What is the solution to anxiety in the waiting room?

What is the solution to anxiety in the waiting room?

PPL PRS explains how music can be used to alleviate fear and anxiety in the dental practice to make your waiting room a stress-free zone.

A waiting room can be an anxious and stressful place for many people. However it’s also the first thing your patients see when they enter your practice. It’s therefore important to make it as welcoming and calming as possible. Not only can the waiting rooms be a stressful place for clients, but the practice itself can also cause some jitters, especially for new patients.

Surveys carried out by Dental Phobia reveal that up to 53% of the UK population are scared of visiting their dentist (2018). Moreover, 17% of the population have such a bad fear of dentistry that they refuse to visit or get essential dental work done.

That’s more than one in six people potentially missing regular checkups and not getting necessary dental treatments when they need them the most.

Nervous and apprehensive clients can also make your job more difficult. It’s essential that these areas are designed to be as calming and comfortable as possible for your patients and staff. 

What do people hear when they walk in? 

A very simple way to make any space more welcoming is to play music. This might be a playlist designed to be soothing and relaxing or simply putting on a popular radio station. Having music playing is a great distraction and can be a highly effective stress buster.

Studies even show that those who listen to music are likely to have lower cortisol levels. This in turn reduces stress in the lead up to their appointment and once in the chair (PPL PRS, 2022). So having gentle music on in the background that isn’t too loud can help promote a more relaxed environment in the waiting room, practice and reception. 

Walking into a silent space before a potentially nervous wait can be unpleasant. Using music to create a more welcoming atmosphere could be less intimidating by providing your patients with an stress-free appointment. They will leave feeling more positive, making the next visit less daunting which could contribute to improving customer retention.  

How music could help your staff

It’s not just your patients that could benefit from background music in your practice. It can also support with employee wellbeing and engagement. Working hand-in-hand with the idea that music improves our mood, it can also leave your staff feeling less stressed throughout the day.

One study found that productivity is improved when staff listen to music whilst working (PPL PRS, 2020). One of music’s most celebrated and in fact useful qualities is that it can really boost our moods. 

Happy and upbeat music may have a positive effect on our mood which could make staff feel more positive and engaged whilst at work. Especially in a stressful environment where practitioners are working long hours and seeing many patients in a day. 

Another study suggests that being in a better mood at work could give your concentration a boost, enabling you to get on with more work during the day and maintain a stress-free attitude (PPL PRS, 2022). 

So why not turn your practice into a paradise and put on some music to help your clients de-stress in the waiting room? It may help them relax and even free up your practitioners’ minds to focus on the task in hand.

If you use, play or perform music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence. TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS allows you to legally play music for employees or customers in your business through the radio, TV, and other digital devices. 

Find out more about TheMusicLicence and all of the benefits music could have to your business: 

Email [email protected] for references.

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