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Readers’ Forum

June 1, 2005
My new RDH (April 2005 issue) arrived this morning. As I was looking through it, I started with the article on "Mentor of the Year." I agree that mentoring does work...

Idle due to licensure rules

Dear RDH:

My new RDH (April 2005 issue) arrived this morning. As I was looking through it, I started with the article on “Mentor of the Year.” I agree that mentoring does work and found the article interesting. But more than anything it emphasized to me the archaic practice of licensing for hygienists in this country!

I practiced for 43 years and recently moved from upstate New York to Pensacola, Fla. My health just won’t allow me to do clinical hygiene anymore. At the age of 63, it just isn’t worth it to me to go through the process of taking the Florida board.

When I say that I practiced for 43 years, I mean just that. I worked continuously at dental hygiene all those years. I kept up with the profession, attended seminars long before continuing education was a requirement and could practice with the best of them right up until I moved here.

It seems like such a waste to me that our practice laws take away my ability to do a job that I loved for so many years. Now I spend my days playing bridge and swimming. It is ironic that the pool that I swim at is almost right across the street from Pensacola Junior College’s Dental Hygiene Department. I’d love to work in that department. It seems like hygiene students could benefit from all my years of experience, but they require a Florida hygiene license. What a waste!

Carolyn Hall, RDH
Pensacola, Florida

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To submit letters to the editor for publication in Readers’ Forum, send by:

• Mail - P.O. Box 3408, Tulsa, OK 74101

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About the Cover

The headquarters for RDH is in Tulsa, Okla. One day not too long ago, the staff at the office of Drs. Jay Anderson and Bernie Wynn contacted the magazine about the 25th anniversary of employment for one of their hygienists. They thought it would be great to feature Jessica Owens, RDH, on the cover of RDH.

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Why not? It has been awhile since RDH returned home to feature of its own. The dental office sent the magazine some photos from the anniversary celebration where Jessie, as she prefers to be called, was decked out in queenly garb and royally worshipped by her professional peers and patients. Nancy, Dr. Anderson’s wife, told us that “Jessie brings extraordinary energy and enthusiasm to all who come in her presence. Her patients view their time with Jessie as being equal to a visit with Santa Claus or a motivational, spiritual counselor. She routinely takes her 11 a.m. patient to lunch, always buys whatever beauty products they are selling, and attends all of their weddings, funerals, or other family events when invited. She seems to have endless time for all."

Jesse graduated from a dental hygiene program in Iowa in 1977, worked for a couple of years in that state, and then moved to Oklahoma when her husband, Dr. Jim Owens, graduated from dental school

The couple now own a 30-acre ranch not far from Tulsa (the setting for the photography on the cover), and are the parents of six children, ranging in age from 18 to 34. She also teaches at the dental hygiene clinic at Tulsa Community College.

The ranch manages Rocky Mountain show horses and alpacas. She used to ride the horses in competition, but now just rides for pleasure.

Her take on being "queen for a day" after 25 years at the same dental practice? I couldn"t have done it without Dr. Anderson, Dr. Wynn, their wives, the staff, and patients. I could not have stayed as long if I had not met such wonderful people."

Well said