How Do I Do All This in 60 Minutes?

The race of the clock, the fifth glare you've given your doctor in the last 10 minutes, the sweat dripping down your back, the panic rising, the need to strip off your lab coat and turn on your fan immediately, the pacing, the frantically trying to find and set up another op for your next patient. TIME MANAGEMENT -...

5 Patients That Drive Dental Hygienists Crazy

All dental hygienists can appreciate that sometimes there are those patients who can make clinical life a little more difficult. The following is a list of five patient types that can test our patience and some strategies to better manage the challenges they present. The Self-Proclaimed Expert We all know them, they have proudly consulted social media to brush up on...

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...

6 Surefire Ways to Get a Raise… But Only if You Deserve It!

Raise… the dreaded “R-Word.” Dental hygienists hate to have to ask for it. Dentists hate to give it. Why is it that we think compensation will only need to be discussed at the time of hire?  Maybe because it is such an uncomfortable topic, we delude ourselves into believing the subject of pay will never again have to arise...

Increasing Productivity by Anesthetizing for Your Doctor Should Increase Your Paycheck

Anesthesia is the most feared part of a dental visit. Patients express their fear of the needle the instant they walk in the dental office, even if they are only there for routine prophylaxis. Daily, in private practice, I am asked if the patient “will be getting a shot today?” Sure we have been taught decreased fear strategies while...

How I Beat the Dental Blues by Remembering Why I Started

As most typical teenagers, I toyed with many ideas throughout out my high school career. Initially, I wanted to do be an architect. After a brief job shadow with a local architect, I quickly realized the only thing appealing to me about that job was the electric eraser. Then I moved on to nursing around the same time my...

Work-Life Balance: Managing the Crazy Hats Hygienists Wear

As dental hygienists, we wear some crazy hats. We may serve as the OSHA director, radiation officer, we might order supplies, can be a maintenance person, a sterilization guru, a front office assistant, and in some offices you may even serve as the janitor. At home, we are wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son, friend, chauffeur, chef, maid, and coach. Balancing all...

Dental Burnout: You Don’t Have to Work Full Time to Work Full Time

Dental hygiene has been known as a “mommy job” in my community. We don’t have to take call, we don’t have to work weekends, and most of us work part-time. I have known few hygienists who do work “full-time,” and most of them have expressed feeling what we like to call clinical “burnout.” They end up feeling the need...

5 Strategies to Reduce Wait Time for Exams

It's 2:56 pm, your next patient is expecting to be seen in 4 minutes, and you are still waiting for the doctor to show up for the exam! Your heart starts to race just a bit as you realize the next patient has not had a history of flexibility. If you have never felt this angst, please thank your...

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