Impatient patients

Impatient patients

If it does not go fast enough. Tempoholiker have the time in view.

Waiting until the appointment, waiting in the waiting room – waiting is always uncomfortable for the patient. He wishes to be healthy and painless quickly. The felt waiting time is three times longer than the real time. Impatience does not only cause stress for patients, but also for the dentist.

The expectations of the patients

The grass does not grow faster when you pull it,” says a Chinese proverb. This is overheard, the patient wants to go on vacation and be fit, he prefers the responsibility of the dentist. On the Internet, patients inform themselves about the dental treatment and the period of the healing process; This creates an expectation. Waiting for the success of treatment does not just put patients to the test of patience.

The dentist feels criticized when the patient asks if it is not faster, if you can not reduce the number of treatments. Behind this question is the information need of the patient. Patient wishes can be understood as an indirect question. Counterproductive are appeals such as “but you must not be impatient now” or “you just have to be more patient.”

Conversational techniques in impatient patients

Longer treatments are time-consuming and expensive for the patient, he can not always understand the treatment steps. On his incomprehension, a reasonable answer of the dentist fit only conditionally. Emotions should first be answered emotionally and with sympathy: “I can imagine that you expect a faster treatment success.” After a break for a few seconds, one then explains to him why shortening the dental treatment is not possible. Patients usually respond positively when the explanatory background occurs. Only detailed information makes the situation transparent to the patient. If he can understand the reason for longer treatments, he will gain more understanding. He needs to get so much information that it will be rational and emotionally impossible for him to continue his wish. This is much more effective than appealing to his insight.

Anticipating feelings (anticipation of negative feelings) has proven itself well in practice. Instead of waiting until the patient expresses his disappointment and impatience, one formulates in advance: “I know that you are disappointed when I tell you that you need at least four treatments because …”. This puts you in the situation of the patient. To react purposefully means to think with the head of the patient, to put oneself in a position quickly.

The “worst case method” has proven itself in stubborn patients. Thereafter, the patient is advised what, in the worst case, can happen if the treatment is carried out as he wishes. In stubborn cases, the doctor even has to “paint the devil on the wall”, ie exaggerate with the negative consequences, so that the patient understands him. Worst case means to play with the fear of the patient and is often the last option.

This is how impatient patients rate the dental practice

Very best case

  • The patient gets a quick treatment appointment, his appointment can usually be considered.
  • The team takes part in the emotions of the impatient patient and makes him feel good.
  • The patient receives understandable information about why further treatment is needed.
  • Impatience of the patient is not understood as a criticism, but as a question of whether there are other possibilities.
  • The patient’s opinion is not answered with contradiction, but with the “yes-but-method”.
  • Even the impatient patient enjoys the full attention, the practice team is not affected by the impatience.

Second best case

  • Often it takes until he gets a free appointment and must then accept an unfavorable time.
  • The patient is treated with “I’m sorry”, the individual sympathy is missing.
  • It is recommended to the patient, without having to make an explanation, to arrange further appointments.
  • The dentist responds to impatience with appeals and teaches the patient.
  • An opinion that is not right will be corrected immediately and the patient’s self-esteem lowered.
  • Impatient patients are seen with suspicion, they are deprived of sympathy.

Rolf Leicher, Heidelberg

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