Do you Have the Chairside Manner to be a Great Dental Assistant?
Dental assistants need to have many skills. Our Dental Assisting program will prepare anyone for success in the field of dental assisting, but some people may be more uniquely prepared than others. One thing that we help prepare you for is the chairside manner.
What is a chairside manner? Chairside manners are the art of communicating and understanding patients’ needs and wants when seeking their best smile. This skill is valuable for the relationship between patient and staff, who trust us and rely on us for their oral health needs. So, what does chairside manner entail?
First, greet them without a mask, gloves, or chart in your hand. Be open and welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic, and acutely aware of your patient’s concerns. You can keep in mind that you have two ears and one mouth, so you’ll want to listen twice as much. Make sure your smile and persona are welcoming. You may be tired, hungry, or in a hurry, but you want to give a patient your full attention and care, making them feel like the number one priority.
Next, you’ll want to create a bond. You’ll do this through effective communication. You will learn to engage with your patient using eye contact. This means looking at them in the eye instead of just focusing on the mouth. You want to make sure you address the person as a whole, not just as a mouth, when you are with your patient.
Then, you’ll want to listen to and internalize the patient’s feelings to help them better. This means developing your listening skills so you can truly understand what the patient is telling you, both verbally and nonverbally. Being sensitive to their tone and the spoken word will help, and let’s face it, most people want to feel heard. Is the patient nervous? Asking questions is a great way to get them to open up regarding their condition and their treatment for today.
And finally, you will need to build trust and leave them with a positive experience. We want them to trust us in our doctor/patient relationship and build loyal, long-term relationships. We want our patients to return to us for treatment, over and over again. That is successful relationship building. So, while they are in the chair, be sure to give them a reassuring pat on the arm or shoulder, letting them know you are there for them. People reclining in the chair can often feel vulnerable, and a simple touch can help them relax. You want your patient to have the most comfortable, pleasant, and painless experience, so they will want to come back again.
If you feel like you have the skills to bond with patients, you will most likely have excellent chairside manners. We here at Sanger Education Dental Assisting School can teach you all the skills you will need to be a great dental assistant. Enroll in one of our upcoming class programs today!