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...

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...

4 Tips for Returning Back to (or Starting) Dental Hygiene School

A feeling of dread settles within you, and tears are falling. The summer break is over, and it’s time to think about dental hygiene classes again. The upcoming return to the campus always comes too quickly. There’s never enough time for the pool, reading for leisure, or afternoon naps. Unfortunately, there are goals to be met, material to cram...

10 Tips for the New Hygiene Grad from a New Hygiene Grad

As I approach the first anniversary after completion of my dental hygiene degree, I find myself knowing quite a bit more compared to this time last year. While by no means do I consider myself to be an expert, there are numerous things that I wish I had known when I had first graduated and was looking for my...

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...

The Best Student: 7 Traits for Success in Hygiene School

Dental hygiene school can be grueling from that first prerequisite class to clinicals, and all the way through regional and national boards. Long days are followed by late nights forged with blood, sweat, and tears. Yet, it seems some individuals are more immune to the pressures and rigors of college life than others. Why is that? Working as a professor...

5 Things You Did Not Learn in Hygiene School

Congratulations! You have finally graduated from hygiene school (that you thought would never end), you have passed all of your boards, and have landed your first job in private practice. Before you begin to feel too overwhelmed, here are some things I wish I knew after hygiene school. Not All Patients Will Be Nice In hygiene school, patients knew that...

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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