I’m guessing there’s a number of people out there who would love the chance to stick a needle in their dentist instead of the other way around. “I just hope he knows what it feels like so he can be extra careful with me” is probably the feeling they have.
While you may never get the opportunity to do so, plenty of other people do. About once a month I need to submit a blood sample for the management of my Graves’ disease, a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. I have definitely come to appreciate the skill and compassion of an experienced phlebotomist (blood-draw person).
On the other hand, I’ve had some experiences with an uncaring and inattentive provider that left my arm bruised and sore all day long. Admittedly, managing Graves’ disease isn’t fun, but it’s relatively easy when compared to the management of other more serious medical conditions. I’m not going to complain.
On the contrary, I’ve actually realized a silver lining through the whole process. Once a month I get a reminder of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a needle; a reinforcement of the importance of compassion, awareness, and empathy with what my patients are experiencing. I’m hoping one day I can get my patients numb without a needle, but until then I will do my best to make it as comfortable as possible, as I hope others would do for me.