Yesterday I was visiting an Oral Surgeon client. It is the middle of Spring Break and the office was extremely busy with many patients scheduled for third molar extraction. Oral Surgery offices have busy seasons and this office was in the middle of a very busy and productive day. I happened to notice Theresa, one of the surgical assistants, do something very interesting.
Theresa was going to the reception room to get a patient to take them back for their post-operative appointment. Before she opened the door to the reception room, Theresa took a moment to glance in the hallway mirror to fix her hair and makeup. It only took her a moment. She then put on a big smile, took a deep breath and opened the door and greeted the patient. Bravo Theresa!
At the end of the day, I made a point of talking with Theresa and complimented her on her wonderful spirit. I commented that I noticed that she seemed to go through a routine before greeting her patients. She said that’s exactly what she does. Theresa went on to say, “Gary, I know it sounds kind of funny, but I hung that mirror in the hallway so I could check myself before walking through the door to greet the patient. Sometimes it can get hectic in the back office and I want to make sure my hair and makeup is just right before I get the patient. I also always look at the mirror to remind myself to put on a big smile before I step through that door. Patients can be nervous before an appointment and I want to be that warm, friendly face to help them feel comfortable. Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling, but I just do it anyway.” I simply said, “Thank You Theresa!”
Theresa gets it.
Dentistry can be like theatre. Think about it. The actors in a theatric production may not feel like putting on an award-winning performance. The longest running show on Broadway was the musical, ‘Cats’. The run started on October 7, 1982 and completed on June 19, 1997 for a total of 6,138 performances. Many of the cast members were with the production for the entire run. I can only imagine that at some point during this amazing run, even performing on Broadway could seem routine. However, the cast members could never treat their performance as routine. Because while it might have been their 6,000th performance, it might be the one and only time that couple from Des Moines sitting in row 14, seats 23 & 24 were ever going to see Cats. That’s what it means to be a professional.
Think of your job as a performance. Just like Theresa, take the time to check your hair and makeup and most importantly, put on a huge smile before you greet your next patient. It really is Showtime! Keep Smiling!