A hygienist recently emailed me to share how the past six months had provided her with a new sense of empowerment. The words were refreshing during a time when so many RDHs are making tough decisions, preparing a little more to keep themselves safe, or even meeting with their doctor and team to discuss what is best for the practice. Through all the hardships, the word empowered radiated with me throughout the day.
Empowered has been defined as becoming stronger or more confident while controlling your life and claiming your rights. There are numerous books written on empowering yourself, and many life coaches will assist you in learning how to take care of yourself.
Knowing the definition and what this word truly stands for, take a moment to reflect upon where you were this time last year. Were you content? Were you eager for a change? Were you thinking, “there has got to be more?” Have you made changes during the past six months to find a little of your own empowerment? Or have you taken huge strides?
This time last year I was beginning a new chapter at RDH. I had been to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to meet the team and participate in strategy meetings. The first day was filled with anxiety, eagerness, and a lot of learning. I started to find that comfort zone just when we were introduced to the word “COVID.” The wheels began to turn. RDH jumped into high gear and my learning curve grew quickly.
Today, I will say, there has been nothing routine about this job. Each day brings fun, laughter, and new challenges, but more than anything I enjoy hearing from our readers and knowing what can be done to support you and help you to find empowerment. I learn from your personal emails daily, and I thank you for helping me keep my finger on the pulse of our profession.
Preparing for 2021, RDH conducted a survey to hear from you, once again, empowering you with the opportunity to share your opinions and let us know what you need more or less of. We are most appreciative for the tremendous number of responses we received. You provided us with comments on our strengths, weaknesses, and what you believe will be our profession’s greatest challenge over the next 18 months.
I have read every reply, printed the results, and have key words hanging over my desk. You have been heard and we will make every effort to fulfill your requests and provide the content you asked for, all while maintaining the valuable content you have grown to trust from RDH and the dental group publications managed by Endeavor.
Despite the challenges and changes of the past six months, I have heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of individuals taking control of their lives, finding a voice, and empowering the choices they are making. I continue to be proud to be a dental hygienist, and I marvel at the difference we can make each day. Find the time to smile at a stranger—you could change their day.
Stay healthy and happy,
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH