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Kathleen's Blog - August 7th, 2018


I am currently working on my programs that I will be presenting in September and doing some research to update one of my presentations for Halifax, and came across some articles: “Proud of my Op”. This looks like a campaign that Pennwell Publishing has created. You might want to check it out and have a read (www.rdhmag.com). I have to tell you, they provide a refreshing perspective.


I have recently seen a lot of dental hygiene focused content that is themed around being confined to the operatory. It focuses on dental hygienists looking for ways to escape the op!


I really think this sort of perspective sets a negative tone for our profession. By getting dental hygienists to focus on the challenges instead of the opportunities, we set ourselves up for failure. As we all know, we get what we focus on.


I think most of us went into dental hygiene because we want to care and help the public. If you are feeling confined in the op, it might be time to step out and re-evaluate what brought you there in the first place. If you are there because you genuinely care for your clients and want to improve not only their oral health, but also their overall health, why not look at some things you can do to change your mindset somewhat and to work inside an op that you can be proud of?


I speak with dental hygienists over the phone, at rdhu and at conferences and I know there are many similar concerns and obstacles throughout. Hopefully you are working in a practice where there is mutual respect between you and your team and that you have a voice to implement change and continual growth.


If you are feeling stuck, here are a few of my suggestions to help re-engage you in your Op:


Look for hands-on courses that can help elevate your skill and in return help you enjoy your practice again. In addition to skill development, this is also a great networking experience where you can be with your peers and share ideas. Whether you are a veteran in our field or not, there is something for everyone to learn (or be reminded of!) I would recommend looking at our 'Mastery of Skills' Series, presented by Anna Louise Tolan (Mastery of Skills I link is found below). I have known Anna Louise for many years and when we first started rdhu, almost 10 years ago, I approached Anna Louise to create hands-on courses for rdhu. Anna Louise and I sat on the board for the 'ODHA Product and Research News' and I have to say, she has so many wonderful tips and tricks to share and is a wealth of knowledge. She still practices clinically and is inspirational. If you haven’t attended one of her programs, I highly recommend it!


Make sure you are comfortable (ergonomically)! There is nothing worse than at the end of the day being totally exhausted and sore, where you have zero energy left and your battery is completely drained! Look for ways that will help you maintain your energy! We have a course on Energy Management that I present with Ann Tran, who is also a great RDH and a Registered Optician. We go through a number of different strategies used in our profession to prevent fatigue. Examples include: - You can give loupes a try. If you have never worn loupes, they help prevent fatigue by improving your posture. - Choose instruments that are light and have a large handles! We also have some short video clips on our YouTube channel to introduce you to different options that will help you within your practice. - Watch your positioning and your fulcrums (again another thing you will review at our hands-on courses) - Make sure the gloves you wear are the perfect fit for you. These are only a few of the many ergonomic strategies that we share at our full-day course on Friday, October 19th.


Listen to positive podcasts and books to read. So often, I can change my mindset if I am feeling down in seconds after hearing something positive. I am thinking of starting a weekly book summary email of the books I am reading. I would love to know if this is something of interest to you.


Breathe! Take time for you and breathe deep, exercise, go for a walk!


Learn something new! Why not look into a course that can bring new technology into your practice (ie. A Laser program or Scanner course)


I could go on and on in this blog! These are just a handful of things you can do to make you love your Op again! Whether you take these courses at rdhu or not, I feel that getting into a small group hands-on setting will inspire you. The key to happiness is progress, and it’s the lack of progress that makes you feel confined. Continuous learning is never a one-of, it needs to be an on-going journey that brings you joy, happiness and success.


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support and your feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - July 31st, 2018


One of the items we discussed at our rdhu off-site meeting last week was related to how we can improve our ‘after’ experience. Meaning, what more can we give our clients to help them ‘after’ they have attended a course at rdhu or online to reinforce the learning. Just like trying to get your clients to continue to do the things necessary to maintain their oral hygiene while at the same time will keep you top-of-mind.


We discuss strategies on the ‘after’ experience at our special team event, The ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice’.


I feel the ‘After’ experience, for most practices, falls short and if we spent more time focusing on what more we can give your client’s/ patients after they have left an appointment so that your clients are wow’d by your practice, you will notice an incredible growth in your practice. I also think it is important to keep connected during the gap months!


Don’t you feel great when you receive a special surprise after you have purchased a product or service? The thing is, we don’t experience this very often, which makes this even more memorable, if you do decide to focus on the after experience for your practice. This will help your practice stand-out from other practices.


