Last week’s “Straight Talk” episode was a huge success! It is apparent that hands-on programs dealing with ultrasonics remain of interest to many of us. Thank you to Rachel Wall for her time and for sharing how we can continue to improve our skills. This inspired me to recognize and appreciate three things that have made me a better dental hygienist.
Technology. The list may seem basic, yet each area impacts my ability to co-diagnose, clinically perform, document, schedule and communicate. Here’s what I use most often: Digital X-rays, intraoral cameras, practice management software, oral cancer screening, cordless equipment, instruments and chairside products for desensitizing.
Ultrasonic scalers seem to be the universal choice of the practices here in the Outer Banks, NC. I remember product detailing Discus Dental’s Insight Ultrasonic Insert in 2009 and 2010, thinking this was a game changer for us. Light, ergo-friendly, LED light for better vision and swivel without leaking. Technology has made me a better clinician.
Continuing Education. I consider continuing education any evidence-based or beneficial information that is health related, with health related including oral, overall and mental health. It may be online, hands-on or webinar format, and it doesn’t have to offer me credit. Oral systemic and total health, medication interaction with oral health, communication with our cognitive impaired patients and their care givers, dental anxiety, pregnancy, caries assessment, periodontal programs, oral cancer and HPV, hypersensitivity options, remineralization, dental implants, e-cigs & marijuana, pre-medication, cosmetic, bruxism, TMJ & migraines – just to name a few! Continuing education has made me a better health care professional.
Networking. I attended my first “networking” event in our profession in 2002, the Speaking Consulting Network (SCN). Next it was National Speaking Association (NSA), Career Fusion, Beyond The Operatory (BTO) and Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC). Many of us are also likely involved in online groups and forums, lurking or contributing a comment from a solution-focused mindset. These groups continue to impact my personal and professional growth. Networking has made me a better professional in business.
Our role is to provide the best care for our patients to help them gain and maintain optimum oral health. How you do that could be a reality show in some cases, no doubt! What you choose to do each day, with each patient or with team members, employers, friends and colleagues has an impact. Think of it as the “power of do.”