RESOLUTIONS, in my opinion, should be private affairs and not necessarily based on a calendar date such as New Year's Day. This opinion flies into the face of most advice that I read, mainly because many resolutions fare better when someone has a support group of family and friends to cheer on the small steps accomplished with goals.
However, I also read that the beautiful thing about opinions is that they underscore how diverse we are as members of a community. There's a certain harmony that surfaces when we don't all think alike. The dental hygiene community is certainly no exception. I asked the community of writers who frequently submit articles to RDH what would be their New Year's resolution for the dental hygiene profession.
All of the writers below are dental hygienists. I read their articles every day, and there's no doubt in my mind about how much they care about you, the readers of RDH.
I have an opinion or two about which resolutions resonate the best with me. But I think you should come to your own opinion, so these are listed in alphabetical order.
Cathy Alty (frequent contributor of feature articles): I would resolve that dental hygienists in 2015 would no longer be held hostage to the demands of dentists, and that dentistry as a whole would stop being all about the money.
Nancy Burkhart (author of "Oral Exam" column): I would make a yearly oral pathology/oral medicine course mandatory for anyone in the dental profession (dentists and hygienists).
Ann-Marie DePalma (author of "From the Podium" column): I would resolve that dental hygienists explore and use technology to the fullest extent possible in their practice to enhance their patiient's experience and improve quality of care.
Dorothy Garlough (author of "Crafting Connections" column): I would love to see hygienists step up as leaders in 2015 to promote a culture of diversity within our offices. When we inspire coworkers that it is our differences that broaden knowledge and trigger insights, we step into possibilities that only inclusiveness and collaboration can deliver.
Lory Laughter (author of "Web Weaving" column): 2015 needs to be the year of change for the profession of dental hygiene. Our complaints have been the same for over 20 years; I would like to see this be the year we all stand up, be heard, and be courageous enough to begin the process of much needed change.
Eileen Morrissey (author of "Anecdotal Hygienist" column): My hope for the dental hygiene profession in 2015 would be universal respect, understanding, and appreciation from the powers that be to allow for the appropriate time intervals and working environment essential to provide quality care to our patients.
Christine Nathe (author of "Public Health" column): As a profession, I would like us to continue to work with all associations to collaborate on solutions to improve the oral health of all Americans!
Cathy Seckman (frequent contributor of feature articles): I wish for every hygienist the interest and the resources to support dental charities like the National Children's Oral Health Foundation, Oral Health America, the Oral Cancer Foundation, and the Children's Dental Health Project.
Dianne Watterson (author of "Staff Rx" column): For 2015, I would resolve that all dental hygienists have their "perio radar" engaged and become more aware of early periodontitis. The earlier it is treated, the better. I would also resolve that all licensed dental hygienists become members of ADHA and actively support their profession.
Jannette Whisenhunt (author of "Evolving Hygienist" column): I would like to see a national clinical board exam that is "truly national" and not broken up into sections like it is now, and that would include every state having similar functions for a hygienist.
I may be ornery about when and where you should resolve to goal-setting. But I do wish all RDH readers a very successful 2015.
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