Pira Vanessa Tulley 631f97f9c93e8

An educated patient is a healthier patient

Sept. 12, 2022
In the early days of the pandemic, Vanessa Tulley, RDH, continued her long commitment to patient education by creating videos on a wide variety of topics about the oral-systemic link.

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 Vanessa Tulley, RDH.

“Many things have changed or evolved in the world of dentistry since I graduated from hygiene school 36 years ago, but many have stayed the same. For me the importance of building patient relationships and patient education has always been the focus of my clinical practice, and my philosophy of an educated patient is a healthier patient holds true.

More PIRA honorees

Building relationships one patient at a time

"The epitome of strength and achievement"

“When the pandemic hit, I created a video that was sent out to patients to reassure them of their safety when they returned to the office. We also went live on social media to address questions our patients may have had.

“I then created a six-part video series branded our "Hygiene Connection" to educate our patients on the importance of oral health and its link to overall health. These videos focused on heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pregnancy, and certain cancers. Periodontal disease is out of control, and as dental professionals we need to do more.  I I lost my mom after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and if I can prevent even one individual from suffering what she did, I will consider my mission a success.”

Visit the PIRA website to nominate someone today! Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from many outstanding and qualified colleagues!