RDH Editorial Advisory Board member profile: Staci Violante, MSDH, RDH

We ask Staci three questions about her career path and the future of dental hygiene

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Staci Violante, MSDH, RDH
Professional affiliations: New York University College of Dentistry
Location: New York, New York
Areas of expertise: Education

What changes in dental hygiene over the next few years most excite you?

The health-care system is constantly changing. These changes, along with new trends, will forge the role of future generations of dental hygienists. Here are three trends that most excite me:

• Midlevel providers—These already exist in some states and will hopefully expand into other states.

• Technological innovations—These include dental informatics; chairside diagnostic testing for screening diabetes, HIV, HPV, and many other systemic conditions; and salivary testing to assess risks for periodontal disease. One day these will be the standard of care.

• Education—More and more hygienists are going back to school for advanced degrees, elevating the dental hygiene profession beyond the office.

What’s been the most memorable part of your career journey?

This year marks my twenty-first year in the dental hygiene profession. My most memorable moment was when I made the conscious decision to quit practicing hygiene on a full-time basis, committed to pursue and earn my graduate and postgraduate degrees, and focused on becoming a full-time educator. It has been such a rewarding and wonderful change for me, and I feel as if I’ve found what I’m truly meant to do.

What piece of advice do you wish you could have given to yourself five or ten years ago?

That is a great question. I absolutely would have told myself to pursue graduate and postgraduate degrees while I was younger. I would have had more experience and settled into a career trajectory that would have dictated my professional development until retirement. As they say, youth is wasted on the young and wisdom is wasted on the old!

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