4 ways to show your appreciation for dental hygienists

2021 04 01 23 57 7287 Martinec Victoria 400thumb

Dental hygienists are the unsung heroes in dental offices across the U.S. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, dental hygienists have taken on additional duties to ensure that patients remain safe -- all while putting their own safety on the line.

As a registered dental hygienist and territory manager of hygiene support at Aspen Dental, I wanted to share a few ways that you can express gratitude for your dental hygienists during National Dental Hygienists Week. Below are four of my favorite ideas.

1. Try a practical gift that can be used at work.

Victoria Martinec, RDH.Victoria Martinec, RDH.

These are things hygienists would love to have but may be hesitant to buy for themselves. Items such as scrub caps are more popular now than ever. Providing things like a new pair of their favorite scrubs, instruments, or even a small tote to carry to and from work would be greatly appreciated, and such items are particularly useful.

2. Everyone loves a gift card.

Consider your hygienists' favorite places to eat, shop, or go for a treatment. Gift cards can be personal if you make the effort to make them personal. This could mean including a note like the following: "Thank you so much for all you do for our patients. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. You deserve some rest and relaxation. Please enjoy this massage (meal, treat, etc.) on us!"

3. Since it's dental hygienist week, why not do something special every day?

You can get the entire staff involved. Every day doesn't have to be extravagant or over the top. Sometimes, it's the simple things that matter. One day, you can decorate their operatory before they come to work. The next day, you can provide free breakfast to the office hygienists. Leave a small basket of goodies with things like their favorite candy, snack, or beverage. You could even hand out a small bouquet of flowers from the grocery store. Celebrating them every day goes a long way and makes them feel appreciated.

4. A heartfelt, simple thank you goes farther than you can imagine.

Consider buying a card and write more than just your signature. Thank them for all they do, and be specific: "Thank you for always going above and beyond for your patients. Your eagerness to educate our patients is admirable. We appreciate you today -- and every day!"

I think it's no secret that actions speak louder than words. Although National Dental Hygienists Week is only one week, we should always show our appreciation as much as possible. If you treat your people like they make a difference, they will.

Victoria Martinec, RDH, is a territory manager of hygiene support (Georgia) at Aspen Dental.

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