Each week the RDH PIRA (Patient Impact & Rise Above) recognition program, sponsored by Water Pik, Inc., features a dental hygiene clinician who excels in his or her role and goes the extra mile. The past two years have been a challenge for many clinicians and as we return to the operatory, we want to acknowledge those who provide patient care—clinicians who are changing their patients’ lives, influencing their patients’ health, and making a difference every day. This week we honor Beatriz Rivera, RDH.
Proudly representing Latina RDHs
“I was an orthodontic assistant for five years but realized I could only go so far in that area. So, I went back to school and received my bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Because I could only take courses at night, it took me four years to complete my prerequisites. I worked full time and went to school at night. I was the salutatorian of my hygiene class, and the first in my family to go to college and earn a degree. I could have chosen an associate degree, but I love to learn, and I wanted to have other options besides clinical practice in the later years of my career.
More PIRA honorees
“I was fortunate to find my dental home right after I graduated from school. I’ve been with my current employer for 14 years, and I love my boss and my coworkers. I’m proud to work in private practice and speak Spanish to help with patient communication. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of Latina hygienists. I enjoy the one-on-one communication with every one of my patients. I love teaching and coaching and making a difference in patients’ lives, and I truly enjoy a good challenge. I love winning over a patient because that seals a trusting relationship between us.
“I was born in Mexico and migrated to the US when I was 8 years old. I graduated with honors from high school, but I felt burned out, so I took one year off from school. But one year turned into five before I realized I needed to go back. I felt ready to accept the challenges. I always knew I wanted to be in health care, and I chose dental hygiene because I knew I’d be able to build one-on-one relationships. I didn’t receive dental care until I was 14 years old, and I’m so appreciative of the dental care I’ve received since then. I want to pass on the care and knowledge that I was given to my patients.”
Visit the PIRA website to nominate someone today! Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from many outstanding and qualified colleagues!