Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What NOT to say to a patient

Among the many, varied, and unusual things we have to stuff into our heads before starting clinic (did you ever do those exercises in elementary school??) are phrases you should never use while working on a patient:

  1. Whoops!
  2. Oh shit.
  3. How the hell did that happen??
  4. (While working on a deep filling and accidentally drilling into the pulp chamber) Yes!!! I needed this root canal for a requirement!!
  5. Let's not mention this to the preceptor.
  6. What the fuck??
  7. Well, that can't be good.
  8. I was going to use you for my test case, but this isn't turning out so well.

And the list goes on... that was my brief bit of humor for today! (Hey, it's hard to come by in dental school.) I definitely would not want to hear any of those things while an amateur dentist was operating a high-speed drill in my mouth!

In other news, I have five patients of my very own and a bunch more that I'll share with my "big sister" (the fourth-year student above me). I've been having technical difficulties with the scheduling system, so as of now my first patient isn't until September 8, but I should get some scheduled for next week at the earliest. Eeek!! It's all happening so fast!! Apparently I have the super-anal team leader, which is why I have a bunch of patients while most of my classmates only have one or two. That's okay with me, I need to get stuff done before the baby comes... except, when my team leader handed me all the memos with my new patients' info on them, the first thing I saw was "extract root tips ASAP." Ummm... what?? Couldn't I have a nice cleaning like the rest of my classmates? Why do I have to first explain to this poor lady that she still has retained root tips for some reason even though she has dentures, and then cut her open and take them out?? Oh well, I guess it's better to jump in all the way than to just get your feet wet... Still, I seriously start sweating when I think about the fact that my first case will be surgical extractions. Yikes!!

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