out the door.)

Use the patient's chest as a bracket table. It is "OK" because you are putting your instruments on the partially clean bib. This technique is especially potent when using it on a woman.

Better yet, how about using the top of the infectious waste container as a bracket table. I know it's convenient for the patient to be able to reach his own cup to rinse out his mouth, but you might want to think twice about this.

How about holding your mouth mirror in your mouth while making notations on the patient's chart. Then you can hold your pen in your mouth while using the mouth mirror on the patient.

Do I need to mention rubbing or scratching your nose?

How about blowing on your work to clean away the filings. How about blowing into the patient's mouth to clear away the area. And you thought a facemask was only used to prevent stuff from going into your mouth.

There was a time when cuspidors and running water were next to the chair. I asked a student to turn on the water in the cuspidor. All of a sudden the patient just got up and left the clinic. I turned around and the student was pushing every knob in sight trying to turn the water on.

My feeling is if you are going to fly this plane then you ought to know how the equipment works before you solo.

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©1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.