An article (Commentary) was given to me from the February 1996 issue, and I was told it would be of interest to me. The issue contains an article about my license plate, "ORLJNTR." After reading the article, I wondered if the author couldn`t have spent her time writing about something more important to dental hygiene.
So the author talks about license plates. What about them? Well, 2THBIZ, 2THFARY, BRUSHEM, FLOSSEM, SPARKLE, GR8 RDH, and ORLJNTR pretty much tells people we are indeed in the tooth business. What about the author`s license plate that she so proudly proclaims: "I SCALE"? I scale what? A building in a single bounce? Rocks? Fish? You weigh stuff? Oh, you scale teeth! I get it: You just scale teeth!
Well, as an oral janitor, I am proud to say I do more than just scale teeth. I also do oral cancer screenings, periodontal evaluations, detect decay, teach oral hygiene, and many other expanded functions to keep the oral cavity clean and healthy. I am every bit an oral janitor and have been told a very good one at that!
I am amazed that one would take a seven-letter license plate that spells out the words oral janitor and assume that I am not proud of my profession. It`s a license plate, nothing more.
What doesn`t make me laugh is the part of the article which suggests that a preceptor hygienist would drive around with a license plate saying MPOSTER, GYP, or perhaps ORLJNTR. More likely a preceptor hygienist`s license plate would say, "I SCALE," since that would be just what she was taught to do. She would have an educational background to be an oral janitor.
A simple license plate does not inform anyone who that person is. It may just tell what that person does.
Passing boards, having diplomas (AA, BS, MS) or tokens of professional achievements hung all over your operatory doesn`t tell the patient what kind of hygienist you are. It tells that, by law, you are a licensed professional and to practice, but does that mean you are good at what you do? That is a question you need to ask yourself.
Ann Miers, RDH, BS