Diary of An Agent: Save That Tooth | Dental Emergencies in our Medical Answering Service
Every day in the emergency dispatch call center I am given the opportunity to help someone with an emergency. As I was flipping through my diary I came across this entry. Dental Emergencies in our Medical Answering Service is serious business because of the pain and consequences associated with this medical field.
It was 4:40 pm on a Sunday. Not just any Sunday, but it was the Sunday prior to Memorial Day. Holiday weekends can be busy times in the telephone answering service industry. With the calls streaming in steadily throughout the day, it was the end of my shift before I knew it. My final call of the day was from a frantic woman. She was crying hysterically and I could barely make out what she was trying to say. I heard “skateboard,” “broken tooth” and “please help me.”
I was able to calm her nerves by letting her know I was there to help. She began to describe the skateboarding accident her son had just been in. They were at a skate park with several of their friends. The park was packed and the staff was regulating how many people could be on the ramps at one time. It was her son’s turn to show his stuff, when he took flight down the ramp another child jumped his turn and went down as well. The two children collided. When the two boys regained their footing, my caller realized her child was bleeding from his mouth. His front tooth had been knocked out. She then went on to explain that this was one of his adult teeth, “I feel horrible, and my son is going to be missing his front tooth forever!” I assured her that the dentist would be able to help her son.
She asked me if I was the nurse on-call. I let her know I was with the medical answering service and that I would be able to relay her call to the doctor immediately. As I was retrieving her son’s information for the doctor, I realized her child was the same age as my own son. I started to understand exactly how she was feeling at this moment. My final question before dispatching her emergency call was, “which doctor does your son see in this office?”
I knew this account well; they had been clients of our medical answering service in Orlando for many years. I also knew that this particular doctor was in New Jersey visiting his father for Memorial Day. The instructions on his account were to call his cell phone for emergencies only. This was definitely an emergency. I called the cell phone and he answered quickly. Before I was able to start relaying the message he whispered into the phone that he was in the middle of a Church Service and that he would call right back.
It was only about two minutes before he called back on our main office line, I answered, “Good afternoon, A Courteous Communications, how may I help you.” The doctor happily replied, “No dear, this is Dr. D, how may I help you?” We both started to giggle into the phone. I started to relay the emergency message to him. As soon as I told him that the child’s tooth had been knocked out he stopped me. “Do you know if it is an adult tooth?” I let him know that the caller did tell me it was indeed an adult tooth. He said, “Call the patient’s mother back right away; tell her to put the tooth in cold milk ASAP. I am going to call back to be patched to her when church is over.”
I called and relayed the information the doctor had given me. The woman said, “Do what with the tooth?” I held back a little smile, only because I had thought the same exact thing. I repeated, “The doctor said to put the tooth in cold milk as soon as possible.” I then told her that the doctor was going to be calling back to the medical answering service to be patched through to her shortly.
As I mentioned earlier this was the last call of my day. The suspense was killing me; I had to know what putting the tooth in cold milk would accomplish. I clocked out for the day and went into our break room and Googled, how do I preserve a knocked out tooth? The article was full of information. Placing the tooth in milk helps preserve the surface root and nerve cells. Placing the tooth in regular water is not recommended as it does the exact opposite. I walked back into our 24 hour medical call center after doing my research. The doctor had already called and been patched through to the concerned mother. The next day our supervisor received an email from Dr. D telling us we had done an amazing job, and that the child’s tooth had been saved and implanted successfully.
I am so proud to be part of the team at A Courteous Communications. By outsourcing medical calls to our office this doctor was able to save a child’s tooth. Contact us today for a free consult on how we can do the same for you with our awarding winning Medical Answering Service.