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Black Box Dentistry – Managing Stress

“It’s Friday evening, 6pm. Your receptionist sends you a message informing you that the patients in the waiting room are becoming frustrated. You have been running late as a result of a complicated extraction earlier in the afternoon. Your notes are still incomplete from your previous patient and your nurse has to leave early. What do you do?”

This extract is perhaps not that unfamiliar. In an ever-evolving profession that tasks Dentists not only to be technically skilled but also to manage many different stressors, some would say this is becoming more typical. As dentists deal with pressurised situations day in and day out where an individual mistake can build to catastrophe if not addressed early, being able to manage these external pressures is an important skill set to possess.

The ‘Swiss Cheese Model’ of accident causation is used in risk analysis and risk management. It is widely recognised through several professions from aviation, emergency services and dentistry. It states that the presence of one hole in one particular slice is unlikely to lead to an non-desirable outcome as other layers would intervene. However, when the holes line up, the pathway for accident opportunity opens up and is thus highly likely to occur.




Want to understand some ways you could react?

Black Box Dentistry – Managing Stress

An informative, interactive and engaging one-day course has been designed for dentists, by dentists, showcasing how sessions learnt from experienced airline pilots can be applied within a dental context to improve patient safety and reduce human error. You will be taught best practice models that pilots have been successfully applying for decades to reduce stress, manage high work load and problem solve under pressured conditions to produce favourable outcomes.

For this course you will be taught how to provide structure and discipline in making vital decisions with a chance to showcase your newly developed skill in a full-motion flight simulator worth over £12 million under the expert guidance of a commercial pilot with decades of experience in the environment.

This course is designed to be used as part of your Continuous Professional Development (CPD).”

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