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Students & New Grads

Tips I Wish I Knew in Dental Hygiene School

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If I were to ask you to think back to dental hygiene school, some would remember the feelings of being overwhelmed, being stressed to the max, and the tears that were shed. Others might remember the friends they made and the happiness they felt when hard work turned into successfully earning that dental hygiene degree. When I think back,...

What’s Next? My Personal Experience towards a Bachelor’s Degree

So you’re a dental hygienist, huh? Yes, yes I am. I am more than that though. Personally, I have goals outside the clinical setting. (And that’s ok if you have no desire to leave the clinic setting too). I hope to one day be an educator or work for a dental company, or possibly be a midlevel dental therapist,...

From Patient to Passion: More than Just Cleaning Teeth

Your calling can come at any point in your life. Whether you are 13 or 30 years old, there is no wrong time to do what you love. I am convinced that being a Registered Dental Hygienist is more than a career; it is a passion. Let’s be honest, who wakes up one morning and thinks, “I want my...

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...

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...

Graduated and Job Hunting: How to Stand Out as a New Hygienist

It’s here: the time is approaching to move that tassel from right to left. Dental hygiene school has been filled with long days of clinic and long nights of studying, but now it is time to start looking for that first job. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a shortage of dental health care professionals, it can...

Confessions of a Newly-Licensed RDH

As hygienists, we’ve all been there; newly graduated and new to the “real world.” While the hygiene program prepares us to be excellent clinicians, it cannot completely prepare us for everything we will face in the working world. Only experience can do that. Here are quotes from newly-licensed dental hygienists who are making it through the learning curve of...

10 Ways that Self-isolating RDH Students Can Keep Preparing

Editor’s Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up to date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. There is a light at the end of...

Advice for the Newly Graduated Dental Hygienist

I remember finally graduating and passing my boards and thinking now what? I was both scared and excited. I thought I just had to write a resume and prepare for interviews! Had I only realized there was more I needed to do and think about to prepare my mind and body. I’ve come up with some practical advice, to...

Lessons for Hygiene Rookies: “Lifelong” Learning Starts with Other Staff Members

Dental hygiene schools equip future clinicians with the knowledge to navigate through the daily trials of patient treatment. We are taught anatomical structures, clinical skills, radiographic interpretation, pro-fluoride arguments, and community health topics among many other lessons. Long clinic days and difficult patient cases mold us into more efficient and experienced hygienists. While hygiene school is the perfect cocoon where...

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