An Ode to Hygienists: I’m a Hygienist, Hear Me Roar!

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In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, I would like to honor all hygienists with an Ode to Dental Hygienists! I know we all can relate to this ode, and I hope you enjoy it!

Endless hours of studying for competencies, tests, and boards.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Exhausted physically and mentally, you effortlessly put the health and care of someone else before you.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

What’s that I see? You brought me lunch…stuck in your teeth???

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Listening to beloved family stories, complaints of “hating the dentist” and comforting fearful patients.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Running behind, dealing with no shows and cancellations, yet still finding something to do.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Navigating new software, hundreds of oral care products, and different personalities.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Being called a “tooth cleaner,” assistant, nurse, or “tech”!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Attending countless CE classes; same lecture, different speaker, different day.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Rendering treatment, scheduling patients and treatment planning on a tight schedule.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

OSHA training, HIPAA training, and CPR certification–oh joy!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Learning new perio classifications, silver diamine fluoride, and laser learning curves.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Your practice act, my practice act…ever-changing they will be.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

X-ray dipping, processing, and now digital imaging—quite the history lesson!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Writing paper charts. Oh wait! Hold on! Paperless charts—oh my!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Conquering the opioid crisis, premedication regulations, and antibiotic resistance.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Delivering optimum patient education, including oral-systemic link, dietary analysis, and still no improvements.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Hearing, “I don’t need a flossing lecture,” yet a blood bath occurs for an hour.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Also, hearing time and again and again and again, ”I don’t need x-rays.” Really? It’s been five years!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Production, production, let’s hear it once more!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Forming relationships in the chair, out of the chair, while hearing beloved family stories.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Learning of medical conditions small and large, sometimes shedding a tear.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

PPOs, DMOs, fee for service too. Can’t I just do my job?

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Hooray! Today a treatment plan was completed!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Chitty chatty dentists running us behind.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Watching the calculus flick right off, or using an endoscope to pursue it!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Back aches, neck aches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Manual brushes, electric brushes, oral irrigators, and so much more.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Good oral hygiene, bad oral hygiene, educating to a brick wall.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Hygiene school memories and catching up with friends.

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

A career for one, a career for all!

I’m a hygienist, hear me roar!

Wishing all the hygienists out there a fantastic National Dental Hygiene Month. Every single one of us is a valued member of the dental world and deserve a huge shout out for all we do day in and day out considering the hurdles and roadblocks we face. You all rock!

Now Listen to the Today’s RDH Dental Hygiene Podcast Below:

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Angela Grover, RDH
Angela L. Grover, BASDH, has been practicing dental hygiene since 1996. Angela received her AAS in dental hygiene from Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska in 1996; she received her BAS in dental hygiene from Community College of Denver May 2018. Angela is a dental hygiene educator at Iowa Western Community College, where she is actively involved in community implementation projects with her students. In addition, Angela and her students volunteer for Nebraska and Iowa Mission of Mercy outreach clinics, as well as an outreach called One World, where they provide care a few times a month through Creighton University’s School of Dentistry to patients in need. Angela is a member of ADHA. She lives near Omaha, Nebraska.