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Steps to take to keep your dental hygiene career fresh.

Embracing innovations: Keep your dental hygiene career fresh and exciting

May 22, 2024
Burnout was real for these two dental hygienists, so they did something about it, You can too! Here's what they did to combat the same old same old.

During the first 10 years of our careers, we used the same items chairside, day in and day out—our trusty hand instruments, the piezon/cavitron, polishing cups and prophy paste, the occasional intraoral camera, and radiographs. There were moments when we became bored with the same old, same old, yet we did nothing about it. Burnout crept in, and a change needed to happen. Does this sound familiar? 

Too often, hygienists get stuck in the same routine and don't know where to turn or what to do. If you read our last article, Mastering mindset: Cultivating habits for success, we hope you implemented the three topics we discussed. Let's build on that. Here’s how taking back control of our careers helped us, and how learning innovations and technologies propelled us forward. 

How we moved forward

We love learning and growing, so much so that we’ve become laser-certified, and guided biofilm therapy (GBT)-certified. We opened our minds to new innovations and technologies that could help us change how we approach patient care. We knew that to beat burnout we’d need to change the habits we’d formed during the last 10 years.

We now take a new approach to patient care, and we’ve elevated our standards. We use the GBT eight-step protocol and many other tools to provide optimal care and support career satisfaction. We treat every patient as an individual and provide them with care that’s tailored to their needs. This has reignited our passion and helped us continue to grow.

When was the last time you tried a new product or innovation? When is the last time you changed up your hygiene routine to provide a new service to a patient for their journey toward health? We challenge you to think outside the box. Try a new product. Change the way you approach patient care. Elevate your standards. When you do implement an innovation or technology, keep this in the forefront of your mind: there is a process.

Implement changes using “forming–storming–norming–performing”

Forming: Introduce the new protocol or innovation to your team. Clearly communicate the benefits and objectives behind the change. Encourage open dialogue and collaboration among team members as you embark on this journey together.

Storming: Expect some resistance and challenges as you implement the new protocol. This phase is crucial for addressing concerns and working through conflicts. Encourage constructive feedback and be prepared to adjust as needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Norming: As your team becomes familiar with the new protocol, you'll see cohesion and efficiency. Establish clear roles and responsibilities and reinforce the importance of adhering to the new standards of care. Celebrate small victories and milestones as you progress.

Performing: With time and perseverance, your team will reach a stage of high performance, where the new protocol becomes second nature. Patient outcomes will improve, and your practice will thrive because of your commitment to innovation and excellence in care.

This is a guaranteed way to increase your career satisfaction. Watch for our next article on what we truly believe is the secret to unlocking the highest potential of your career. 

Danielle Avila, BSDH, RDH, and Laura Bettencourt, BSDH, RDH, have more than 15 years of clinical experience in the New England area. They are the cofounders of L’Diamante Dental Coaching. Their expertise lies in fostering human connections, building relationships, advancing careers, and leading teams. As mindset hygiene career coaches they take great joy in guiding and empowering their clients to attain the confidence and clarity they desire. To learn more, visit ldiamantecoaching.com or email [email protected].

About the Author

Danielle Avila, BSDH, RDH

Danielle Avila, BSDH, RDH, is a leader who empowers hygienists. With more than 15 years of dental experience, she is a clinical hygienist, writer, and speaker. Her expertise is in team harmony and boosting confidence. As a career coach, Danielle helps hygienists reignite their passion and achieve work-life harmony. She aims for all hygienists to thrive and shine. Contact her at [email protected].

About the Author

Laura Bettencourt, BSDH, RDH

Laura Bettencourt, BSDH, RDH, has more than 15 years of clinical experience. A mother, wife, writer, speaker, RDH, and cofounder of L’Diamante Dental Coaching, she excels in leadership, compliance, hygiene excellence, and periodontal protocols. Laura is dedicated to inspiring growth, empowering clients with confidence and clarity. Committed to education and mentorship, she instills a positive attitude in all aspects of life. Contact her at [email protected].