I find it amusing that my last post incited so many responses. Some people thought it was not appropriate to write a post discussing that staff members might flirt with patients or vice versa and how should a dentist/owner deal with that situation in the real world.
I think we should be mature and understand that our offices are filled with people. Some of those people are staff and others are patients. In the real world, adults will often flirt and be social with one another– this is just the reality of people being people. You can make rules to discourage in office flirting but it will only reduce it – not eliminate it. Social interaction is just part of who we all are – we cannot escape being humans.
I 100% agree that neither staff nor patients should act crudely, say hyper-sexual things or act in an inappropriately manner. If that occurs, it needs to be stopped immediately. Luckily most of the interpersonal exchanges between staff and patients are rather harmless and light-hearted. It is just regular, well-meaning people being social – nothing out of bounds or inappropriate.
I think everyone needs to lighten up a little and stop trying to create a rule for everything. Inappropriate conduct should not be allowed in the office place- period. Any staff member who feels they are being harassed should be able to stop that conduct immediately – and no staff member should act aggressively or offensively to a patient. BUT – regular, normal, social, people-being-people, welcomed, two-way social interactions are fine and cannot be over-regulated.
I’ll say it again – if the conduct would be appropriate at a church social event – then it is fine in a dental office environment.
Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advanced Continuing Education Systems
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