A short list about momentum

Aug. 1, 2007
Ioffer a short list this month. The clocks crawled too slowly on this hot summer day, and those lazy dogs lying in the shade don’t care if I rant about dental hygiene or not.

by Mark Hartley

I offer a short list this month. The clocks crawled too slowly on this hot summer day, and those lazy dogs lying in the shade don’t care if I rant about dental hygiene or not.

I hope you like the new look of the magazine. For this page, I don a tie after a few years without wearing one. The business casual trend is fading fast, according to the articles I’ve read.

Craig Dickson and Paul Schmitz spent much time creating this new look, wanting to make RDH magazine much more reader friendly. Please let us know what you think, and, yes, you can even contact me at the MySpace address above.

On a personal note, I want to say thanks to Vicki Cheeseman, who had been doing most of the RDH page layout designs in recent years. She won several awards for her designs in Woman Dentist Journal, and I appreciated her efforts on behalf of RDH very much.

In September 2000, I wrote in the Editor’s Note: “The thought of bureaucracies makes me long for the activity of watching paint dry or, if I need a little extra spice, crunching open my fingernails with a can opener. Why would anyone willingly devote a life to mind-numbing committees where people debate if any bylaws have been violated by using two staples to fasten paper instead of one?”

Not much has changed during the last seven years. I still wonder how deep the level of seething exasperation is in a group of disparate committee members. I wrote the above seven years ago so that I could also say, “Now that I’ve established that I’m probably the last person on the planet to actively advocate membership in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association ...”

I was thinking about that Editor’s Note while sitting in a ballroom in a New Orleans hotel a couple of months ago. A consultant to the ADHA explained to an overflow crowd about how a “360-degree view” of the associaton revealed that quite a few people, namely dental hygienists, have a very low opinion of the ADHA. In addition, a day or two before the debut of the association’s new brand (see page 16), ADHA officials sat down with members of the hygiene media for a frank discussion about the realization that more effort needs to be made to work with other organizations in dentistry and, more importantly, to be a “useful tool” to all hygienists. They have heeded the signal that many non-members feel the ADHA’s agenda “forgot about us as individuals.”

I concluded that sentence in September 2000 by actually advocating membership. Not much has changed there either. I still believe that any hygienist who is not going through a tough time emotionally or financially should join the professional organization. I was actually quite impressed with the ADHA at its annual session in New Orleans. A new aura of wanting to “unleash the potential” of dental hygiene seems to be quite sincere.

You should begin today by visiting the ADHA Web site at www.adha.org. The association has some excellent reports and updates on its task forces for advanced clinical hygiene practitioner (ADHP), and the standards for dental hygiene practice. Be a part of the profession’s momentum.

One thing that I’ve been nervous about in regard to the magazine’s new design is that I’m afraid you’ll overlook the annual RDH salary survey on page 24.

In recent years, we have always printed the questionnaire in the August issue and the results in the January issue. There’s no exception this year.

It just looks different with its new appearance. Please take the time to answer the questions; your replies are anonymous. I get calls and e-mails year-round from hygienists who use the information for conversations with employers about raises. You can even complete it online at www.rdhmag.com/salarysurvey.html.