BY Lory Laughter, RDH, BS
If the saying is true, "Time moves faster as we get older," 2014 is the official year of being old for me - wasn't Easter yesterday? Endings bring about opportunities for reflection, planning, and goal setting. Many of us vow to improve during the upcoming 12 months. I don't get caught up in the year-end nostalgia and actually do my planning for 2015 in March. I want to devote this last column of 2014 to some of my favorite, dental related destinations on the web.
Dental hygiene blogs are a fun way to keep up with the opinions and happenings of our professional colleagues. The focus of these blogs varies from patient education and public announcements to musings and even rants on life as a dental care provider. Unfortunately, the one thing most blogs written by a dental hygienist have is common is the low percentage of continued offerings or even regular updates to the blog. My own blog1 is no exception and is in need of a fresh entry.
Other articles by Laughter
The trend in blogging is not slowing down; it may just be changing venues. My favorite dental hygiene blog is actually on YouTube. While it is directed to patients, there is something for everyone at Anastasia's Hump Day Happenings.2 Her July 23 video on enamel erosion and swimming is one shared often with my friends, patients, and family.
Social media offers numerous prospects for dental browsing and learning from dental professionals. One of my first Facebook stops every morning is the RDH magazine page.3 Breaking news and information affecting my practice is posted daily, along with the occasional anecdote and humorous comic. Links to articles allow me to keep up with my writing colleagues, while surveys and queries give all of us a place to have a voice.
Another gem on Facebook appeals more to my geek side.4 Dr. Feuerstein's method of explaining technology enables even the most adamant pencil pusher to understand the emergence of digital dentistry. While I don't get to hear him speak often, visiting his dental technology page keeps me updated with the latest in an ever-changing aspect of health care delivery.
My favorite site for topic searching5 is also on my reading list for several publications. RDH eVillage delivers career-enhancing subjects to my inbox every two weeks. The yearly salary survey is one I look forward to and refer to when guiding students in their first job search. At DentistryIQ, every issue of RDH eVillage is archived and available at the click of your mouse.6
My favorite dental video of 2014 is also located on the Dentistry IQ site.7 Oil pulling is a topic my clients and friends find compelling, and Nancy Burkhart offers research and insight from the medical side most of us had never heard nor contemplated in the past. While there is no solid research revealing a therapeutic benefit to the practice of pulling oil, Nancy's research brought up one possible negative outcome for those using the technique. Watch and share with your patients to learn about a new type of pneumonia possible in this population.
CE courses are another favorite stop on my Web Weaving adventures. The abundance of educational offerings online is growing and professionals are realizing the benefit of education at our fingertips without the need for travel or time away from practicing. IneedCE.com8 offers a complete and comprehensive course selection in a variety of formats. There is a text-based format along with webinars and videos to assist you in meeting your CE requirements. Two topic areas among my recommendations are hygiene and oral-body connection and specifically courses authored by Karen Davis, RDH.
No list of favorite sites would be finished without including comedy. One stop for dental humor is Pinterest.9 The cartoons and pins on this page are worthy of hanging on your office or Facebook wall.
There is one funny dental video clip I never tire of watching. Whether you are having a tough clinical day or just need a laugh break, there is no beating Conway and Korman from the Carol Burnett show.10 I laughed at this skit as an impressionable 10 year-old, and it gets more hilarious with time. There are those dental professionals not happy with poking fun at our important contribution to health care, but this video will crack a smile on the toughest critic.
It is my sincere hope that 2014 brought you education and enjoyment, both professionally and personally. May 2015 supply education, insight, and humor during your web-weaving journey. RDH
Websites referred to in this column
1. Author's blog
Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking nationally on a variety of topics. She can be contacted at [email protected].