DTC Competition: Reflecting on a Complaint with Cristian Pereira

Next entry for my DTC competition is from Cristian Pereira from Leeds University...

We’re taught to fear them before we even touch a mirror and probe, because over the years, more and more dental professionals are placed up against the firing line of complaints. 

A single complaint can create doubt and anxiety in any individual regardless of their experience. No matter the outcome, the complainant has acted out for a reason and I feel that reflecting upon a complaint is a very important part of the complaint handling procedure. 

Reflection in itself is not just an after-thought, but an active process of introspection and self-directed learning from events that have occurred. It is a good and almost bomb-proof method of learning and doesn’t require a lot, just a situation and you. Taking the time to reflect lets you unravel the many layers of an event to reveal nuances that you would’ve otherwise missed in the heat of the moment. 

Good reflection simply warrants looking at the situation and yourself; thinking back to what you may have done, didn’t do, what you’ve said and didn’t say, amongst other factors; identifying these not just as mistakes, but as learning points. Great reflection, however, is exercising other resources to aid your personal reflection. Your nurse for example would be a good objective witness and may offer a different viewpoint to yours. Your receptionist might’ve had an insight to the patient’s demeanour that day when they greeted them which is something you might’ve missed. Your notes hold a written account, unless they’re lacking which is a learning in itself. 

At the end of the day, not everyone can be pleased, and complaints are a harsh reality, but if you take them as lemons, how you reflect is akin to your recipe for lemonade; the more thorough your reflection, the sweeter and more plentiful is your lemonade. 

Look out for more entries for the competition coming soon!

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