Setting The Scene

The initial twenty to forty seconds will usually set the tone for the consultation, so it is important that you minimise the risk of any misunderstandings (Law & McCoriston, 1996).

Do not assume, just because you are seeing a person in your clinical setting, that the person knows where they are (Clutterbuck, 2004). From the author's experience some people have waited for up to two hours in a clinic that they thought was for the dentist. Those for whom English is not their first language or who have no previous experience can misinterpret the acronym 'GUM'.

Depending on where you are working, the system for booking in people may differ; however, the key steps that you should include are: introduce yourself, confirm the person's identity, explain briefly what you are about to do and why, and stress the confidentiality that covers the process (Clutterbuck, 2004).

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