I am writing in regards to the July 1995 article, "Reflections on Today`s Hygienists." As a former employee of Dr. Philip Knall, for more than eight years, I am appalled and dismayed at his comment, "There is also criticism out in the field by other staff complaining that they wish the hygienist was more of a team player and not a `prima donna.`"
During the entire time of my employment with him, I felt all members of the staff worked together as a team. Chris Bennett, CDA, was also employed with him during the entire time I was. There was never a day either one of us left the other alone at the end of the work day without helping each other out. Whether it be to clean a room, sterilize instruments, or do computer work and chart dictation, we left together each evening. Most of the time we were the last ones to leave the office. If treatment was to be explained to a client, I depended on Chris, with her expertise, to thoroughly describe procedures and the dental materials to be utilized. I totally respected her and her judgment along with the other staff members.
I feel it is very unfortunate that the old adage "prima donna" is still used today. How many dentists stay at the end of the work day to help out? How many ask in the morning or throughout the day, "How are things going in your area?" As for myself and many of my hygiene friends, we are very hard-working, conscientious professionals. This is not only for our clients, but with the staff members and the doctors. I know numerous hygienists who are very dedicated to the clients and their practice. In many cases, the clients are retained because of the RDH. This is where I feel the credit should be directed.
When I left the employment of Dr. Knall, I had more than 200 families follow me. This came from building relationships, caring about people, hard work, and not by being a "prima donna." I don`t know who he has been talking to the past five years, but he should have thought twice before making such a ridiculous statement.
Keep up the good work-to all my fellow RDHs.
Janice Propcheck, RDH
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