If you’ve been wanting more research-based and clinical-focused content from your professional publications, you’re not alone. Our recent reader survey shows that this is what a majority of RDH readers want to see in our channels.
You’re also not alone if burnout, debate about COVID-19 vaccines, and other unprecedented professional challenges greatly affected you this past year and compel your content choices as we look toward 2022.
RDH has conducted this survey since 2019. The most recent, distributed in July 2021, included questions ranging from how respondents feel about the quantity of dental content they receive each week to their preferred social media.
Here are the three major takeaways from the 2021 RDH readers survey.
1. What our readers want for content
Delivering the content our readers want and will benefit from most professionally is our key focus. Here’s a breakdown of the most requested categories for 2022:
- Research and evidence-based practices
- Practical clinical tips
- Product recommendations
- Case studies
- Career advice
“The clinician in each of us stands strong whether we are still practicing clinical hygiene or not,” said Jackie Sanders, editor-in-chief of RDH magazine. “We still want to hear about the research, we need evidence-based facts, and we still have a desire to learn tips and tricks from our colleagues.”
“We worked hard to get and maintain or license, so it is good to hear that we are needed and are given new ways to better ourselves and the profession instead of hearing a lot of negative information.”
"I want to see more push for standing up for oneself as a hygienist."
"Why are we not considered frontline health care?”
2. What you find most helpful in our publication
We asked readers how they think RDH magazine serves them best, and received a wide variety of replies, including:
- "It gives me a lot of information that I take back to my practice and share with colleagues."
- "The greatest strengths are the products and clinical cases."
- "I get useful, practical information from the articles I read."
- "Quality of advisory board members, timely articles, good graphics/photos."
- "Delivering information in an upbeat/positive light ... it is good to hear that we are needed and are given new ways to better ourselves instead of hearing a lot of negative information."
We also gave readers the chance to voice their perception of some areas of improvement for RDH, which yielded some interesting findings:
- "I want to see more push for standing up for oneself as a hygienist and how to advocate for [ourselves]."
- "[RDH] needs to remember that the laws are different in every state, so some articles are irrelevant to me."
- "I’m sure it’s helpful for some, but some articles about the latest and greatest technology that most of us will never have access to because of cost or our practicing state guidelines."
- "Could use more fight for our profession ... why are we not frontline for health care?"
"Men are not joining the industry because an RDH gets treated poorly in so many ways.”
"We need more info about compensation, ergonomics, and how to establish yourself as a cotherapist instead of just a body in a chair doing prophies.”
3. How we can be most useful to our readers in 2022 and beyond
Perhaps the most important question of the survey was what readers project their greatest challenges to be in 2022, and what types of content can support them in meeting those challenges. Among the wide breadth of responses included:
- "Burnout from the last two difficult years. I know it is discussed a lot already, but it will need to be discussed even more in the coming years."
- "Definitely how we handle health vs. illness. The vaccine debate is causing division."
- "Getting more men into the profession ... Men are not joining the industry, because an RDH gets treated poorly in so many ways."
- "The trouble the dental industry is having finding good employees!"
- "Giving hygienists even more credibility, allowing our skills to be utilized even more and expanded into [the] community."
- "Pandemic variants, getting adequate PPE, growing responsibilities and synergy with the medical system in the US."
- "Hygienist turnover. More info about compensation, ergonomics, and how to establish yourself as a cotherapist instead of just a body in a chair doing prophies."
“The greatest value of the survey is we have the opportunity to learn what has benefitted dental hygienists over the past year, and we now have a blueprint of where to go in 2022,” said Sanders.
Among those surveyed, more than 74% find RDH “very helpful”—the highest percentage to gain that designation among other professional publications. “It’s the gold standard,” reported one respondent.
If you weren’t able to take the survey, be assured that we value your opinion. Feel free to drop us a line at [email protected] to let us know your thoughts on how we can keep improving RDH.
Did you know we offer a free print subscription to dental hygienists? Sign up here.
Your top 10 articles from 2021
From a firsthand account of oral cancer to perio charting—our readers’ top picks for 2021 spanned a variety of topics and updates. (Results as gathered from eVillage, RDH’s weekly newsletter for RDH professionals. Sign up at rdhmag.com/subscribe.)
- The Delta variant: Will dental offices be forced to close again?
- Can my employer require me to take a longer lunch break?
- Xylitol nasal spray: An effective tool in COVID-19 prevention
- Staff Rx: Preoperative rinsing
- Charging a separate fee for periodontal charting
- Cracking the code: 5 tips on periodontal maintenance procedures
- Stay SHARP with mandibular injection techniques
- What’s that pink spot on a tooth?
- A story NOT silenced by oral cancer: A message to dental professionals
- A path to fewer aerosols with ultrasonics