Amanda Hill, Bsdh, Rdh

RDH Advisory Board spotlight: Amanda Hill, Melia Lewis, Michelle Strange

Feb. 2, 2023
Meet three members of the RDH Advisory Board. Each member brings a unique perspective and expertise to our publications. Their responsibilities include peer review, content development, and connecting with the best experts.

Amanda Hill, BSDH, RDH

What was your hardest lesson learned?

My hardest lesson has also been my greatest success. Funny how that works. I once thought I needed to know all the things, be the expert before I could move forward. I blame the perfectionist personality that so many of us have. I shied away from many things that I really wanted because I didn’t think I knew enough. What I learned is no one knows everything, and we all have something valuable to offer. Since embracing this philosophy, doors have flown open. I’ve dug in deep to learn about whatever is put before me, and I’m no longer afraid to say I don’t know because I know that I’m capable of doing big scary things! In fact, the scarier, the more rewarding!

What is your advice for new graduates?

Never stop learning. I know your brain is tired, but your learning has just begun. Curiosity will be your superpower in life. This applies to understanding yourself, your profession, your office teammates, and definitely your patients. You have entered a dynamic profession that is on a precipice for change, but we need you to keep the momentum going. Stay engaged!

Other RDH advisory board profiles: 

Melia Lewis, MEd, BSDH, RDH

Would you choose dental hygiene all over again?

I’m not going to lie. My first few years out of dental hygiene school, I couldn’t believe that being a dental hygienist for the rest of my life was in the cards for me. I even started taking college classes again to do something different. However, now 14 years in, I’m so grateful and would pick dental hygiene again. One of the biggest parts of my love for the profession has been the people, from patients to coworkers to other dental hygienists. Making these connections and having these relationships has made work not even feel like work and has created a passion in health. Dental hygiene allows us to connect with people in a short amount of time, often in a vulnerable place. This makes instant connections that you wouldn’t make out in the “real world.”

What is your advice for new graduates?

Never stop learning! You have picked such an amazing profession where there is constant change. New research is being presented and new products are being launched. There is always something to learn that will help you as a clinician keep the spark of dental hygiene alive and also help your patients achieve their best overall health.

Michelle Strange, MSDH, RDH, CDIPC

What is your focus for 2023?

My focus for 2023 is any and everything that lights me up! 2023 is the year of saying yes to only the things that bring me joy. Currently, that is being a patient advocate, disrupting the status quo in dentistry, guided biofilm therapy, practicing with a prevention mindset, seeing patients in underserved communities, and training infection control coordinators who will go on to create safe dental visits for every patient. My focus for education will be on motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care, myofunctional therapy, and infection prevention.

What is your advice for new graduates?

Focus on outcomes. Focus on patient autonomy. Focus on being the best advocate you can be for your patient. Move away from educating your patients and focus on motivating and empowering them. Yes, scaling and in-office biofilm management are essential, but in my opinion, they aren’t the most important part of the appointment. Yes, we need to provide treatment to help our patients heal from whatever disease is afflicting them; however, if we don’t make motivating the patient and prompting change a priority, we won’t see the outcomes we hope to see. This piece of patient care not only improves the patient’s outcomes, but also helps to prevent burnout and frustration for us as well.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the January/February 2023 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.