This is in response to "What exactly does the `white tradition` symbolize for the hygiene profession?" (Commentary, March 1996) All I have to say to Ms. Jones is, "Oh! Please, spare me!"
I have been wearing some type of uniform since the first grade. I have always liked the convenience of knowing what I am wearing each morning. It never mattered to me if someone knew I was a student of a particular parochial school or someone`s employee. I have always had enough confidence in myself that no clothing could ever add or take away from me.
I suggest Ms. Jones work on an inner confidence undefined by outward appearances. She would be pleasantly surprised to learn that the patients, assistants, dentists, lab technicians, sales people, etc. would know who she was in a bath towel.
Why? Because of what she does and where she does it.
I have worn white pants for 18 years. I like it. I won`t change it. I am one professional that has never felt like a subordinate. I do not feel restricted, bound, or stifled. My growth as a hygienist comes from education and experience, and not from fashion. And for the record, because I dress as I please, I am liberated from fashion too.
Ms. Jones, I recommend that the next time you want the public to know what you do for a living, tell them.
Karen Badynee-Kwolek, RDH
Commerce Township, Michigan