Luan Nguyen was nominated for this month’s cover by her daughter, Lydia. Lydia, who is not a dental hygienist, wrote us to say, “She is one of the most sincere, caring, and sweetest women I have ever known. We moved to the United States from Vietnam in 1992 when my mother was 35 and she started all over from scratch. During the first couple of years, my mother fought the battle of language barrier, adapting to a new culture, and raising a child — me.”
Luan’s career in dental hygiene is quite a contrast from her Vietnamese career, where she obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in economics. “Having a degree in economics at the time when I graduated was in high demand,” Luan said. “Also, the job was interesting because I had the chance to work for companies that do business with foreign countries.”
The family’s relocation to the United States was based on the political turmoil that affected Vietnam in previous decades.
“Though I had a good job in Vietnam, I was always under the biased judgment of the company management system, because my parents worked for the old regime and two of my brothers fled the country,” Luan said. “My husband’s situation was even worse because his father was a high-ranking officer in the old regime before the Communists took over.
“Moving to the United States was a life-changing event for my family and me. We really enjoy the freedom in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. My husband, my daughter, and I have had the chance to pursue higher education in the fields we like.”
Luan Nguyen, RDH
Dental Offices: Dr. Cynthia Layport, a periodontist in Tigard, Ore., and Dr. Robert Swanberg, a general dentist in Portland, Ore.
College Attended: Portland Community College, graduated in 1999
Spouse: Noan Nguyen
Other: She is an examiner with the WREB and has a Limited Access Permit to provide care in nursing homes or schools without supervision.