And here we are friends, finally arriving at what you do every day. There is a reason this part of your “job” and daily responsibility is buried all the way back at number 5 in our Magic of Awareness series. That’s because it takes all of the other levels of awareness for you to be able to do this effectively every single day.
Of course, I’m talking about the awareness you give your patients.
Making patients aware, helping them gain clarity, and bringing them up to a level of perception that will allow them to be open minded to and interested in achieving optimal levels of health. That is the purpose of your practice as part of your patients’ lives.
There is nothing more powerful than a patient saying “ah-ha, now I get it.” Or when they express the revelation that “I’ve never looked at it that way.”
Patient awareness is the key to everything.
So often patients feel like they are just being run through the wringer, forced into the process, in and out, exam and done, cleaning and done. Every point of their visit is like a destination to be checked off instead of an inclusive journey that builds a relationship.
That is what leads to and self-inflicts segmented, step-by-step, reactive, emergency, and wait-until-it-breaks dentistry. Instead of helping your patients achieve proactive and preventative care for health, function, beauty, or all of the above.
How do you help to give your patients awareness?
There are so many methods, tools, and strategies. Since you are here, you surely understand the idea of involving your patients in your process by showing them pictures, asking questions, working on pre-education, having great open dialogue, setting expectations, helping them establish their own goals, building their vision of their mouths, and elevating their deserve levels.
Patients only know what we teach them, show them, and engage them with. All too often we expect patients to automatically understand or accept a concept just because we say it’s so. Instead of really finding out where a patient’s mind, perception and value is at so that we can help to develop transparent awareness of actual problems and related possibilities.
The real question for you today is: in what way are you trying to present treatment (or anything else) to your patients when they are still oblivious to the main reasons why, the benefits of actions, the consequences of inaction; instead of first crafting an experience, engaging in conversation, asking questions and orchestrating an educational process that is all about creating awareness for your patients?
They say the confused mind never buys. Well, I can tell you the unaware, unbelieving, unconvinced, unclear and uncommitted patient never accepts treatment, never gets fully healthy and never really reaps the rewards of being your patient.
The best patients are educated patients – not before they come in, but – as a result of going through your experience and process.
If we want to create a culture, philosophy, standard of care and principles of dentistry that are based on actually doing what is in the best interest of your patients then we have to make them aware of that in the first place. It takes knowing where they are at today, where they deserve to be tomorrow and then building a bridge between the two.
The whole point of everything that happens in your practice is about achieving this – make your patients more consciously aware of their health and what you can do to help them. You’ll have so many more patients getting healthy and accepting your comprehensive treatment plans by the magic of awareness.
How are you intentionally or unintentionally shortcutting the process and therefore shortchanging your patients of the benefits they deserve? That’s the question of the week.
Let’s get to it and never forget the purpose of what you are setting out to do every day. Your mission at hand beings here and is only possible when you embrace and consciously go to work on the magic of awareness from start to finish.