How Rachel Hall put the quality of patient care at the forefront of her dental practice inspired by the Universal Medicine Therapies and the EPA Code of Ethics – that present that quality care comes from the quality of the human being providing it.
Dental school prepares you to be a dentist ....... But does it really?
At dental school I learnt to retain and regurgitate a lot of facts, I studied anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cells, pathology, pharmacology, medicine, surgery and of course dental anatomy and dental disease.
I was trained in the mechanics of drilling and filling and restoring teeth, dental scaling, root fillings, extractions, minor surgery and producing dentures. Everything focused on the procedure, the correct technique and choice of materials and not very much on the human being whose body you were working inside of whilst they were fully conscious and in your care.
Our focus was on treating the condition not the person and the only time you
really noticed the human being in your care was when they weren’t numb enough
or in discomfort.
I received no education on nutrition, other than sugar causes tooth decay, nothing about working in a team, team management, human resources, filling out paperwork, dealing with people on a daily basis or how to care for myself, or how to deal with the stress and pressures of my job.
We were encouraged to be professional and have professional conduct without ever being told or shown what that actually was.
My doctor colleagues, on the other hand, were encouraged to care for their patients and to show that they at least had empathy for them.
Sadly, there was never any similar training in dentistry, we were never encouraged to care for our patient. We were trained to do a procedure, explain what it was and why it was needed. Our patients were seen as the crown preparation, the filling, the extraction case, the root canal etc that we had to complete as part of the total amount of procedures we were required to complete to show competency prior to taking the final exams.
Unlike doctors who declare the Hippocratic oath, dentists have no obligation to swear that they will do no harm - which is ironic when you consider dentistry is in fact a branch of medicine and you are indeed working inside the body.
So long as you didn't work on the wrong tooth and produced a satisfactory end result you had done a ‘good job’ irrespective of whether that fellow human in your chair felt cared for, looked after or connected to. Come on let's face it so long as you didn't hurt your patient you were a dental rock star!
This attitude and concept of the patient being a procedure carries over into dental practice and your career where not only is the patient a task to complete but they are now also a commodity - one that pays your wages and the dental practices bills. The more teeth you fill and the more work you churn out the more you get paid irrespective of the quality of your work or level of care.
This way of being trained and working does not foster building a relationship with and caring for your patients, nor does it build a harmonious and supportive dental team; as unfortunately many dentists see their "staff" as people who are there to do as they are told so that you can get that filling done and not as equal team members pulling together to provide "quality care" for another human being.
But what is quality care?
In my training it was about producing a filling that had no decay left in the tooth, sealed the edges of the cavity and that fitted the bite. If I could do that without hurting the patient, damaging their soft tissues or lacerating a tongue with my drill and making sure they didn't choke on the water and debris flying around their mouth then I had done an excellent job ..... Hadn't I?
But what quality was I offering when most days I turned up to work exhausted, frustrated, resentful, anxious, with a stiff sore neck, feeling either unwell and or hungover and that this was considered the norm.
What quality was I offering when I was stressed, feuding with my dental nurse or hacked off with my receptionist for squeezing yet another toothache into my already overwhelming schedule?
What quality was I offering when I needed to drink 15 cups of coffee a day just to get through to the end of my patient list?
What quality was I offering when I felt like I hated every patient because I perceived they were purposely making my job difficult and I just wanted to go home?
The quality I was offering them lacked true care, compassion or tenderness. But how could I deliver that when I lived in a way that was devoid of those qualities.
I was driven and exhausted. I hated myself and punished myself for it. I blamed others and my circumstances for how I felt and what was happening to me. I never felt like I was good enough and feared getting found out that I was a fraud as what I projected as the tough, aggressive, athletic, “I’ve got my life together” persona was a sham.
In truth my life back then was a reflection of my inner world and very exposing of the lack of quality I lived my life in.
When I was aggressive, resentful, unappreciative and focused on getting the job done and taking home my pay I attracted patients who were aggressive, resented me and were unappreciative of the dental work they received and always complained about the bill.
Thankfully now I can honestly say I love my job and have wonderful patients who love to come and see me and are grateful for the service and care I provide and are willing to pay me for what I do as they know not only are they getting quality dentistry but also quality care.
So what has changed? What has happened in my life that has brought about such a shift in who I am, how I work and the clientele who are now drawn to come and see me from not only my local area but far and wide too?
I changed - well actually to be truthful I didn’t. What I changed was the quality I lived my life in and because of that all those fake layers that were not me but were projections of my inner turmoil dropped away and the real me was left alone to just be who I am.
Through being inspired by what I experienced during sessions with Esoteric Practitioners I was willing to deal with my issues and to develop a more self-loving way of life by being caring, gentle, tender, compassionate and nurturing with myself and I was able to reconnect to the true quality that I am inside. The quality of love, harmony, joy and oneness with mankind.
And this is now the quality of dentistry that I offer to my patients, my team members and every single person that comes into my life.
I no longer require coffee or sugar to make it through the day as I am vital and full of energy, I do not drink and rarely get stressed or frustrated. I love my work, enjoy my patients and the pressures of my job are much easier to manage.
Quality care comes from the quality of the human being providing it.
If my dentistry is done with love then that person is getting the highest quality dentistry on Earth irrespective of whether I am the best technician or not.
After all what is the point of a beautiful looking filling that ticks all the boxes if that filling is devoid of the true beauty of the person who provided the work?
Quality care can only truly be that when we live and offer that quality in every
moment of every day.
And that is why a dentist who loves humanity as much as she loves herself works with the teachings of Universal Medicine and is a member of the Esoteric Practitioners Association; organisations that foster quality and love for oneself and humanity and offer a Code of Ethics that one can not only work by but live by too.