"The ability to administer anesthesia, being able to work without direct supervision in nontraditional settings, the increase in public knowledge regarding the importance of dental hygiene care as related to systemic health--all of these trends have come about because our professional organization is out there advocating for dental hygiene and dental hygienists."
--Angie Stone, RDH, BS
I live in: Edgerton, Wise.
I attended dental hygiene school at: Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wisc.
I became a dental hygienist because: I have always been drawn to people's smiles and thought it would be rewarding to help people keep them healthy and attractive, as well as help those whose smiles weren't so beautiful improve their situation.
My current position as a dental hygienist is: I provide clinical hygiene services in a traditional setting one day a week; provide much-needed prophies in a nursing home environment a couple times a month; provide training sessions to long-term-care team members on the importance of daily oral care for their residents and provide seminars to my colleagues regarding my "Adopt a Nursing Home" model of education. I am the director of hygiene for McKenzie Management, where I provide dental consulting services to offices across the country, and I write for McKenzie Managements e-news letter. I also write/have written for several of our dental hygiene publications! Whew! What an exciting career I have selected!
The thing I enjoy the most about being a dental hygienist: At this point in my career, the thing I enjoy most is educating fellow dental professionals on improving their hygiene departments so they are efficient, profitable and enjoyable. It is amazing to see their faces when I share information they had no idea about!
The most gratifying thing I have accomplished as a dental hygienist is: presenting my course, "Improving Oral Care in the Dependent Adult Population" to my colleagues at RDH magazine's Under One Roof conference in Washington, D.C., in August 2007.
The thing I would most like to accomplish as a dental hygienist in the future is: to make a difference in the way oral care is perceived by long-term-care team members and improve the oral health of the dependent elder population.
My mentor: Shirley Gutkowski, RDH, BSDH, has dedicated the most time to me, but I have a personal "Dental Hygiene Dream Team" that consists of Kristy Menage-Bernie, RDH, BS; Christine Hovliaras Delozier, RDH, BS, MBA; Tammy Filipiak, RDH, BS; Emily KinselI-Berger, RDH, BS, and of course, Shirley.
I believe the dental hygiene profession should concentrate the biggest part of its resources on this goal: access to care for all people. With the connections between oral and systemic health, all people deserve to be able to receive professional dental services. It is not just a tooth thing anymore!
The current trends affecting the practice of dental hygiene: Of course, we all speak of preceptorship affecting the practice of hygiene in a negative way, but there are many things that are affecting it in a positive way. Think about the ability to administer anesthesia, being able to work without direct supervision in nontraditional settings, the increase in public knowledge regarding the importance of dental hygiene care as related to systemic health--these are just a few. All of these trends have come about because our professional organization is out there advocating for dental hygiene and dental hygienists.
The most important thing ADHA membership has done for me is: unknowingly put me in touch with my Dream Team. My professional life has not been the same since that day!
My advice to someone starting out in dental hygiene is: Stay connected to other dental hygienists, especially ones who have been around for a while! You can learn a lot from long-time professionals, but don't hang out with those who are not excited about dental hygiene, they will bring you down. Definitely find a mentor! They will help you grow tremendously!
I balance work and my personal life by: There are times when I am busier with my personal life than my professional life and vice versa. I just take it as it comes and focus on the most important issues at the time, realizing that every task will get finished, and when it is, I will have time for other things.
If someone is interested in finding out more about me or my job, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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