Why did you become a dental hygienist? Is it all that you expected it would be? Is it more than you ever imagined? The past year has led many of us to look at our profession differently, and while some chose a new path, many found their resilience and stepped up to the plate. Realities have been shared online, solutions have been published, and numerous emotions have carved futures and taken our day-to-day tasks in different directions.
I was recently asked, “What do you like the most about dental hygiene?” Without hesitating I said, “Connecting with people.” For many years I bonded with patients while taking care of their health needs and listening to whatever they needed to talk about. Today, I listen to my colleagues and learn about their accomplishments and hear about their trials and tribulations. I ask pertinent questions to understand what drove some to act upon their dreams and venture down a new path. Aspirations are a gift and have caused many to start in a new direction, whether it’s public health, mobile dentistry, clinical advancements, forensics, or advocacy—just a few of the paths we’ve seen unfold. The drive of dental hygienists has risen to the occasion.
This month Philips announces their Heart to Hands Awards. Watching the videos of this year’s winning submissions stirred emotions in many of us. Cindy Burr, Amber Lombardi, and Ryan Rutar listened to their inner voices and followed their passions, and each found their love for dental hygiene and are contributing to their communities. I invite you to read their stories in the pages of this issue of RDH.
The 2021 Sunstar RDH Award of Distinction recipients were recently selected. This will mark the 20th year that Sunstar has honored members of the dental hygiene profession who have gone above and beyond expectations. The awards will be presented Friday, July 23, at RDH Under One Roof (UOR).
If you are attending RDH Under One Roof July 22–24 in Indianapolis, you will have the opportunity to meet these individuals who are making a difference in their communities and with their patients. The continuing education courses at UOR will take you to the next level of your professional development, and the networking will help you find that peer or mentor who will inspire you and motivate you to fulfill your dreams.
Find your next opportunity to “rise to the occasion.”