Area Manager, Gary Nelson looks back at the past couple of years and urges people to ask for support and revive the spirit of community, compassion and caring that was displayed during the early stages of the pandemic.
Ask For Help. Three words that sound very simple and easy however, the reality can be so different.
In 2020 and 2021 (the pandemic years), we witnessed kindness and support on every street corner in every town, in every city. It was heart-warming, it was all over the news, people were volunteering, helping their neighbours. There was a real and genuine community spirit.
In the dental sector, dentists were finding ways to care for their patients, their teams and their communities whilst the world hit pause on the normal aspects of care.
Then, as the world began to open, that community spirit within dentistry grew stronger as many worked long hours to provide dental healthcare to those who needed it.
My observation was: Kindness, Support, Community and Going the Extra Mile got many people through it.
Then came 2022 (the inflation year) – and in the words of Oliver Hardy – ‘another fine mess’.
The cost of living has increased rapidly as the year has gone on and continues to soar with winter just around the corner.
Things look likely to become very difficult for many in the months ahead until governments manage to get inflation under control.
So why did I start this with the three little words – asking for help?
Because the world we are currently experiencing is a difficult place for many of those people who will be your patients, your team, or living in your community.
As the year progresses, the mental health of many people is likely to take a tumble as some of the joy of life gets eroded by the costs of life.
Asking for help is never an easy thing to do. Often, it’s embarrassment that simply won’t let a person ask; sometimes it is only when it’s too late that they speak up.
Kindness, support and a real spirit of community got us all through the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 and I have a feeling that they are going to be critical to getting us through the remainder of this one and into 2023.
Two practices I am working with have already asked the associate dentists to chip into a ‘22 Fund’ for the team as extra support, which will be distributed in early December.
This is a great example of supporting each other.
I have said many times over these last few years, the support team really are ‘the hand that feeds you’ without whom, you really struggle to exist and provide the care packages that have made your business profitable.
So, why not take the time out to chat to your team, to really listen to how they are, really listen to the impact of the world we are living in and where possible, provide practical help, ideas and tips and emotional support. A listening ear is sometimes a great help.
Proactive steps are better than reactive steps when it comes to you, your team, and your community.
Hopefully just by reading to the bottom of this you have now increased your awareness levels.