This year, Park Lane Ortho is doing it’s part to help raise money for BBC Children in Need. We are running a week long fundraising campaign, culminating with me and the nurses dressing up as tooth fairies, and the front desk team greeting patients in Children In Need livery. We’ve got games, cakes baked by the team, and lots of fun, and anyone having an appointment on Friday gets to see the team dressed up! As a Practice we have regularly supported charities with monthly donations, but this is the first time we have staged an actual fundraising campaign. I hope a lot of you are doing your bit for this worthwhile cause too.
I feel particularly compelled this year to get involved. We have a few of our own patients who are having a tough time of it. They’re at school, looking after parents who are unable to look after themselves, as well as their younger siblings. The weight of the world is on their shoulders at such a young age, and they rarely get time to do what normal teenagers do.
I had a patient in this week who has already lost one parent, the other has inoperable cancer, and a grandparent is very likely not to last the week. The first thing they said to me at their appointment was “I know my brushing isn’t good, I’ve been forgetting to clean them but I’m back on track now and I’m going to get it better”. What did I say? Did I lecture them about how important it is to clean their teeth properly? Well no. I put myself in their shoes, asked them about their life and I got out my polishing kit and cleaned the teeth for the patient. They smiled and said thank you, and I wished them a nice Christmas with their extended family as they left their appointment. I may not have made their life any better, but I did what I could to understand and help.
My job isn’t just about making smiles by straightening teeth, it’s also about the person they’re attached to and making my relationship with them a positive one too. It’s this relationship with our patients that makes our working day so enjoyable, and their experience of treatment pleasant. That’s why we’re involved in Children In Need this year – doing our little bit to help those who need it most. Please also get involved where you can!!