Discovering a new career path

April 1, 2012
As the economy has been a challenge the past few years, hygienists have experienced unemployment or underemployment.

by Ann-Marie C. DePalma

As the economy has been a challenge the past few years, hygienists have experienced unemployment or underemployment. Many have considered other options beyond dental hygiene to pay the bills. But if an opportunity arose to stay within the dental and dental hygiene professions, many would participate in it.

Kristine Hodsdon, RDH, BS, has designed such a possibility with her program, “Yes, You Can! Dental Influencers Business Incentives.” The program is designed to assist dental professionals to move into sales or a corporate environment by helping participants understand the core business development principles. These business skills are required to be successful in sales, as a product specialist, continuing education speaker, corporate key opinion leader, and/or become a more confident clinician. “Yes, You Can” participants are involved in online curriculums either as an interactive online format or self-paced modules. The program consists of:

  • Three-month training programs (total 12 trainings)
  • Weekly sequential webinar sessions
  • Modules including handouts, activities, and references
  • Recordings of each session call to enhance learning and retention.

The “Yes, You Can” curriculum is designed as a sequential, weekly step-by-step process. The modules help participants accomplish goals that they set for themselves. The program is designed for hygienists, assistants, business professionals, consultants, speakers, trainers, and anyone who is seeking greater career opportunities within dentistry. The program is designed for those who are disillusioned with their current situation, wish to seek new opportunities, and know “they have the potential to be amazing.” Whether it involves career changes, juggling family and career, conquering fears about the cost of training and travel, or a recent graduate looking to find a voice, Kristine invites all to immerse themselves in the possibilities the program offers.

Kristine developed this program as a result of two forces that had come to fruition.

First, since 2004 after researching and presenting speaking and writing programs for PennWell’s RDH Under One Roof conference, she has received many requests from dental professionals about developing other career pathways beyond what they were currently experiencing. In 2011, she learned

her full-time position was being eliminated. She was emotionally stuck for months, feeling like a victim, yet knowing that many others that she had spoken with over the years had been in the same position.

Somehow she found a sense of clarity and purpose in her struggles and began speaking with industry sources. She reviewed dental survey results and other sources that indicated a gap exists between dental professionals are currently and where they want to go. She wanted to create an entity that was different and could serve as a resource for those who want to invest in their own success.

Kristine admits that it has taken her 20 years to figure out her career journey, but she learns more and more each day and wants to help others believe they can reach their goals.

Kristine has based the “Yes, You Can” on behavioral research that states change can occur in three months. By taking small, incremental steps, one week at a time, one step at a time, anyone can create energy to move forward and find their passion in dentistry. The program is designed so that new groups start in the program every month.

Kristine is concerned about professionals who wait for opportunities to come knocking or continue to say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Dental hygiene is not a “hobby”; it is a career. Professionals approach their careers proactively, including being an ADHA member, and are willing to take action on opportunities that present themselves. “Yes, You Can” provides that opportunity.

Kristine is currently the director of RDH eVillage and a student in the master’s of science in executive coaching program at Queens University. She began presenting continuing education programs over 18 years ago when she started educating teams on esthetic dentistry with both continuing education programs and her book, “Demystifying Smiles – Strategies for the Dental Team” (2003, PennWell, available at

She is passionate about her family and friends and her career. She feels lucky to be able to contribute to the enhancement of dental hygiene. At the end of the day, she enjoys dinner with her two kids or teaching her parents how to use their iPad.

Igniting the flame of passion for dentistry is one of the goals of “Yes, You Can! Dental Influencers Business Incentives.” Are you looking to ignite your passion? RDH

For more information about Kristine’s program, contact: [email protected]">href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected].

Thought for the month: In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Gandhi

This month’s program is “Material Selection for Direct Posterior Restoratives.” A 47% discount will be applied the entire month of April when using code ANAPR12.

The posterior restorative material of choice depends on the individual clinical situation and patient. Esthetic restorations are increasingly in demand, and include glass ionomers, compomers, and composite resins. Recently, technologies have been incorporated into composite resins that lower polymerization shrinkage and stress.

For more information, visit

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