Sentry Page Protection
Role Play Scenario 25
You are a newly hired dentist at a busy city practice. You notice that your senior, Smera, often shows up for work late, hungover or still drunk. She owns the practice and was instrumental in hiring you, and you feel a loyalty to her. Nonetheless, you decide to speak to her about this.
In this role play, you are speaking to Smera.
Excellent Student Approach
2. Open Questions
3. Develop Rapport
4. Address the issues known
5. Identify any additional issues
6. Summary and plan going forward
1 - Greet Smera and ask her to speak in private at a convenient time.
2 – Commence with open questions asking Smera how she is keeping and thereafter probe further with statement such as the following, ‘Is everything alright at the moment Smera? I can’t help but notice that you’ve seemed to be struggling a bit recently.’
3 - Make sure to appear empathetic and non-judgemental, in order to allow Smera to speak honestly with you.
4 - Let her speak, and respond in a tone appropriate to what she says. Explain that you wish to support her, and that you are happy to speak to her about any issues she may be facing. Perhaps tell her that you are grateful for her having hired you, and aren’t looking to cause undue trouble. You must, however, state that you find this behaviour unacceptable. Being hungover - or worse, drunk - could endanger patient safety. Explore what her work day currently entails and how her drinking is affecting it - perhaps she is not seeing patients and working largely at practice development currently.
5 - Patient safety is the core issue. You must be sure that the two of you can formulate a plan to deal with her drinking problem, and ensure that as she deals with it, she cannot in any way endanger any patients. Consider exploring if in addition to alcohol, Smera is using any other recreational/mild-altering substances and the underlying reasons for this if not already addressed. Excellent candidates will establish that Smera is presently in the midst of a divorce battle.
6 - If you have a productive conversation and it is clear that she hasn’t been seeing patients whilst in this state, then you can move forward by creating a plan to deal with her drinking. Inform her that you don’t wish to report her to any disciplinary body, but that you will have to do so if her behaviour continues, and/or endangers patients - or if it has already endangered patients in any way. Furthermore, consider how you can assist Smera socially as well as directing her to appropriate medical support (eg. GP or Alcoholics Anonymous).