RDHs offer their best pieces of advice to their colleagues

By Kevin Henry, DrBicuspid.com editor in chief

September 2, 2020 -- In this article, we continue our series of questions and answers for dental hygienists called "RDHs in the real world." In the series, we are asking dental hygienists for their thoughts and opinions on the current and future states of their profession.

So far, we have asked hygienists to tell us how they are coping with personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and what they feel are the biggest barriers to returning to the practice.

This week, we asked participants to share some of their best advice for hygienists on any topic, whether it was mental and physical health or how to enjoy their career more. So, what advice would they share with others? Check out the comments below.

  • "If you work for a dentist who is genuinely trying to create a safe environment for you and your colleagues, let them know that you appreciate what they are doing, and that you trust them during these crazy times. They may be more likely to seek out your opinion when making decisions if they know you are on their side." -- Jamie, RDH for four years, North Carolina
  • "Don't be a hero. Do your best. Don't take it home with you." -- Gena, RDH for 13 years, Pennsylvania
  • "Find an office to work in that is putting the team and patients' safety first. Find an office that allows time and the tools for providing the best care possible." -- Sandi, RDH for 44 years, Michigan
  • "Always do what is morally and ethically correct. We are providing healthcare." -- Anonymous RDH from New Jersey
  • "Find an outlet like exercise, yoga, or massage." -- Christy, RDH for 11 years, Washington state
  • "Stay educated, stay current, and stay informed so that you can effectively and credibly advocate for both you and your patients' needs so that quality care can be provided." -- Anonymous RDH from Connecticut
  • "Stay positive! COVID-19 will positively impact all offices with much improved infection control, patient protection, and staff protection. We will be much better off in the end!" -- Andie, RDH for 37 years, Michigan
  • "Do what your comfort level is. Don't compromise on that. Listen to your body when it needs breaks." -- Sarah, RDH for six years, North Carolina
  • "Stand up for your patients and your principles as a healthcare provider who is responsible for your patients' health." -- Alisa, RDH for 38 years, Washington state
  • "Focus on your patients. Make it your goal that each patient walks out feeling better than when they arrived." -- Donna, RDH for 43 years, Pennsylvania
  • "Hygienists are the foundation of a dental practice. Not allowing enough time for dental cleanings hurts the practice. He or she cannot efficiently do his or her best job in 30- to 40-minute cleaning appointments or being behind all day. If the hygienist feels appreciated, he or she will go above and beyond for the practice and patients. Hygienists need to have a close relationship with each other in a practice. Patients like that you are a team. Always speak highly of each other. Some patients prefer one hygienist over the other. Not all personalities are a mesh and they like to have another option." -- Michelle, RDH for 16 years, North Carolina
  • "Make sure you feel safe in your office. Take time to find a place that follows all protocols or goes above and beyond them and that they are enforced. Make sure everyone in the office is respectful and has the same philosophy. Otherwise, if they get sick going out during nonwork hours, they could expose you to COVID-19." -- Jennifer, RDH for 32 years, Texas
  • "Once you sit down with your patient, everything should just click like before. Yes, we have more infection control to deal with, but you're still their oral health provider. Do what you know how to do. Your patients really do appreciate you!" -- Joyce, RDH for 40 years, Pennsylvania

We will have more answers from another question next week. If there is something you would like to see us cover in a future article, drop me a line at kevin.henry@drbicuspid.com.

Note: If you're a hygienist and would like to have your voice heard in a future article, please fill out our survey.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.


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