Thursday, March 05, 2009

Worst Hygienist EVER

I really like my dentist, and I like his office. The women at the front desk always greet me by name (and I go what, twice a year, three times if I need something done?), they ask about Jesse and the girls, they are fun to talk to. My dentist was in the Navy and has great big Popeye forearms which cracks me up - since dentistry isn't (these days, anyway) a career built on brute strength.

Which is why it was so surprising to have a poor experience today. It started off when the hygienist tried to make conversation, but in a very forced, and unnatural way. "Are you having a hard time waking up?" (I yawned, I'm sorry!) "Are you originally from Austin?" "So, where do you work?" I gave her short answers, indicative of my desire not to start a conversation that could go nowhere, as she was about to disrupt my ability to speak. Why even go there? Just get to work.

Rebuffed, she handed me a remote control and suggested I find something on TV to watch. I obligingly turned it on, which is when she asked me to remove my glasses. I did so, then turned the TV back off again. She looked at it, quizzically, then back at me. "Is it broken?" she asked. "No, I just CAN'T SEE."

Then she started cleaning - finally! - and my heretofore specious complaints solidified. Hygienists, take note - you need to rinse and suction FREQUENTLY. A teaspoon of rinsing water and two or three uninspired suctions aren't going to help your patient at all. Dental people on the whole tend to be extra-cognizant of their patients' comfort, but this one was clueless.

Aside from the lackadaisical sucking, she turned out to be a tentative cleaner at best. I think I could have done a better job with a dull spoon.

As I was checking out, having debated internally and decided not to bring up my dissatisfaction, one of the receptionists asked me how my cleaning was. "It was ok," I responded. "Just OK?' she probed? "Do you want the other tech next time?"

"YES!" I all but shouted. The two women looked at each other meaningfully, and then asked me to share my feedback. This was just the opening I needed. Apparently, I am not alone in my rating of this person's performance.

So the dental office gets A++ ratings for asking for my opinion, and noticing that it needed asking in the first place, and the awkward cleaner chick gets my unending scorn and drool.


phd in yogurtry said...

TV watching during cleaning? Colbert reruns maybe? N.i.c.e.

There's one hygienest at my dentist that I like to avoid. her name should be Helga of the Gulag. She is brutal with the flossing. Ouch.

blackbird said...

I had a run with a less-than-great hygienist too...happily, she left. Sounds like you got her!