8 Tips for Communicating with Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Dental Patients

The pandemic has placed more challenges on the deaf and hard-of-hearing community by making masks standard in most public places. A trip to the dental office can be scary for most people. For the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that relies on visual cues and lipreading for communication, it can be even more difficult. Even mask-wearing in the dental operatory during...

Pandemic Mandates vs. Guidelines and Challenges for Dental Team Members

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many dental offices were mandated to discontinue all elective procedures. The mandatory shutdown caused some dental offices to shut their doors, offering no elective dental treatment and only emergency treatment. As the states rescinded their shutdown orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had not updated guidelines regarding elective care...

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...

Still Negative: How Do Hygienists Create Change?

A recent article about negativity in the dental hygiene profession was published in Today’s RDH, and the Facebook posts of the article (here and here) resulted in comments, concerns, and questions about personal protective equipment (PPE) and the current state of dentistry. I thought my article brought out an interesting thought process that should be addressed. One hygienist said, “Our...

Understanding the Monetary Value of the “Essential” Dental Hygienist

Dental professionals could have never imagined a time when dental offices across the country would close with only emergency services deemed essential. The shutdowns imposed on dental offices were meant to shift personal protective equipment to where it was needed most. This created conversations in the dental community on social media filled with worry, confusion, and anger. Most shocking were...

Resetting the Dynamics of Healthcare Communication in a Pandemic World

Dental providers are regarded as the go-to for incidents of dental pain and oral health. We are the experts who can provide level-headed instruction and guidance to treat potentially burdensome illnesses and injuries. From the outside, any given dental facility will display organization with its appointment system and systematic medical assessment procedures. Each treatment plan is formulated on a case-by-case...

Preparations for Dental Hygiene Temping Assignments during Pandemic

Are you uncertain about whether you are feeling respected and appreciated in your current employment situation? Multiple options abound in the dental profession. Perhaps it is time to start interviewing for another permanent position. Perhaps a total change is needed, and you crave flexibility. With the current pandemic situation, temporary positions are bountiful. Many hygienists have chosen not to go...

How COVID-19 May Have Made Dental Professionals Stronger

It is no surprise to anyone that our world is a much different place than it was just a few short months ago. Some businesses are still closed. Some restaurants are still only doing curbside service. Some of us were introduced to unemployment benefits for the first time. Masked individuals are a normal part of our everyday lives, and...

Ask Kara RDH: Frustration About Backordered HVE Equipment

Question I’m super frustrated that in order to use the ultrasonic, polish, or even use the air/water syringe, I have to use an HVE to control aerosols. I’m mostly frustrated because the equipment to make using the HVE easier for me is on backorder. How do I even know if what is ordered will control aerosols? What should I do? Kara...

Negativity in Dental Hygiene: Halt Fears and Focus on the Positive

Do you find that the negativity found online has become almost overwhelming? Social media is inundated with horror stories of terrible dental offices and horrible shortages of protective gear. We can scroll for hours and find hundreds of posts and comments revealing fear as well as a lack of respect within the dental office for both staff and patients. This...

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