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Kaitlyn Machado, RDH, BS, MEd

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Since a very young age, Kaitlyn Machado, RDH, BS, MEd, has always wanted to be a dental hygienist. She was the youngest student to graduate from her dental hygiene class in 2017. Since then, Kate has gone back for both her bachelor's and master's degrees. She is a faculty member at her local dental hygiene school, a clinical dental hygienist, and has been a part of Today's RDH since its launch. She is extremely passionate about homecare and loves her prophy paste and fluoride varnish. In addition, Kate loves to work with a local non-profit organization that helps fight against hygiene insecurity of all ages in her community. Kate is very involved in the profession as much as she can, including local and state-level professional associations. She loves to attend professional conferences when she can. When she isn't working, she enjoys traveling, sports, watching movies, and spending time with her amazing, supportive family.

Dental Hygienists’ Mental Health: Working Through the Difficult Times in Dentistry

Mental health has become recognized as an essential piece of one's entire whole-body health. When we think of mental health in the dental profession, we think of dental patients. But what about the dental provider on the other side of the chair? There are some challenging parts of our job, which can take a toll both physically and mentally. Here...

Boosting Morale in the Workplace: Dental Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, Right?

It doesn't matter if you are a part-time or full-time hygienist. You are at your office or other dental health setting for majority of the day or week. Sometimes you are at work more than you are at home. Am I right? Employees working together collaboratively and giving 100% every day will guarantee success. Doesn't this sound great for everyone?...

Questions Dental Hygienists Should Ask Prospective Employers During an Interview

Health care workers are currently in extreme demand, and dental hygienists are no exception. A huge need for dental hygienists exists, with many job openings available. Not all job positions are the same, though, or what you might necessarily be looking for. This article will aid in sorting through all the job listings, and what to ask employers to...

Hygienist Spotlight: Interview with Sarah Crow, RDH, Explains Guided Biofilm Therapy

The work environments of dental hygienists are not all the same; some are private practices, while some are group practices (DSO) or public clinics. Dental hygienists also treat patients in different ways, depending on allowable duties and/or equipment available in the office ‒ all according to the individual patient's needs. Many dental providers understand the "traditional" way of dental hygiene...

10 Things to Do during Cancelled Dental Hygiene Appointments

We all have those no-show patients, canceled or broken appointments, or a hole in our schedule. One issue seen in the clinical setting is the dilemma of clocking in and out if patients cancel. In my opinion, you are at work, and it is not your fault you do not have a patient. But this is not a perfect world,...

Documentation 101: How to Write Thorough Dental Hygiene Progress Notes

Documentation is a very important piece of the dental hygiene process of care. Chart notes are considered legal documents and, according to the American Dental Association, are "critical in the event of a malpractice insurance claim."1 The notes keep track of the procedures, treatments, recommendations, and findings from previous dental visits. The documentation also reminds dental hygiene professionals how the patient is...

Remember ADPIED? The Concept Helped Hygienists Learn about Process of Care

During dental hygiene education, students presented with an abundance of information very quickly, including a ton of different models and theories. I still remember my first semester when my professor taught us ADPIED. Do you remember what it stands for? ADPIED is short for assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation. This process breaks down the very important process of...

A Look at Working Interviews (And Why You Should ALWAYS Be Paid!)

Working interviews: Are they good? Or bad? Not all types of career options have the opportunity to have a working interview. In the dental world, this type of interviewing does exist, and looking at working interviews from all sides is important to get the most out of them. A working interview is an opportunity for an applicant to prove their...

5 Everyday Tasks that Affect Patients’ Oral Health

Everyone has a daily routine. Some people brush their teeth and then grab a cup of coffee on the way to work. Certain routines affect oral health. Here are some simple things that many people, including dental hygienists, may forget are not the best for them to do. 1) Sipping all day! Sipping on sugary and acidic coffees, teas, energy drinks,...

10 Tips for Improving Your Operatory to Make Your Life Easier

There are many needed materials and supplies involved in dental hygiene, and most of them lie within our operatories. You have oral hygiene/education instruction supplies, homecare products, sealant materials, set-ups, and other resources to name just a few. With having busy patient schedules all day, sometimes our drawers, countertops, and cabinets can become a disaster zone. Here are some...

The Demands of the Job: 3 Health Challenges Dental Hygienists Face

Many people, including our patients, do not realize the demands of the dental hygiene profession, especially physically. I was not aware of the aches and pains before either. Even in school, I was more focused on completing the program. In dental hygiene school, we did not see half as many patients in comparison to the real world. Not all “aches...

How to Build Relationships with Your Patients

In any healthcare setting, you are interacting with different types of people. Clinically, as dental professionals, you are working with a community of many different personality types. Because of a dental hygienist's one-on-one interaction with patients, it is crucial to make a connection. Making professional relationships with patients will only improve the overall care and treatment experience. Having relationships with...

A Dental Hygienist’s Personal Experience with Community Service

Yes, this article will focus on my own personal experiences doing some good in the community. My story could show some insight on how to find what you are passionate about in your own community. Sometimes opportunities such as this are unexpected, and they present themselves to you when you aren't even looking. In my case, I was attending a...

Huddle Up: Suggestions for Staff Meetings in Busy Dental Offices

As a seasoned hygienist of working in multiple practices, I have developed an appreciation for the unique differences between them. Some practices hold a morning huddle every day before they grab their first patients of the day. Others have a monthly meeting or may not have any huddles or meetings at all (maybe only when necessary). A morning huddle is...

Engagement: Dental Hygiene’s Process of Change Inspire Oral Health Improvements

The processes of change in dental patient education are associated with the stages of change model. The stages of change, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, offer guidance on the readiness of individuals or groups to change behavior. The 10 processes of change are divided into two categories ─ experiential and behavioral. An individual can go through each of these...

6 Ways to Instill Bravery: Caring for Patients with Dental Anxiety

Have you ever put a patient back in the chair, and they blurt out, "I really hate going to the dentist?" Well, it's a good thing that this hygienist is not a dentist, eh? We all have our own forms of anxiety. If you have ever entered a dental office, which I assume you have, you are aware of dental...

Teamwork: Open Communication with Dentist Leads to Happier Dental Patients

Many individuals comprise a dental team in an office, and the professional relationship between the dental hygienist and the dentist – frequently, the employer – should be nurtured. Both dental professionals are pieces of the entire puzzle of a patient's care. It is crucial to understand what each piece does and recommends to patients, so there will be consistency...

Dental Compliance: Helping Patients Comply Using the Stages of Change Model

Many healthy behavior models and theories are available, but the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), is one that clearly breaks down where a dental patient is in their readiness to change behavior. Part of the Stages of Change model involves assessing someone (in this case, your dental patients). Individual awareness and decision making are...

Different Stages of Career: Meet Kim, The Gung-ho Seasoned RDH

In part three of our series, we move our way up the ranks to a hygienist who has many years of experience under her belt. Kimberlee Faria, RDH, is a Massachusetts native who has been practicing for 30 years. She graduated from dental hygiene school in 1990. To view the previous articles in the Different Stages of Career series, click...

Different Stages of Career: Midstream Hygienists Agree on “Understanding Your Worth”

As I mentioned in part one of this series, Different Stages of Career, part two will focus on a dental hygienist from Massachusetts, who wishes to remain anonymous. She did attend the same dental hygiene school with Mary Reis, RDH (who was featured in part one). The goal of having two hygienists with the same career experience is to...