A little help from the bad guys

I am compelled to write regarding Ms. Hanson`s article in the April RDH, "Fraud or Confusion?" I had been in private practice for 17 years before deciding to make a career change. It was a very difficult decision, since dental hygiene had been my career of choice since high school. I have been working for a leading insurance company for the past eight years and have not regretted the change.

Dear RDH,

I am compelled to write regarding Ms. Hanson`s article in the April RDH, "Fraud or Confusion?" I had been in private practice for 17 years before deciding to make a career change. It was a very difficult decision, since dental hygiene had been my career of choice since high school. I have been working for a leading insurance company for the past eight years and have not regretted the change.

I have been exposed to so much more about the insurance industry, as well as all facets of dentistry and its specialties. I was required to complete several hours of continuing education annually in dento-alveolar surgery to keep my job years before Texas required continuing education for me to keep my license.

I suppose Ms. Hanson and I could argue ad infinitum the finer points of who`s responsible for what in the world of "third-party plans." I experience frustrations as I did in private practice. I have never believed the "us vs. them" mentality has worked well in solving any issues. I am more of the belief: "If you can`t beat `em, join `em," and then implement changes.

My wish is that we bring more registered dental hygienists into many facets of the business community to help make it better for all our patients. I also agree with Ms. Hanson that we should all work with high integrity and ethics; that is what I believe sets us apart as professionals. I`m surprised we have to be reminded. Due to the rising cost of health care, one fact remains: many of Ms. Hanson`s patients would probably not be able to sit in her office and benefit from her advice, were it not for a a little help from us "bad guys."

Virginia Burke, RDH

San Antonio, Texas

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