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    Introducing the Modern Hygienist Editorial Advisory Board

    Get to know the five experts who will serve on the board.


    Katrina M. Sanders

    Katrina SandersKatrina M. Sanders RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, RF, is a graduate and recipient of countless awards from the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry Division of Dental Hygiene. She is proud to currently serve on the alumni society for one of the most prestigious dental schools in the country. Upon moving to Phoenix, Katrina sought opportunities to extend patient awareness beyond her operatory by exploring and performing nontraditional clinical roles such as developing outreach programs to further educate targeted populations. Katrina coordinated and implemented educational programs through participating schools and their districts as well as holistic grocery stores.

    Katrina’s professional career emerged as an educator when she attained full-time employment with a career college in Phoenix. During her time in these capacities, Katrina spearheaded curriculum design, redesigned program objectives and created policy manuals. A physical manifestation of Katrina’s commitment to her profession is in the development of her textbook, “Introduction to the Dental Hygiene Profession.” Katrina has also been contracted to create curriculum for bachelor’s degree completion and nationally recognized continuing education coursework in local anesthesia.

    Katrina proudly received her master’s degree in educational leadership with distinction through Northern Arizona University as a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society distinguished member. Her graduate degree led her to founding Sanders Board Preparatory in which she has developed and implemented a 100 percent pass-rate National Board Preparatory course offered to dental hygiene students preparing for their national boards. 

    Currently, Katrina is a distinguished speaker with Dental Hygiene Culture and lectures nationally in a variety of dental hygiene continuing education content. She also speaks internationally as a keynote speaker with Smiles at Sea and spoke as a finalist in Dentistry’s Got Talent in 2017 and 2018. She has also been a featured speaker with dental hygiene study clubs throughout the state of Arizona. She hopes to begin her Ph.D. studies in 2019.

    Why did you decide to become an RDH?

    Quite frankly, I decided to go to dental hygiene school because I always had wonderful dental experiences. I was a patient with a pediatric dental practice growing up, and that meant my hygienist counted my teeth, polished them and instructed me on how to swish with fluoride rinse. As I began the daunting task of deciding on a career while I was in high school, I shadowed a dentist and truly enjoyed how quickly the day flew by. I knew the dental profession was for me just based on the level of respect and integrity within the medical community. Imagine my surprise when I attended my first semester of hygiene school to learn that we not only polished and counted teeth but also used subgingival curets and gave injections! Looking back, I wouldn’t trade a thing about my journey that brought me to my degree in dental hygiene, as it has been an incredible adventure.

    Read more from Katrina: 5 New Year's resolutions every dental hygienist should make

    What is your favorite part of your job?

    As a clinical dental hygienist, I love common components within the dental practice such as collaborating with doctors who respect and appreciate my professional judgement, seeing resolution in patient cases and watching dental-phobic patients proudly seek treatment. However, I must say my favorite moments are the ones when I am able to utilize educational techniques to inform patients who many may consider “challenging.” I have greeted the most natural, holistic (and anti-fluoride) of patients only to conclude the appointment by them requesting a fluoride treatment and prescription for fluoride gel. I have successfully taken radiographs on patients who are concerned about dental radiation, have educated anti-root canal patients on the safety of root canal therapy, and convinced ambivalent patients on the importance of seeking care for their elevated vital signs. I believe my educational background in tandem with my genuine determination to seek the best interest of the patient shine through in those moments and encourage patients to seek the care they need.

    As a dental hygiene educator and speaker, I love collaborating with like-minded professionals who believe in the importance of excellence in the provision of dental education. Participants of my courses admire the moments when my passion for dental hygiene paired with my joy for empowering my colleagues shine through. I very much believe, as an educator, that it is my responsibility to maintain and continue to elevate standards for dental professionals as we continue to seek expanded functions and begin to manage additional systemic diseases.  

    What are some of your hobbies/interest/passions outside of work?

    I am an incredibly active and energetic person. Currently, I spend my free time writing articles and educational content. But when I’m not sipping coffee and tapping on my laptop, I find time to clear my mind with incredible hobbies and passions. I attribute my energy and personal fitness to Jazzercise. The high-intensity cardio paired with targeted weight training has helped me maintain my vitality as a practicing dental hygienist six days per week.

    I am actively concerned with the ethical and kind treatment of animals and have committed efforts to aiding local pet shelters in saving animals from euthanasia. I have also had the pleasure of delivering dental hygiene care and utilizing my restorative functions certification to underserved populations in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.  

    I also have a love and passion for the stage, as I have directed, choreographed and performed in multiple plays and musicals throughout the country. Recently, I received an ariZONI award for my choreography of “Sunset Boulevard” with Desert Stages Theatre, an ariZONI award for my choreography of “Oklahoma!” and a DreamMaker’s award for my efforts to deliver dance training to low-income children in Phoenix.  

    In addition, I am currently studying for my Level I Sommelier as a wine expert. I have always been a wine enthusiast and am fascinated with the wine-making process. Wine creates a mood, an energy and an ambiance unlike any other, and I am loving the opportunity to learn about its deep-rooted history, the articulate nose and palate associated with tastings, and the new techniques in preserving wines.



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