We all have them, those hilarious moments that make us want to die of shame or laugh so hard we cry. Sometimes we do or say something unbearably awkward, other times our patients say something laugh-out-loud funny. If we're really lucky, we simply witness a coworker's embarrassing moment.
No matter how things went down, we all have mortifying moments we can relate to!
"When I was fresh out of hygiene school, I had to assist the assistant while the doctor did a filling and I'd never used the high speed vac before. I was trying to suction and accidentally grabbed the poor teenage patient's uvula! I have a terrible reaction to stressful situations in that I laugh. So here I am, about to do an accidental uvulectomy while I'm laughing hysterically! The assistant was yelling at me to "just turn it off!" That poor kid probably never went back to the dentist thanks to me!"
- Jessica B.
CHECKED BY THE X-RAY MACHINE
"When treating a 12 year old child, after I finished taking x-rays, I walked right into the x-ray tube and knocked myself into the wall of the operatory. I was so embarrassed and immediately jumped back to my feet. I expected the patient not to notice or care but this preteen immediately asked me how I was and seemed very concerned. I was in a little pain but was more embarrassed and also surprised by the child's concern for me. I hope they didn't tell their parents I was such a klutz!"
NOT THAT KIND OF CAVITY
"In our final year of dental hygiene school, once a week, we would work at a clinic for the under-insured and those in need of affordable dental care. One day, while I was working at the clinic, I called my patient back and noticed that he hardly had any teeth. I was getting ready to do a PA on him and putting on my PPE. As I'm putting on my gloves, he says "Are you getting ready to do the prostate test on me?" and gave me a wink. Me being the awkward person that I am, I just laughed nervously and said "Oh, noooo...I'm just going to do a quick x-ray!" At that point, I just wanted to get him in and out as quickly as possible! Dental hygiene school should have a class called "What to Say/Do in Awkward Situations with Patients."
- Hannah A.
"This happened at my first job out of school. A new patient to me and the practice was late to their appointment. Eventually, she showed up and brought her baby with, who looked to be a few months old. I was ready to put her back to start her assessment, but when I turned around she was breast feeding her baby in the patient chair. I'm not against breast feeding at all, but I was not expecting to see that and we were already so far behind. She looked at me like I was the crazy one! I had to wait until she was done to put her back. It's one of those patient stories I will never forget..."
BAD HAIR DAY
"Many years ago, I had a male patient who thought he was something special. He always had an arrogance about him. One visit, I went to lay him back in the chair and as soon as I had him reclined, his hair piece "toupee" fell off his head and into my lap! I quickly picked it up and placed it (incorrectly, but the best I could) back onto his head. I said, "Whoops, you lost something!"
- Kerri, RDH
Tune in next week for another round of confession corner! Have a story of your own that you'd like to share? Submit it using the link below.