Working in a fast-paced environment, it can be difficult to catch a moment to breathe and take stock of what you’ve done. There are quantitative ways to measure your year, of course—the number of procedures performed, days worked, patients seen, production made, wages earned, continuing education hours taken. And while those numbers serve their purpose, they are only one way to represent your year, and too much emphasis on them can feel...empty.
Working at a media company, we also have quantitative figures to consider. There’s the number of readers who came to our website, the articles published, newsletters sent, magazines printed, courses presented, UOR attendees welcomed. When I think about those numbers, I’m proud, but I also think of how each one represents a real person with professional aspirations, problems, frustrations, and accomplishments, a real person who in turn is treating other real people in his or her operatory.
We have an article this month that particularly considers this, written by Lisa Nelson Mergens, BS, RDH. After a chance meeting with a nurse who had cared for her through both joy and tragedy nearly two decades ago, she considered the impact a clinician can have in someone’s life. “Think back over your career and the relationships you’ve built with your patients,” she says. “While we might not be delivering someone’s child, we each have a multitude of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our patients.”
This issue contains several other articles I hope will help you take stock of your accomplishments this year and inspire you for 2019. Are you contemplating doing yourself a huge favor by purchasing a much-needed stool or set of loupes? Then you won’t want to miss an article by Anne Guignon, MPH, RDH, CSP, on what to know about buying ergonomic products online (page 16). After another year of the opioid crisis, are you curious what you can do to reduce your patients’ risk of opioid abuse? Then turn to our cover story on page 42 by Amber Metro-Sanchez, BA, RDH. Wondering what you should know about the new periodontal classification system? Check the article on page 45 by Jessica Raymond-Allbritten, BASDH, CRDH.
I wish all of our readers the happiest of holidays. All of the RDH staff looks forward to another year’s journey with you.
Amelia Williamson DeStefano