So, let’s think about what more we can do ‘after’ the appointment:


· A thank you card

· A phone call

· Start your own YouTube Channel for your practice and video educational ‘How To’s’ so that you can send them to your client after they have purchased.


For example, if they purchase a Genius Power Brush, you could send them a video on how to set up their Genius Power Brush; if you send them home with interdental aids, you can record a video on 'how to use' the interdental aids, or after they have just received their first implant you can send them a link to a video on how to maintain their implant.


These are just a few strategies that I wanted to share with you to get you to start looking at your ‘After’ experience as a stand-alone entity within your practice. It’s such an important part of your practice if you are looking to improve patient/client loyalty and the frequency of repeat visits.


If you would like to join me to discuss strategies like those outlined above, I would love to see you at rdhu so that we can work together to take your practice to a new level. The information for our next FREE transformational event is found below.


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support, feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - July 24th, 2018


We just wrapped up our rdhu 2-day off-site Strategic Planning/Team Building session at the cottage today and I wanted to share with you why I feel that it is so important that every practice holds off-site meetings/team building sessions.


It is a chance to step outside your everyday environment and get to know and reconnect with your team.


Our team has been together for many years and we have all got to know each other pretty well, so it's always nice to catch up on each other's lives on a personal level.


Your team is made up of people with different needs, ambitions and personalities. Getting to know them, and helping them to get to know each other, can build a happy, trusting team.


Identifying and working toward a common goal, as a team, can unite your group. Having a clearly identified destination can prevent people from pulling in different directions, which is frustrating and ineffective. More times than not, we all have different wants and needs. What you want and need may be totally different than your co-worker. Going through an exercise as to what each individual wants as an end result and what is important to them will help you in identifying how you will achieve your goals.


Conflict is something that is a part of every business or practice. By making sure that the off-site is a ‘safe’ environment to openly discuss issues or concerns will help prevent hurt feelings. I have always been a believer that if something is wrong, it needs to be openly addressed right away and gossip is just not accepted.


The purpose of team building activities is to motivate your group to work together, to develop their strengths and to address any weaknesses.


Off-sites provide an opportunity to identify ‘broken windows’. For those of you who have attended my Team Building events (The '8 Simple Secrets' to Growing Your Practice), you are familiar with this theory. Identify what isn’t working and how it can be fixed when it is a small problem before it becomes a large problem, is a great way to help you and your team reach your goals.


By making team building part of your culture, and not just a one-off, you will strengthen the bonds within your team and will create an atmosphere of positivity and growth.


Our next '8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice' is on Friday, September 7th at rdhu. We will be holding another one in Ottawa (with Henry Schein and the Dental Peers Group) on Friday, November 2. So if you are interested in either of those dates, please save the date and send us an email.


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support, feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - July 17th, 2018


I have to say that I am sure loving the weather that we are having and hope that you are having a great summer as well!


 The Summer 2018 Edition for Dental Hygiene Quarterly is officially in the mail (if you are a DVD Subscriber) and is available online for both DVD and online streamers. As of this edition, the online streaming will be found on the rdhu portal and no longer on the CDHA website. This was a decision made between both CDHA and rdhu so that we can enhance your learning experience. We have a short video on our YouTube Channel (link below), so you can take a quick peek at where it is located and what is included! We now include handouts (when applicable) and supporting documents for each course. We have also included a rdhu Activity Page so that you can reflect on your learning and make a plan for how you are going to make changes to your practice. This Activity Page also includes Goal Samples, for those of you who need these for your Learning Portfolios, but also, in general, as it is a good idea to have a goal in mind prior to taking any course. Why are you taking this course and what are you hoping to get out of it?


I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying being the publisher for this this publication. To me, not only are you being kept current with dental hygiene related information; but also, it is truly the 'Easy Button' for your Professional Development needs.


I love when things are automated to take away unnecessary hours of looking and perhaps preventing you from slipping behind. Whether you need the CE or not, this is a great way for you to stay connected and current.


We have set up Dental Hygiene Quarterly so that you never have to look online for courses that are relevant to dental hygiene and most importantly current evidence based material! You never have to run out of hours and be in a panic looking for Continuing Education or Professional Development. My promise to you is that we strive for excellence and we deliver 3 Hours of CE every quarter, which covers approximately half of your CE requirements, no matter what province you live in!


I hope you have the opportunity to take advantage of our Dental Hygiene Quarterly Summer Special (more info below)!


