The use of anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications skyrocketed by more than 34% and 18% respectively during the first few months of this Pandemic. And of course, Liquor stores were considered “essential” for a reason, self-medication.
So many dentists and hygienists became depressed, experienced anxiety and flooded social media with negative, depressing and doomful posts. Personally, I had to severely limit my exposure to such noxious stimuli.
And now, it seems that everyone is promoting continued doom and gloom. Limiting exposure to negativity is always a mental-health, healthy strategy,
WHY did so many in our profession succumb to the dark side?
And, WHY did others, persevere and stay hopeful?
The answer might lie in the definition of the VALUE and PURPOSE one has in their life and specifically in their profession.
It sounds trite to ask people why they became a dentist or a hygienist. The stock answer is “because I want to help people”.
And that’s not a bad answer at all. I would hope that it’s true. But WHY does one want to help others?
Why do any of us do things? If fulfills a NEED. It makes one feel good.
People go into healthcare for a reason. They NEED to help others.
The trouble is that most dentists and hygienists think that they help people by providing services. And, once they’re no longer able to provide those services, their ability to ‘help’ is shut off. Hence, they lose their purpose and value.
But is that really true? Is the entire value YOU have to others tied up in a crown, piece of plastic, root canal or prophy? If it is, you’re walking on some pretty thin ice.
Professionals who provide healthcare services can easily be tied up in the notion that their value is based on the specific treatment they render.
A more enlightened, positive and forward thinking would be to believe that the TRUST patients have in YOU as a healthcare provider is part the VALUE you bring. The other VALUE you bring is what outcome your treatments have on the recipient.
What does it mean to someone to stay healthy? What does it mean to someone to be free of pain? What does it mean to someone to stop snoring, have better breath or a brighter smile?
It might mean, living longer, spending more time with loved ones or avoiding the problems they’ve seen others go through.
With such thinking, the exact treatment you give does not matter nearly as much as the relationship you have with the patient and the fact that person feels that YOU are helping them achieve a deeper, more impactful outcome.
After all, isn’t HELPING the ultimate goal?
During the Covid crisis, many health professionals felt they were no longer able to HELP. Hence, their value and self-worth diminished and anxiety, depression and negativity ensued. It’s still there.
Some, those with a more entrepreneurial, creative and growth-mindset continued to HELP people by means other than direct, hands-on treatment. These professionals experienced the joy and satisfaction of being of value and helping others. They did this via virtual, online and other forms of communication.
Some did it by becoming more involved with charities.
Helping others is a calling. How one helps might change but the mission remains; the need fulfilled.
We have the privilege to help others via our talents and gifts as trained health professionals. But we can help in other ways too.
It’s all about perspective.
We want to help you. We’ve been offering complimentary, 20-minute strategy sessions. Because of the increased demands on our time, we have to discontinue this offer as of September 1st. So, if you want us to help YOU, please schedule a consult while they’re still available.
To Your Excellent Clarity and Success,
Michael, Laurie and the PPS Team