When Patrycja Pyzik, RDH, contacted RDH magazine about posing for a cover, we were impressed by her story of rising to a challege. We are, of course referring to her career, not posing for a few photographs.
Pyzik arrived in the United States from Poland in 1994. She came with her parents, and they settled in Milford, Conn.The family's plan was for her to stay for four years until she finish high school. They thought she could return to Poland for college and eventually become an instructor of the English language.
"Since we have a lot of family here in the United States, coming to stay here was a great opportunity for me to learn English," Pyzik said.
But, first, she had a dental appointment.
"I think I was 16 when I went to my local dentist and had my first cleaning," Pyzik said."Getting your teeth cleaned was not something you would do in Poland. So it was a very interesting experience for me to the point where, after my hygienist was done, I somehow knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to become a hygienist."
The family supported her decision and bought a house in Milford, which is close to the University of New Haven. "There is no such career as dental hygienist in Poland. So my parents knew that once I'm done the United States is going to become my home," she said. "While being in hygiene school, I completed a quick dental assistant program just so I could get in the field and get familiar with how the profession works."
Pyzik began working as an assistant for Dr. Joseph Tartagni in Orange, Conn. "Dr. T always believed in me and told me I was going to be a great hygienist," she said. "The whole office was very supportive in making hygiene school that much better, always encouraging me that all my hard work will pay off.
"It definitely did, and now I get up every day very excited to go to work because I love it.Going to hygiene school was definitely the best decision of my life. I just hope that one day in Poland getting your teeth cleaned becomes a part of healthy living."
Nine years has passed since her introduction to the United States. She became an American citizen in October 2003. Pyzik said, "I have a career that I love. Even though I'm sometimes homesick, I know that this is the country that gave me an opportunity to be where I am right now."