Noel Paschke, MS, RDH
Why would you choose dental hygiene all over again?
I have been blessed to have a such a varied career as a clinician in private practice, hospital dental hygiene, faculty, and corporate management position. Throughout my career, I’ve heard “You are not a normal hygienist.” This was especially true at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1977, before we knew what we now know about the oral-systemic link, bone marrow transplant patients were dying from oral infections when they were not allowed to brush during immunosuppression. I asked the chief of the oncology department why he wouldn’t allow his patients to brush. He said because his gums bled when he brushed. What an open invitation to provide education! I suggested he become a patient of mine and we establish protocols for his patients.
What was your greatest moment when you knew you chose the right profession?
Four words: “Oh, I get it!” Those are such cherished words to hear from dental hygiene students in clinic trying to master a skill or from a participant at one of my CE courses on how to use both magneto and piezo ultrasonic technologies. I actually get a serotonin rush. In so many ways, those four simple words represent creating a legacy of confident clinicians.