‘Leave It at the Door’: Controlling Emotions in the Dental Workplace

Over the years, I have heard many different cliches and suggestions about the appropriateness of carrying our personal lives through the doors of the dental hygienist's workplace. It has been said that to "bring matters of the heart" to work is considered unprofessional. We should find a way to "check it at the door" and resist all temptation to...

Workplace Conflict: Acknowledging Conflict Styles within the Dental Office Workplace

Ugh, it’s Monday. While you are usually a very happy and upbeat morning person who can be a tad bit annoying to the masses of dental patients who still need toothpicks to keep their eyes open over their 7 a.m. coffee, you are feeling unusually discontented. It started a few months ago when you found yourself the focus of...

Workplace Conflict: Impact of Friction within Dental Teams

Pulse quickening, vision blurring, heart racing, head pounding, labored breathing… What is happening to me, and why can’t I stop it? I’m sweating now, and it feels like the world is caving in on me. Why are my hands shaking? I can’t work like this. I want to curl up into a ball and hide in the stock room...

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...

Front Desk: Help Where It Makes Sense, Without Stepping on Toes

Have you ever quarreled with the front desk personnel? No, never! No one ever disagrees, right? Fortunately and unfortunately, I have been in the front desk’s shoes. For two years before beginning dental hygiene school, I was the office manager for a dental practice. Guess what? It’s HARD WORK. I ultimately decided that reception/office work was not for me....

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...

Tattoos in the Dental Office

The world in which we inhabit has vastly evolved over the years. Practices that were once frowned upon or considered rude or unprofessional are now more widely accepted. Among those new modernized ways of life is the tattoo. Decades ago, it was a rarity that people inked their skin with colorful art much less proudly displayed it for the world...

Proper Ergonomics: A Cautionary Tale

We all know that dental hygiene students face a multitude of pressures while in school. Hours upon hours of clinic and classes, focusing on perfecting instrumentation skills, worrying about finding the right board patient – the pressures are endless! There is no wonder that focusing on ergonomics may fall by the wayside, especially when you are trying to accomplish...

6 Ways to Organize Your Op for Maximum Efficiency

Everyone knows that feeling you get when you walk into a space that is cluttered, crowded, or disheveled. A little anxiety starts to bubble up, and you immediately want to leave or start cleaning. You don’t want to have this feeling when you walk into your workspace, and you certainly don’t want your patients to feel that way. You...

A Tough Day Transformed: A Special Patient Turns Hygienist’s Day Around

Today was a tough day. We’ve all had challenging days – especially lately. First, there was Joseph. He hadn’t been in for 18 months between working in Mumbai and the current pandemic of COVID-19. Joseph has been using a manual toothbrush and floss picks daily. He has also been under a great deal of stress having come back to town...

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