A Sharper Edge: Banishing Dull Instruments From Dental Hygiene Operatory

The clock is ticking along rather quickly in the dental operatory when your next patient arrives before you have even scheduled your current patient’s next appointment. The operatory needs proper disinfecting, you’re thirsty, and you need to use the restroom. Once again, your needs will have to wait. There is little, if any, downtime for hygienists in busy practices. If...

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...

Dental Patients Say the Craziest Things

As hygienists, we see all kinds of patients and hear many stories from them. We know their life stories and their families. We are people-oriented which is the thing I love the most about dental hygiene.  However, sometimes our patients say or do things that we aren’t expecting, and we have to come up with a quick, yet professional,...

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...

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 -...

6 Things Hygienists Wished Their Doctor/Boss Knew

As dental hygienists, we respect the doctor we work for. After all, it is their practice, their business, and we work either under direct or indirect supervision of them. They are the boss. Because of this respect, some topics that are hard or just plain uncomfortable to bring up with them. We might also hold back because we don’t...

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....

Dental Hygienists, Downtime, and Scrubbing Toilets

For many dental hygienists, downtime in your clinical schedule is a bittersweet concept—too much of it and you risk a cut in hours, too little of it and you balance precariously on the edge of exhaustion. Between patients canceling at the last minute, the inevitable “forgotten” dental appointment, and the natural ebb and flow of slow and busy seasons,...

Use Your Voice, Dental Hygienists!

Let me ask you something: how many of you have ever felt like you do not have a voice in the workplace? We hygienists often have a negative reputation as the “divas” of the dental office. This reputation is not always undeserved. I know for certain I am guilty of just being a straight-up brat once in a while, and...

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...

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