Each week the RDH PIRA (Patient Impact & Rise Above) recognition program, sponsored by Water Pik, Inc., features a dental hygiene clinician who excels in their role and goes the extra mile in their job. The past two years have been a challenge for many clinicians and as we return to the operatory, we want to acknowledge those providing patient care—clinicians who are changing their patients’ lives, influencing their patients’ health, and making a daily difference. This week we honor Edith Dana, RDH.
From Edith’s submission
A life in pain is challenging for anyone, but when the source is unknown, the uncertainty can make coping even more difficult. This was the case for one of my patients, who knew for a fact that her teeth hurt; however, no one seemed to know why. Without a diagnosis for over a year, she broke down in tears in my dental chair as she detailed the many specialists she had visited for help. At that point, she didn’t know where else to go.
Hearing how hopeless she felt was heartbreaking, but I told her not to give up and to keep asking everyone and anyone questions until she found an answer. I heard back from her months later. She called to say that thanks to my encouragement, she had found a pain clinic that had an answer for her and that she was finally pain free. My patient had the courage to keep going, and because of her, I keep going too. Ten years in private practice have helped me realize that my patients’ achievements reflect my own. The most remarkable ones come from patients like this one with whom I developed a strong bond through communication, trust, and service.
More PIRA honorees
I am a registered dental hygienist in Michigan, and the proud recipient of the 2022 Irene Newman Outstanding Clinician Award from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. I have been in clinical practice for 10 years, and I spent nine of them in periodontics. I graduated magna cum laude in 2012 from Oakland Community College with an associate degree in applied science in dental hygiene, with English as my second language.
I first practiced as a volunteer dental hygienist. This was the most fulfilling and defining time of my career because it inspired me to go back to school these many years later to look for ways to increase access to oral health care. I’ll be pursuing my Master of Science in dental hygiene at the University of Michigan starting this fall.
My goal is to become a dental hygiene educator to help empower dental hygienists to reimagine the future of our profession by enhancing public service. I began on this path when I was the founder, CEO, and instructor of my own education company, which was among the first to use social media to provide free certifiable continuing education for dental professionals. I have always believed that education is the way to self-improvement and success.