6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Dental Hygiene Career… In the Middle of a Pandemic

In order that’s it! Board exams are achieved and handed, the stress of learning endlessly for weeks at a time is behind you, and you may lastly rejoice the fun of being an informed skilled. Any new profession could cause a mixture of feelings, as you might be closing one door and boldly getting into one other; you might be excited, nervous, and afraid of what obstacles could come subsequent.

All through my first 12 months as a working dental hygienist, I discovered myself making a psychological observe, a listing of issues I want I had recognized earlier than beginning this new profession. I saved saying to myself all through the interviews, job affords, and first purchasers, “if solely I had recognized… then it will be simpler.”

Now, a 12 months into my dental hygiene profession, I take into consideration these instances which have formed me into the hygienist I’m right now. After compiling my ideas and experiences with these of quite a few colleagues throughout Canada that had been going via the identical first 12 months challenges throughout a time of uncertainty (Covid-19),  I’m sharing 6 issues each new grad ought to know earlier than beginning their dental hygiene profession.

Suppose Lengthy-term

“Start with the top in thoughts.”- Stephen Covey

I do know it sounds fairly humorous, however, as soon as doing so, you will discover that pondering long-term units you on the street to success. Due to this fact, do your analysis earlier than sending out resumes. Get an thought of what sort of workplace you need to work in—pediatrics, orthodontics, periodontics, or normal follow. Would you like room to develop throughout the occupation? Or higher but financially? Do the hours of operation work along with your way of life? Does your character mesh effectively with the office and its members? By making ready your self with a listing of wants for achievement for the interview course of, you’ll be able to enter each feeling assured in what’s being mentioned and negotiated. Keep in mind that they aren’t simply interviewing you; use this time to additionally interview them.

Nearly Every little thing is Negotiable

  You get what you ask for on this life. In case you ask for nothing, you get nothing.”- Dr. Phil

When sending out resumes and ready for the decision backs, it may be tempting to hop on the primary supply acquired. Now, in some uncommon instances, possibly that first supply ticks off all of the packing containers on your desired profession; nonetheless, that’s usually not the case.

My recommendation for you is to know your price! Do no settle for a proposal under median, simply because it was the primary one which got here alongside.

In accordance with NerdWallet, a survey confirmed that solely 38 p.c of current graduates negotiated their wage upon receiving a job supply. I believe it’s protected to say that many new grads should not have the boldness or information wanted to safe the most effective supply. Be assured in what you might be asking for; the very fact of the matter is, many workplaces are prepared and ready to tweak a wage supply, advantages or different mentioned features. With that mentioned, go together with grace and lead with considerate inquiries about issues that matter most on your happiness and success.

The Most Lovely Factor You Can Put on (apart from FIGS) is CONFIDENCE

“I’m not afraid… I used to be born to do that.”- Joan of Arc

Sufferers will solely have as a lot confidence in you as you have got in your self—it’s true. Within the early weeks of my dental hygiene profession, I’d seldom point out the truth that I used to be new on the workplace, not to mention new on the job. The occasional long-term affected person would acknowledge a brand new face and ultimately ask, however for probably the most half I used to be like some other hygienist I used to be working alongside. I seen that as a result of I lead with a assured mentality, it was a shock to many when talked about it was my first hygiene job. With confidence I discovered my groove and was in a position to regulate my schedule to suit my wants, and, after all, nothing sells confidence like a recent set of pink figs.

Getting In The Groove

A brand new job is sort of a clean ebook, and you’re the creator.”- Unknown

It takes time to regulate.  You’re not given one hour per quadrant such as you had at school; as an alternative, you might be down to at least one hour per patient within the working discipline, and that could be a laborious transition. I need to encourage new graduates to take the initiative to go in every week or two earlier than their begin date (or higher but while you’re nonetheless at school) to shadow; get all of the follow you’ll be able to in your new house, be taught the stream of the workplace, the place issues are and the way every appointment usually goes.

Don’t be shy to ask for buffer time between every affected person. I discovered that by doing so, it gave me the power to not really feel as rushed and to supply my sufferers with the right high quality of care. You’ll quickly understand that the educational is just not over and has solely simply begun.

No Lunch Break? That Ain’t it Sis

“The prepared horse is at all times overworked.”- Charles Darwin

Darwin mentioned it proper in a single sense or one other: the extra you might be prepared to do, accept, or prepared to do with out, you finest imagine you’re doing it. Sadly, it’s an unethical development that’s seen in far too many workplaces throughout Canada. Little to no break in an 8-hour day shouldn’t be a norm that we permit within the dental neighborhood for any occupation and but it’s nonetheless so widespread 30 years later.  Why is that? The reply is as a result of we, as a physique, permit it to occur. Usually we justify it with “that’s simply the best way it’s” when actually, that’s NOT “the best way it’s.”

I imagine as dental hygienists we do far an excessive amount of psychological and bodily work to go with out correct breaks or lunches. Sadly, little or no consideration has been given to the stressors of the job. Don’t accept something lower than you deserve. There are workplaces on the market which have extra versatile schedules and an understanding for the occupation.

Making Cash Strikes

“ Get your pockets honey, this seems to be costly.”- Irene Iancu

For a lot of like myself, this was the primary time I had an actual paycheck in my hand—signed and addressed with my title on it.  I had a sense of pure accomplishment. Like some other millennial my first thought was: “What can I purchase? The place can I spend this cash? And how briskly?” My recommendation to you is to avoid wasting, save, save. Adulting is dear; between pupil loans, automotive funds and hire, you’ll quickly understand how little is left over for enjoyable. Finally, my recommendation to you is to deal with your self first, however modestly. Set a price range on your month-to-month bills and know your limits.

I hope these little tidbits of recommendation might be of use to any college students on the brink of graduate, going via the interview course of, and even navigating your personal new dental hygiene job. Carry on saving smiles.


  1. Helhoski, Anna. “How Do You Examine? Common Salaries by Age and Occupation.” NerdWallet, 5 Could 2021,

In regards to the Creator

Alana Munro is a proud graduate of the Southern Ontario Dental Faculty. As a working dental hygienist in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Alana strives to at all times present her purchasers with the best stage of care, guaranteeing that every expertise is stress free and stress-free.  With a millennial mentality, Alana is keen to share an inside look into this new chapter of life via her Instagram web page.  Serving to future hygienist navigate the trials and tribulations of college via quirky reels, motivational messages, and ideas & methods on the way to save smiles. Verify her out: IG @toothfluencer.

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