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We Celebrate 15 Years with Susan Seward « Mark Freeman, DDS

We Celebrate 15 Years with Susan Seward

We are delighted to celebrate another special anniversary.  On January 29, 1997, we welcomed Susan Seward to our Dental Team.   15 years later, Susan laughs, “I don’t plan on going anywhere.”  She recalls the offices in Radford, Chesapeake and Richmond where she spent the early years of her career as a Hygienist.  Those positions were jobs, but Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates is her home.

As her husband’s career progressed from Horticulture student to Landscaper to Adjunct Professor at J. Sargent Reynolds,  Susan worked  3-4 years stints in a variety of offices across Virginia.  It was during this time that her skills grew and her experiences with patients deepened.  Still, she never felt like she had found the right office to work with.  Then she interviewed with Dr. Freeman, and she realized very quickly that this was the family atmosphere she had been looking for.

Impressed with the skill of the Dentists and  the commitment of the other staff members, she found herself doing something she had not done before – – – bringing her family to the office where she was working for their Dental care.  “We even brought my daughter’s boyfriend at one point,” she chuckles.  Susan has worked a two or three day week during her 15 years with us.  Currently, she is happy with a schedule that has her in the office Monday and Wednesday and “on call”  to fill in for others as needed.

So how have things changed across the three decades of her career?  “Patients today are better informed,” she observes.  Information is available from TV, the Internet, magazines and newspapers.  She has seen her patients become more aware of the connection between dental care and their overall health, which makes it easier to encourage good home care.  Susan loves to provide this motivation. This increase in awareness makes it easier to explain concepts and treatment to her patients.  It can also be challenging.

“Sometimes,” she says, “we have to answer lots of questions about issues that are in the media.  A famous Doctor will mention something on a show and everyone will get concerned. ”  She welcomes the conversations and takes care to be sure that her patients have the most accurate information.   Today’s patients, who are interested, informed and engaged, make great partners in their own care.

Some other things have changed as well.  Susan remembers the time before masks and gloves, before suction replaced cuspidors and spit bowls.  “So many of the tools of care have improved.”  Technology has improved as well, but, she emphasizes, the fundamentals of good care remain the same.  She is committed to providing great care, fostering communication and maintaining her patient’s comfort.  Of all the things a Dental practice can provide, she says that quality care tops the list of importance.

One of Susan’s skills that we value the most is her responsiveness to her patients–her ability to assess her patient’s needs, to gauge what they need to know, to listen and to communicate.

We are so grateful for the time, talent, care and concern for her patients that Susan has invested with our office.  As we move into the new year, we look forward to a great 2012 with great friends and team members like Susan.

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