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support, feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - July 10th, 2018


I hope you are having a great summer so far! We can’t complain about the weather, that’s for sure!


I have had a good start to the summer! I have been working with some QA Coach members, through one-on-one coaching via screen sharing and I have to say, I am super proud of so many of you! I think this is the first year ever that we have had this kind of response from people wanting to get their QA Records complete before the fall. If you are being audited this year or next, I would be happy to help you. Our Mission Possible Summer project has begun and many of you are working on your Practice Profile. If you work as per our timeline, you will have that portion of your SMILE portal complete by July 23. All you need to do is carve out approximately 30 – 60 minutes a week.


For me, this is the time of year that things slow down at rdhu and at home, so I get to put aside time each day to work on projects both personally and professionally. I think the best way to achieve this is to create a plan for your day. I use a Journal that lists my Daily Big 3. The Daily Big 3 are the most important tasks that will have the greatest impact on your goal. This is a list to help support your goals. It could be something so small or something major.


For instance, if you are in need of more CE hours, perhaps your Big 3 would be: 1. To find a CE program on Instrumentation 2. Watch or read the activity 3. Document my learning in my Portfolio


Just think, if you were to create a list similar to this every day how much closer you would be to achieving your goal!


Speaking of instrumentation, I just completed a short series of videos and I am excited to share them with you. Stay tuned and I will be sending the info out soon!


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support, feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - July 3rd, 2018


I hope you had a fabulous Canada Day Long weekend! It was a great weekend up north at the cottage and am thankful that we had a nice breeze passing through. I know it was super-hot in many areas across the country! This weekend is always an extra special one, as lucky for me, my birthday falls on this weekend that is…the last day of school, the beginning of the summer, a long weekend…and a celebration for this wonderful country that we live in!


My celebratory weekend started on Thursday night when I surprised my BFF Jo-Anne Jones (RDH), and her husband, in Toronto. Jo-Anne moved to Kelowna, BC one year ago and is loving it! Jo came home for her celebratory weekend, as her birthday is close to mine and she turned 60 this year! It is hard to believe, I know. For those of you who know Jo-Anne (I am sure that the majority of our readers have attended one of her lectures!), you would be very surprised to hear that she turned 60. I remember years ago thinking that 60 seemed so old. Now, as I get closer to this age (I still have a way to go, but just sayin’) 60 is truly the new 40!


Jo-Anne is the epitome of beauty. She is beautiful inside and out and has given so much to our profession over the years. I think she is at her best now…she’s fit and healthy and living her life by design and to its fullest!


Jo-Anne bought me a beautiful heart necklace for my birthday and said “Kath, you lead your life, including your business, from your heart, and for that I so grateful for you”.


I think as dental hygienists, most of us do live our life from our heart. In general, I think, we are ‘that’ kind of person. We chose a profession where we can help elevate and improve the public’s health. They are in our care and we want the best for them. Kudos to all of you who care, and who set out every day to make a difference!


This time of year, also is a reminder that half of 2018 is behind us. It amazes me, as I feel like the Holiday Season was only a few months ago. It’s a great time to reflect. What have you done or not done this year? Are you on-track with the goals you set out for yourself personally and professionally? It’s a great time to ‘check-in’ and re-evaluate where you are at!


We have lots of cool things happening over this hot summer! For those of you who hold a CDHO licence, The Mission Possible Project is starting this week and for those of you who subscribe to Dental Hygiene Quarterly, we have just finished and published the Summer 2018 issue! It will be in your inbox and/or your front door!


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support, feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 26th, 2018


Last week I received 3 emails from leaders that I follow regarding 'Personal Branding' so I was thinking about how this relates to dental hygienists. Unlike the branding you would have for your practice, this is more about YOUR brand and what makes YOU stand out from the crowd.


Having a personal brand can help you excel in your career. It can get you the respect you deserve in your practice and help you get the position or job you want! It is about being ‘that’ person that everyone would like to ‘go to’ when needed.


Along the way, I have heard from many offices that they have ‘that’ dental hygienist in their practice. You could be the ‘one’ who is great with communication and can close case treatment recommendations. You could be the ‘one’ who is known for her/his positivity in the practice – always smiling and willing to help out. You could be the ‘one’ who is well educated in microbiology and uses the microscope and treatment modalities that go along with that. You could be ‘the one’ who is really dependable or the ‘one’ who is great with instrumentation and sharpening of instruments…the list continues.


