Readers' Responses

May 27, 2005
Readers respond to articles and editorial content in RDH eVillage.

Dear RDH eVillage:

I just read your "Type-A hygienist" column (April 29, 2005). Kudos! A newspaper article here in Rochester, N.Y., recently referred to a hygienist as a "scraper-toting battle ax." We sure do get bad press.

I can't tell you how many dentists I have had to cover up for in my career. My current boss bought a retired dentist's practice, and the state of the patients' mouths is criminal. Yet I have to justify to them why they need comprehensive care without telling them their dentist of 30 years mistreated them. Frustrating.

I am blessed to work with a good team. We are not perfect. We don't wear matching uniforms, and we don't refer to our patients as guests. But we love our patients and each other even if we don't always like each other. I wish all hygienists could have that experience.

Hope all is well. Thanks for the support.

Beth in New York

Dear RDH eVillage:

Thanks for the article on "Those Type A personalities." It is a great article, and it has been forwarded. The author is very much appreciated for writing and placing the article in the RDH. I enjoyed reading it. The ADHA needs more supporters like him.

Florita, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

I love my newsletter. It keeps me updated, and I just want to say keep up the great work. Thank you so much.

Ramona, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

To avoid being the tallest blade of grass that is cut down first, you must consider having a contingency plan that will place a rock in front of the swift moving blade. This is exactly what I am in the process of doing. After I earn my master's degree, which will be soon, I will make my decision whether to stay in dental hygiene and battle the antiquated laws of Texas or spread my roots toward a more prosperous direction.

Ken, RDH

Dear RDH eVillage:

I believe a real world hygienist is one who is passionate about his or her profession, and passionate about helping others in achieving optimal oral health. Of course, living in the real world requires a constant juggling to achieve balance between work, family, volunteer, and recreational activities.

I am finding some surprising reactions myself as I am pursuing graduate school next fall. I am a passionate hygienist and very involved in our professional association on the component and state level. I am not pursuing an advanced degree in dental hygiene, as I have a BSDH and wish to broaden my education. I am pursuing a master's in interdisciplinary studies, speech communication, and adult education.

When I report this to others, they say, "You are leaving dental hygiene?" No, I am gathering more skills and education to better serve the profession and become a more valuable, diversified contributor. Speech education includes rhetoric and public address as well as small group communication and conflict resolution. Does our profession need hygienists with these skills in order to move forward in the local and national arena? Absolutely!

Does dental hygiene need advanced degree educators? Absolutely!

I agree with you, Kristine, there are many ways to be a real world hygienist and there is room and need for all at the table.

Kelli in Oregon