• Identify communication techniques we have covered so far that are available to address common and recurrent issues in dental therapy that you believe you will experience in your future jobs. You are doing this for you and for your classmates to use as reference for the information sheet and presentation.
  • Narrow down possible situations (or develop new ones) for your group to address with communication techniques for the final presentation/information sheet. You are doing this in order to locate workable and applicable continuing issues or recurrent situations to which to apply communication techniques.
  • Form two working groups around possible situations.


A. Identify communication techniques we have already learned. Note: Later chapters in the textbook also offer useful techniques. For this discussion, we are pulling primarily from chapters we have already read, but consider all the chapters for your final assignment.

  1. Chapter 7 (nonverbal communication) to begin with. We will distribute these in class. If you can’t find adequate material in your “begin with” chapter, you can preview future chapters.
  2. Identify a minimum of five (5) communication techniques. For each, do the following: (a) Give the chapter and page number, the technique’s name, and its purpose, and; (b) describe how it works (giving steps, if appropriate).
  3. Post the above descriptions (in #2) all in one post, clearly labeled and explained, to the discussion board. (2 points each for a total of 10 points)

B. In one post, put three possible issues (from the material found below, or others that you can think of) and post these numbered 1-3 in your preference order. (3 points, 1 for each issue explained sufficiently for others to understand.)

List of potential issues:

Note: You can choose something different than what is shown in this document. Criteria are that the issue include communication, that the issue recurs in the work that you do, and that employing communication techniques would be necessary to deal with the situation and potentially helpful in coming to at least a minimally workable solution. The suggestions shown below are pulled together from class discussion and from the sources shown below this list.

  1. Parents act toward children in ways that are counterproductive to successful dental treatment of the child.
  2. Poor past or present treatment compromises the patient’s dental health.
  3. The patient is angry at the clinic with cause (rescheduled appointment with no new appointment available, for example, or mistakes made in treatment).
  4. Cultural or group beliefs or practices within the community the dental practice serves make dental treatment or practice more difficult or less effective.
  5. A co-worker displays difficult behaviors in interpersonal interactions among staff (examples: is angry, silent, resentful, defensive, or otherwise hard to deal with; miscommunicates, overcommunicates, or communicates insufficiently; is less than acceptably competent or conscientious in their work; or creates difficulties with other staff).
  6. A co-worker deals inappropriately with patients.
  7. Alliances or groupings among co-workers create difficulties for other coworkers (examples: gossip, scapegoating, exclusion, bias or discrimination, withholding important information, preferential treatment, etc.).
  8. Conflicts arise among staff regularly that are hard to address or to resolve.
  9. A dentist communicates inappropriately with patients.
  10. A dentist does not communicate sufficiently with staff or communicates inappropriately (for example, carelessly, abusively, preferentially, etc.)
  11. A dentist gives performance feedback to staff members in ways that are hard to accept or difficult to use to improve work; dentist gives no or insufficient performance feedback when it would be appropriate and helpful to communicate.
  12. Systems of communication in the office do not work well, causing problems with treatment (in treatment choice, quality, or timing of appointments, for example) or upset interpersonal relationships and interactions in the office.

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