Showing posts with label Inside The Mind of A Forth Year Dental Student. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inside The Mind of A Forth Year Dental Student. Show all posts

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inside The Mind Of A 4th Year Dental Student

I ran across this blog and got a quick glimpse into the mind of a 4th year dental student and his attitude toward children and clearly if he's not being taught this stuff at the University of Illinois - Chicago School of Dentistry he is not being taught the proper way to handle them.
  • "Man Handle"
  • "Going Medieval on them"
  • "Papoose their ass"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Profiling the Pediatric Patient

After spending four weeks (with one more to go) at a clinic devoted solely to pediatric dentistry, I have begun to notice that every patient falls into a specific pre-determined (by me of course) category. Allow me to elaborate:

Tell-Show-Do = this is when you show the kid everything you are using (aside from the needle) and explain what it does. For example, I will let them see the mouth mirror before I use it. I will show them my “tooth fixing wand” (the highspeed) and show them the noise it makes and even spray their arm with the water a little so they see what it feels like. This goes on as necessary.

N2O = Nitrous Oxide, a commonly used anxiolytic in the medical setting.     Easy to use, easy to remove the effects, and pretty much no chance of killing someone.

Manhandling = when all else fails, you just go medieval on the kid to get the job done. This includes papoose boards, head holding, mouth props, and half-assed dentistry. Really, there is no way to do a great job on a patient with zero compliance. You just need it to last long enough for the permanent teeth to get in. Manhandling is more commonly used for the 6 and under crowd but there are always exceptions.
Difficulty = a generic scale of how tough the kid is to work on. Scaled out of five. One being easier than an adult, and five being extremely tough (general anesthesia candidate).
And now for the profiling!

The Vomiter:
This patient, like most kids, wants nothing to do with the dentist. Once you papoose their ass and headlock them with two assistants, they still find ways to defend themselves. Frankly, they try to puke all over you. And it isn’t friendly gurgling puke, it is projectile – get in your eyes puke. What’s worse is that they inadvertently could kill themselves by choking on said puke. So you need to brave it out to suction all that shit up (god bless the assistants). The only way to tackle this patient is to wait out the vomiting because they will eventually run out of ammo.
Tell-Show-Do - ineffective
N20 - ineffective
Manhandling - marginally effective
Difficulty = 4/5

The Old Man:
This patient is actually pretty relaxed. Nitrous can work wonders sometimes. They may still get crotchety during the injection, but afterwards they will just sleep – THE ENTIRE APPOINTMENT. A real treat to work with. Only annoying when mom comes back and thinks I OD’d her kid on nitrous…bah.
TSD - unnecessary
N20 - extremely effective
Manhandling -unnecessary
Difficulty - 2/5

The Stoner:
A close relative of “The Old Man,” this patient wants nitrous and wants it bad. It may be hard to associate a 9 year old with a 25 year old pot-head. But when one sees these kids craving the “magic nose,” one can’t help but make the comparison. These patients generally are pleasant to work on because they are riding the good waves of N2O. I’ve even had kids laughing while getting a block…crazy.
TSD - Pointless, they aren’t listening
N20 - EXTREMELY effective
Manhandling - unnecessary

The Question Asker:
This patient simply doesn’t shut-up. They constantly need to know what you are up to. N2O is only marginally effective because they never stop talking. TSD is only helpful to a certain extent because I still haven’t found a pleasant way to show them the 25gauge needle. I am good at hiding it like a magician though. These patients can be really easy or really tough – they are unpredictable.
TSD – Marginally effective
N2O – Marginally effective
Manhandling – Effective when necessary
Difficulty – ranges from 2-4
Difficulty - 2/5

The Victim of Circumstance:
Perhaps the most depressing patient to work on. This is the kid who shows up with cheetoes all over his teeth and a bag of skittles in his pocket. This is the patient with parent’s that are ignorant, negligent, or just suck at parenting. “I can’t get him to shut up at night without giving him a bag of Doritos and a pepsi” is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Suck-it up and lay down the law. These kids are generally too young to know any better, so it is really the parent’s responsibility to take care of them. Unfortunately, I see a lot of neglect going on.
TSD – variable
N2O – variable
Manhandling – variable
Difficulty – variable

 The Momma's Boy:
This patient generally arrives clinging to mom and is too old to be exhibiting such behavior. They generally freak out once detached and go one of two ways: total meltdown or total calm. Again, a bipolar patient type. If they freak out, being extremely stern often solves the problem immediately. Parents are not allowed in the operatory if the kid is 5 or older so this type is always a wildcard. After the procedure they always run straight back to their leech like hold on mom’s leg.
TSD – Effective to Useless
N2O – Effective to Useless
Manhandling – always effective
Difficulty – 2 to 4

The Screamer:
Name says it all. This patient screams the entire appointment with variable pitches. Surprisingly easy to deal with if you aren’t fazed by the noise. The papoose is usually all that is necessary, they rarely thrash their heads around.
TSD – ineffective
N20 – ineffective
Manhandling – very effective
Difficulty – 3/5

The Negotiator:
This patient will do anything to get out of the chair. They will bargain with you. For example, "please don't put that in my mouth (bite block), I promise I'll keep my mouth open." You may fall for the negotiator at first, that is until they bite down on the running bur and change that small occlusal composite into a pulp/crown. I usually just re-negotiate. "Be good and you get a shiny toy." If this doesn't work - proceed to manhandling.
TSD - slightly effective
N20 - slightly effective
Manhandling - effective if necessary
Difficulty - 2-3/5

The Mongolian Warlord:
Containing attributes of both “The Vomiter” and “The Screamer,” this breed is the absolute worst. They are combative, spit at you, vomit on you, scream at you, and essentially struggle the entire time. Unlike other difficult patients, they don’t get tired. These patients unfortunately seem to have the most neglect as well in terms of oral hygiene. If they require multiple pulps/crowns – they are best referred to a hospital for general anesthesia, there is no way you can get it done acceptably otherwise.
TSD – ineffective
N2O – ineffective
Manhandling – ineffective
Difficulty – 5/5

The Angel:
This is the type of patient that makes you happy to be a dentist. They are cooperative, exhibit very little apprehension, and are just cute as the dickens. TSD and N2O are always effective but are often not necessary as the patient will be compliant regardless.
TSD – often unnecessary
N2O – often unnecessary
Manhandling – unnecessary
Difficulty – 1/5

I may add or edit this post as the year goes on.   I haven’t covered all the types – just the most common run-ins for me so far.
PS. sorry for the lack of spacing after periods. I swear I didn't type it up like that... but the mystery makes it even more exciting right?

 From The Blog of 4th Year Dental Student - Skeletor, DDS