Just last week, I joined Jamie on a coaching call with one of her clients. One of the hygienists in the practice is having difficulty with time management and feels she is compromising the care she delivers in an effort to ‘fit everything in’. I know she’s not the only hygienist that has experienced this. (In the near future, we’ll be sharing an entire series on Hygiene Time Management. Keep an eye out for it.)
After talking her through all the tips and strategies we have for making the most out of the 60 minutes she has with each patient, something struck me. It isn’t time she’s battling.
At the core of her struggles is the fact that she is paddling against the current of belief in early intervention. And she is exhausted.
In one of my favorite books, Switch by Chip & Dan Heath, the brothers share that our emotions and beliefs must be aligned when we’re trying to implement new systems or protocols. If they are not, we’ll become exhausted by the internal battle and the change will never stick.
Here at IH, we’re always working with our clients on two levels:
1-The practical ‘How To’ steps of developing and implementing a new hygiene system such as perio protocol or an effective hygiene-doctor handoff.
2-Helping them shift their belief system about how they can influence their patients’ overall health and well being through early intervention in periodontal and dental disease.
It seems the first would be the hardest because it involves coding, scheduling, clinical skills, etc. But really it’s the swift and powerful undercurrent of mindset and beliefs that is the hardest to change. And it affects everything!
So back to the dedicated, caring hygienist above…It isn’t the logistics and timing that are truly keeping her from a breakthrough. In a nutshell, it’s her belief that she can and should treat early periodontal disease with a prophy and expect to stay on time.
The time she’s spending on scaling with these ‘difficult’ patients will always be a challenge until she’s ready to recommend conservative, localized therapy to address the chronic inflammation. But we haven’t given up. We’re working to support her in developing a belief in giving patients the opportunity to say yes or no to optimal care in disease and in health.