Jessica Atkinson 64429915c877f

RCC Spotlight: Jessica Atkinson, MEd, BSDH, RDH

March 23, 2023
When a search for dental hygiene teaching videos was a dead end, Jessica Atkinson and her colleagues found their own solution.

Jessica Atkinson, MEd, BSDH, RDH, started working in the dental field pulling charts after school. After graduating from high school, she became a dental assistant and determined that she wanted to become a dental hygienist. Jessica loved dental hygiene school, finding it academically challenging and inspiring. After graduating in 2011, she became a clinical instructor, wanting others to have the same positive educational experience she had.

As a new instructor, Jessica noticed there was a disconnect between what students were learning didactically and how they attempted to apply that knowledge in the clinic. Students often couldn’t visualize what they were reading, and therefore couldn’t replicate it to a level of competence on a typodont or patient. Other educators also noticed this disconnect.

Wanting their students to succeed, the educators searched for videos students could watch at home that demonstrated the skills. Unhappy with the results of this search, Jessica and her colleagues got together and made their own short videos that demonstrated the skills for effective dental hygiene practice, and they loaded them on YouTube. This is how Hygiene Edge was born. Hygiene Edge is now a resource for any dental practitioner looking to improve their skills, be inspired to try new things, and continue to grow in their practice. 

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Jessica’s career goal is to educate and inspire dental practitioners to grow through improved access to quality dental hygiene education. This is the focus of all her social media platforms: Facebook: Hygiene Edge; Instagram: @HygieneEdge; YouTube: Hygiene Edge; LinkedIn: Jessica Atkinson. The education on these platforms can be academic, clinical, or product related. She says, “I hope to help us all be the best we can be, for ourselves and the communities we serve.” 

When she’s not educating, Jessica enjoys cycling, hiking, and mountain biking. She also loves to read and spend time with family and friends. You can reach her at [email protected]. Congratulations, Jessica Atkinson, and welcome to the RDH Community Connections (RCC) dental hygiene influencer program!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2023 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

About the Author

Kirsten Brancheau, BA, RDH

Kirsten Brancheau, BA, RDH, has been practicing clinical dental hygiene since 1978. She earned an associate’s degree in applied science in dental hygiene from Union County College in 1977 and a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Montclair State University in 1988. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Brancheau is also a freelance proofreader, editor, and writer. She can be reached at [email protected].