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Students & New Grads

5 Tips for Passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination

It is the exam you’ve studied your entire dental hygiene education for. The upperclassmen have groaned to your class about it, your faculty has alluded to it, and you’ve already asked for board review books for Christmas. You’ve walked through the steps of grief, beginning with denial, “Maybe if I do well in school, they will let me skip my...

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...

10 Pieces of Advice for New Hygienists

The real world can be a scary place. Whether you’re a newly-licensed hygienist or a “seasoned scaler,” there is always something new to discover and learn, whether it’s new technology or a dental hygiene technique.Yet wouldn’t it have been nice to have someone give you advice on how to brave the real world of dental hygiene? This is guidance...

3D’s: Do’s, Don’ts of Dental Hygiene Interviewing

New graduate? Looking to change your office? Whatever situation you’re in, it doesn’t matter, it all starts with a job interview. Eww, the dreaded interview! Before I talk about key points in interviews, we have to start with how to get an interview.  Nowadays there are many ways to find a job: networking, asking people you know, job search...

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...

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...

Riding it Out: The Struggle One Hygienist Went Through to Find Career Happiness

I can still recall how I felt when I first graduated from hygiene school. I was pumped up and proud of myself for the new life I was creating. I wasn’t new to the dental field; I had been an assistant for four years, but my new role as a hygienist is what intrigued me. I interviewed in my hometown about 15...

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...

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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