A Study on dental hygienist subjectivity toward relationship with inaccessible patients: the cases of Seoul, Gyeonggi province and Incheon

치과위생사가 경험한 어려운 환자와의 관계에 대한 주관성 연구 -서울, 경기, 인천 지역을 중심으로-

  • Published : 2005.12.30


The purpose of this study was to examine what types of experiences dental hygienists underwent with patients who were unapproachable in an effort to find out the latter group's needs and expectations, explore how to treat them of different personality type, and provide better dental services in response to their needs. To attain the purpose, Q-methodology was employed, which made a subjective and systematic assessment of human subjectivity. There were three types of subjectivity among dental hygienists in conjunction with their experiences with patients who were hard to please. Each group whose subjectivity was different also had a different preference for patients, which was not exclusive to one another but unique. Type 1 was "avoiding patients who showed off". Dental hygienists of this type found it unpleasant to treat patients who boasted of their background, position or relations with the head of hospital and wanted to be given special treatment. They avoided those patients, since giving special treatment to specific patients was likely to do damage to others. They believed that better medical services could be provided through mutual concern and good manners between medical personnels and patients. Dental hygienists of type 2 considered it hard to treat patients who were picky and looked at treatment or its outcome negatively. Those who had to be separated from others on account of possible cross-infection or who called for special decontamination methods of dental instruments were also difficult to deal with. Dental hygienists of this type could be said to "avoid picky patients", as they preferred to fare with patients by offering good, faithful treatment rather than by giving special treatment. Dental hygienists of type 3 believed that smooth and successful treatment hinged on mutual trust, confidence and collaboration between medical personnels and patients. According to them, patients who choose a specific hospital or a particular medical team at their own option have to cooperate if necessary, listen carefully to medical personnels and treat them without any hostility or bias. Therefore, they could be said to "avoid patients who were not cooperative".