Dentist receives special award for 'kindness and empathy' shown towards young patient with autism
A Monaghan dentist has been awarded for the "kindness and empathy" he has shown when treating a young boy who has autism.
Dr Darach Judge was named the ‘Sensitive Dentist of the Year 2017’ after being nominated by Jean Carroll for the patience, empathy and kindness he showed towards her 12-year-old son, Finian.
The awards, which were attended by over 400 people at the RDS, enable patients to nominate dentists who have provided them with dental care above and beyond all expectations.
The judges praised Dr Judge for the extreme sensitivity he showed in treating an autistic child and described his actions as selfless and in the very best traditions of the dental profession in Ireland.
Dr Judge also claimed the Ulster Award at the event which is sponsored by Sensodyne.
Ms Carroll paid tribute to Dr Judge’s approach at Fee Dental Practice in Carrickmacross, to treating Finian and said everyone, including other healthcare providers, could learn from him.
“Life is made hard for Finian due to his sensory processing difficulties and visits to the dentist are especially challenging. Darach suggested taking Finian in for brief visits, just to say hello, to help desensitise him to the experience. Eventually, Finian developed enough confidence to allow Darach to examine and clean his teeth”
“It is impossible to overestimate what a big deal this is to an autistic child - and his mammy! Their lives, their health can be seriously compromised by their condition but when we meet people like Darach it makes our lives so much easier.”
“People with autism are not always welcome, as they can have behavioural difficulties, but Finian is always welcomed to Church Street. I wish every healthcare provider was as kind as Darach is. His ability to listen, slow down and work at Finian’s pace is a credit to him and the practice” she said.
Outstanding acts of patient care recognised at the Awards also included the treatment of a patient with a rare jaw condition over a ten-year period as well as the treatment of patients with very serious conditions such as breast cancer, MS and by-pass surgery.
Deansgrange Dental Clinic in Co. Dublin was named the Dental Team of the Year. Dr Alistair Woods’s practice was nominated by Mrs Jo Quill for the wonderful care they provide to her husband of 57 years. Nicholas had a stroke in July 2012 leaving him without speech.
Mrs Quill says Alistair’s staff are the most dedicated and delightful people she has met. “They have him on a pedestal. It is brilliant to see him so comfortable and happy in their care, it makes me smile. In big ways and small ways Alistair and his team have made all the difference”.
The judges said the team deserved great credit for making a simple visit to the dentist an occasion of joy in the life of a patient and his wife who face great difficulty.
The President of the Irish Dental Association, Dr Robin Foyle said the Awards highlighted the excellence of Irish dentistry and the importance of the dentist/patient relationship.