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Students & New Grads

Failed the Clinical Board? Rally Back from this Stunning Setback

It was May 2019. I had passed the NBDHE, both anesthesia exams, and had graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program. The only thing standing between me and my professional license was the WREB Clinical Exam. I walked into the school clinic just before 8:00 a.m. the morning of the exam with monster nervousness threatening to tear their way up...

5 Challenges that Hygiene School Grads Face in the Real World

When you're fresh out of hygiene school, it's easy to ride out the high of passing all the dental boards and rigorous classes. You feel like you're on top of the world, and nothing can bring you down. Unfortunately, some parts of the real dental world can come at you fast. While confidence is the key to being successful...

10 Questions: How to Ace Your First Dental Hygiene Temp Job

So you just landed your first dental hygiene temp job – that’s great! Whether you’re a new graduate, a mom who is returning to work after maternity leave, a seasoned hygienist looking to make extra money on the side, or a freelancer not wanting to commit to a permanent position, here are some important questions you should think about...

Dental Assisting for Dental Hygienists

Diving into my first job as a newly registered dental hygienist, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The dentist suggested it would be best for me to learn some dental assisting before jumping into treating hygiene patients on my own. I didn’t have any problem with starting my new job this way, and I thought it would be neat...

The Pros & Cons of Dental Temping: Is it for You?

Upon graduation, I moved to a new area and had only been in the area for a short time, so I felt the best way to get to know the area and the offices available was to temp as a hygienist. In the year and a half that I worked as a temporary hygienist, I was able to see...

Tips to Avoid Working in Fast Food Dentistry aka Prophy Mills

I remember the feeling of relief like it was just yesterday. I had jumped for joy after passing to officially become a registered dental hygienist! I was unstoppable, and I felt that I was finally about to have my life together. That summer, I had multiple interviews lined up since most employers were asking for one to two days of...

Dental Nerves of Steel: Passing My Anesthetic Certification Exam

Sweaty palms, right armpit smelling as per its now-normal state thanks to menopause, light-headedness from lack of sleep thanks to anxiety over the exam, and again, hormonal insomnia. Nausea so bad I thought I might vomit right on my partner… who lay there trusting me with her life. She gagged so hard, sitting up, coughing from all the extra anesthetic...

What a New Hygiene Grad Learned from Treating an Autistic Patient for the First Time

Hygiene students learn so much from the hygiene program. However, there’s so much more to learn once we have graduated, passed boards, become licensed, and enter the working world. As a new grad, there are many “first time experiences.” One such experience I encountered as a new grad was treating an autistic patient for the first time. Yes, we...

Keeping It Real as a New College Grad

I have been working in a dental office now for less than a year and have landed my first real job as a licensed dental hygienist. I am learning new things each day and am beginning to feel more comfortable using my instruments and taking radiographs. However, being new comes with its own set of challenges; especially patients joking...

Things I Wished I Could Tell Myself When I Started Hygiene

The ever-popular catchphrase that hindsight is 20/20 has been validated throughout my dental hygiene career. If the 15-year veteran in me could go back to talk to the dental hygiene student in me, she would have a plethora of advice and suggestions to offer. However, all I can do now is pass along what I have learned to those...

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