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Patients asking personal questions…

Just wondering how everyone deals with patients asking personal questions. I have been at the same office for years and am a chatty hygienist. Once in a while I’ll get a patient questioning me about religion or other personal matters I don’t want to discuss. Especially when I know we don’t agree. I am polite and don’t want to hurt feelings when I don’t want to get that personal. I know they usually have nothing but good intentions but what do you do when your in these sometimes awkward positions?



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2 Answers

This is a tough situation to be in because you want to be friendly and personable to your patients, but it can create some very awkward moments when certain questions are asked. For some reason I get asked quite a bit about “my kids.” Well, I don’t have any children, so that’s always an interesting assumption made by my patients that can be kind of awkward! Regarding getting asked about religion, I would personally say something along the lines of “I’m a spiritual person, but keep my personal religious beliefs to myself at work.” And then quickly change the subject to something more benign and appropriate for a work conversation. Never argue with a patient though, it’s our job to take the high road if a conversation starts heading in that direction.

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Great advice. I too get asked all the time about kids. I don’t have any and don’t want to discuss my fertility issues with patients! I know they don’t know but changing the topic or making a joke always helps. I’ve told patients before that as a rule I don’t discuss politics or religion. For the pts that don’t give up I just agree with them…even if I’m thinking I totally disagree. And then move on 🙂

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