Running a dental practice is seriously stressful. Left unchecked, stress can eat away at your health and negatively affect your practice.
More than a third of dentists are stressed about work, according to a recent survey of dentists and dental professionals in the UK. Work-related stress can cause a whole host of problems, including physical ailments, relationship troubles and an inefficient workplace.
While you can never completely alleviate stress in your dental practice, you can take steps to find your Zen moment for you and your dental team. Providing this opportunity for your team will boost employee morale and improve patient care.
Create a Zen Space
Establish an official decompression zone. A Zen space can occupy nearly any spot in your clinic as long as it is a quiet place of relaxation and meditation, away from patients, telephones, computers and the chatter of associates. Your Zen space should feature a comfortable desk, soothing music and even a yoga mat where necessary.
Breathing calms you and releases tension. Deep breathing boosts oxygen supply to your brain while stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to help you achieve a calm state. The American Institute of Stress suggests 20 to 30 minutes of abdominal breathing each day to reduce stress.
Schedule adequate breaks throughout the day for all employees in your dental practice, including yourself. For maximum stress relief, schedule at least two short breaks in a workday in addition to the meal period requirement mandated by state law.
Improve scheduling to avoid running late and gaps between appointments. In the UK survey, 48 percent of dentists and 52 percent of others on the dental team said that running late was the main cause of their stress. One in five dentists surveyed said that gaps in the appointment books were also stressful.
Poor communication is a major cause of stress, especially in a busy dental practice. Stress can also hinder communications, as it can be difficult to come up with the right words – or the kindest words – when under pressure. Develop communication lines between yourself, your staff and your patients to reduce stress and keep communications flowing, even in the busiest moments.
Talk It Out
Even though dental health professionals work hard to help people enjoy healthy teeth and gums, many patients intensely dislike the dental experience – and this can hurt the feelings of even the toughest professional. Talk about your experiences with other dental professionals; help others in your office open up about their stressful office experiences and uncomfortable patient interactions.
Connect with Your Patients
Sometimes the most profound Zen moments occur when you connect with another. A deep connection can help you re-connect with your sense of purpose and rediscover the reason you became a dentist, which was to help people lead healthier, happier lives. Have face-to-face conversations with your patients and use available technology to connect with your patients on a deeper level.
Connecting with your patients and improving communication throughout your office can help you find your Zen moment, even in the busiest dental practices.
To learn more about communication tools to reduce stress in your dental office, contact Weave today. We are glad to help you find your Zen moment.