I’m sure your first patient appreciates being classified as light ;)
I told them in advance that I was going to be a difficult patient because my role was Quality Assurance. I wasn't difficult-nasty. I just tested different scenarios with them, e.g. "What if I forgot to bring my own pen?" "What if I want to pay with grimy $20 bills?" And I suggested things to say, like: "Anything we ask you to touch during the appointment is disinfected between patients."
Forget to bring a pen? I never take a pen to the dentist.
I have developed a strong tap game though.
The pre-appointment letter asks you to bring a pen to fill out a day-of-appointment Covid Symptoms questionnaire and sign the Ontario Dental Association Covid Waiver (Basically, it says, "I understand there is a risk of Covid when I do anything in life." Kinda silly but whatever.)
So patients are more likely than usual to have brought their own pen. But if they didn't, there is a little jar of clean, plastic-wrapped pens that someone could hand you.
Ah. I’v never had a pre appointment letter. I would endeavour to comply if I got one. I’ll find out in October.
Until Covid, there wasn't a need for a pre-appointment email, other than a reminder. Now patients need to plan a little.
They will be asked to stay outside the building and phone the clinic when they arrive. Someone will meet them at the back door by the parking lot, where they will be screened for Covid symptoms before they are allowed to enter the clinic. (They should have already done the same screening questionnaire the day before their appointment so they can cancel and make their appointment time available to someone else.) They are asked to bring their own mask and pen but the clinic will provid those if they don't have them. They will need to come inside alone, except for small children or people who must be accompanied for some medical reason. Once they get to the dental chair, the appointment is fairly normal other than all the PPE on the dental staff. The other visible change is that patients use an anti-viral mouth rinse before they get in the dental chair. There are other changes, such as the plastic-wrapped Visa pin pad and the touch-free escort out the front door, but patients don't need to plan in advance for those.
Over time, I think there will be more that can happen virtually - payment, discussion of dental issues prior to physical exam, etc. At the moment, there is just so much to deal with that teledentistry is taking a back seat. They'll need secure software, possibly specialized for dentistry, and they'll need insurance companies to pay for some types of teledentistry appointments. I don't think much of that is in place yet.
This is fairly similar to the procedure we all did for massage appointments a week or so ago. Under the circumstances it’s not that much to ask and I, for one, was happy to comply.
I think a lot of us will be uncomfortable if our health care providers, hair stylists and food stores *don't* change our experience by implementing new safety protocols. Our sports chiro was posting memes on social media along the lines of "Covid = Just the Flu" and "Sweden got it right". Even though I'm injured and he's a long time friend, I'm nervous to go see him because I'm not sure he'll take it seriously.