In the September 1997 issue, Ms. Emmerling attempted to convey that the hygiene profession is not given proper dignity by dental publications. While giving distinct recognition to the diversity of hygienists and their lifestyles, she generated a contemptuous assault on those who have chosen to work part time or put their careers on hold to raise a family. I chose to decrease my hours in the office so that I could be a full-time mother. Being a "Mommy" is a real job, a noble career, not to be scoffed at or ridiculed. Unfortunately, in her haughtiness, Ms. Emmerling obviously perceives this choice as unprofesisonal and intellectually inferior.
I am 40 years old and have practiced hygiene for 19 years. I do not consider myself "cute" or a "cookie-cutter Stepford wife." I am intelligent, well-informed, and involved. But, first and foremost, I am a mother. When I am at work, I take my profession seriously. My employer views me as a valuable part of the dental team, appreciates my skills and knowledge as a hygienist, and supports my desire to advance that knowledge. He is also very aware of, and respects, my priorities, with my family coming first.
The slander contained in this article is far more degrading than any of the bias "organized dentistry" is alleged to be guilty of.
Carol Ann Bender, RDH