I recently began working with a new client. Like many of the clients we work with, they have multiple hygienists working in the practice. Patients don’t always see the same hygienist for their recare appointments.
In situations like this, it’s critical for the entire hygiene team to be calibrated with one another. If not, patients will hear inconsistent messages and will start to wonder which hygienist is “right” and which hygienist is “wrong” because they’re hearing two different things.
Patients can feel stress and agitation if one hygienist (perceived as the good cop) says they look healthy and normal and 6 months later the other hygienist (perceived as the bad cop) says they have gum disease.
Have you heard a patient say, “My gums NEVER bleed at home, they only bleed when you jam that pokey thing down in my gums!”
When a patient says something like that, it’s an indicator of doubt and it can easily turn the conversation into a power struggle. To promote more productive communication, the most powerful words you can say are, “YOU’RE RIGHT.” I learned this concept years ago while attending a workshop by the JP Institute. I’ve used it in clinical practice ever since and always include it in my communication coaching with clients.
Give “you’re right” a try and see what you think. In our experience with clients, it can be the missing link to better patient communication.
Like this type of communication tip? Consider joining the Inspired Hygiene High Profits Mastermind Group. Each month, you’ll get exclusive phone time with me and we can work on scripting tips like this. www.hygienemastermind.com