The Art of Listening

A few weeks back, I asked my husband a simple question about whether he heard the kids come home last night (the so called ‘kids’ are actually adults). After a pause where he could have just been thinking, he said… “That wasn’t a wide”. My mistake was that I had attempted to enter into conversation with him while he was watching the cricket on TV. I just left it and walked away.

About 5 minutes later (must have been in an ad break) he came to me and asked me the same question…did I hear the kids come in last night? Naturally I responded with “That wasn’t a wide!” He looked a bit bemused by my answer, having no clue that we (well I) had already attempted this same discussion.

I’m sure I am just as guilty of not paying attention sometimes when my head is in another place. We now laugh as we regularly use the phrase “That wasn’t a wide” when we think the other half is not listening.

Let’s relate this to the dental world. We are all guilty of having a lot on our mind. For me as a dental prosthetist of over 30+ years, I can easily convince myself that I am listening to every one of my patients when they are in my chair. Yes I hear what they say, but am I really giving them the attention they deserve. I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of thinking of other things while I’m competently carrying out my dental duties on automatic pilot.

Dental courses cover dental topics, and we tend to steer ourselves toward dental education which is relevant to out scope of practice. But as a Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Oral Health Therapist or Dental Prosthetist, our scope of practice differs but the one thing we have in common is that we are health professionals treating patients, and this involves listening.

I have attached an article by Eileen Morrissey RDH, MS who is a practicing clinician, speaker and writer ( who reminds us about the importance of mindfulness, and the positive effects it has on every aspect of one’s life.

Click here to view the full article

Posted by eDenEducation on January 6, 2016