What makes you the ‘one’? What can you do within your practice to be known as ‘that’ person?


I remember when I was practicing clinically, I was known as ‘The Sharpenator’ or the ‘Sharpening Queen’ and would sharpen everyone’s instruments (hence why I started my own instrument company way back when!) I was known as ‘Hawk Eye’ in another office when I was living in BC because I never missed a thing in the mouth. I was known as the ‘Happy Hygienist’ in another practice because I was always positive and smiling. What are you ‘known’ for? What makes YOU unique and stand out from the crowd? What is your personal brand that ‘shows up’ every time one of your colleagues sees you?


I am looking forward to the summer as I will be known as your ‘QA Coach’! I will be helpful, dependable and will ‘show up’ for you! The Mission Possible project starts up next week where I will be helping those CDHO Registered RDH’s work on their QA Records over the summer! And if you think you can’t spare a half hour or hour each week, you can save the information shared for when you have time in the fall. We have run this program a few times over the years and have always received great feedback, so I look forward to doing it again! You will receive helpful emails every week. We will hold Live Facebook chats in our private Facebook group so that you can have your QA questions answered to the best of my ability! I look forward to working with our QA Coach members. More information on how to join will be found below.


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support and your feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 19th, 2018


On one of my recent On-Track-Tuesday blogs I mentioned the importance of Professional Development and keeping up with our requirements, even when we aren’t being audited. It raised a discussion on some of our social media outlets and I would like to make sure that I communicate one of my fundamental beliefs. If we don’t continue to be engaged in our learning and to grow and develop our skills, we can fall out of love, so to speak, with what we do. Continuing to learn and implement new knowledge and abilities into our practice helps to keep us engaged in the everyday work that we do. I don’t think this is unique to Dental Hygiene, I think this is true for any professional that wants to love what they do.

We spend a third of our life working, it's worth the effort to love it. Continual learning, skill development and implementation is one way of helping make that happen. Another is to work in an environment where you are happy and able to practice in the way that you wish to practice. I was very fortunate when I was practicing clinically in that, I would say, I thoroughly enjoyed 90% of the practices where I worked over my career. I know things have changed somewhat, but in the end, people are still people and there are a lot of great dental offices out there where the dental hygienists are happy and thriving. If you are working in a practice that is making you compromise and you aren’t feeling respected, then it might be a good idea to start putting the feelers out there for a new office. It may not happen tomorrow, but if you don’t start now, before you know it, another year will have passed and you will find yourself in a place where you still don’t want to be. I meet so many dental hygienists at our courses, events and over the phone and I know there are some who absolutely love what they do. They are engaged, work in a practice that respects them and they are continuously learning and implementing. They do not consider it a chore. Whereas, there are others, who really aren’t happy where they practice, cannot make change and their voices aren’t heard. It doesn’t have to be that way. There could be a ‘Perfect Fit’ for you!


My personal goal, is to help shift the mindset of many RDH’s from one of possible boredom and resentment to one of possibility and growth. I am actually speaking on this topic at the ODHA Re-energize conference on September 28/29 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. If you plan on attending, please let me know!


“The Documentation Burden” is another complaint I hear a lot. Documenting in our Quality Assurance records doesn’t have to be a daunting task. When you think about it, 25 hours over a one-year period is manageable and with all the different resources available it is accessible as well! This is why I love the ‘Dental Hygiene Quarterly’ publication so much. It is a Nation-wide publication, partnered with the CDHA, reasonably priced, you receive half of your CQI requirements for the year, it is relevant to dental hygiene, it is current, includes hot topics and offers a Special Feature at the end that highlights a new product, company or service that will help us in our practice. These types of programs can help you stay engaged and at the same time offers great learning! We try to make it really easy to meet your requirements.


For those of you who live in Ontario, we have also just added the ‘Independent Hygiene Boot Camp’ with Lori Lawrence, RDH and Bev Woods, RDH to our calendar. If you have been thinking about Independent Hygiene, this might be a great opportunity for you to explore other options! It will be held at rdhu on Saturday, September 15th. You will find more information below!


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support and your feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 12th, 2018


I am away this week at a ‘Breakthrough Blueprint’ meeting in Toronto with my mentor and a group of entrepreneurs.


One of the men here is an audiologist and we are working together to help craft his message to the public in an effort to help him attract more patients to his clinic.


Audiology is similar to dentistry as it is largely becoming a commodity where offices are competing with one another by offering ‘Free’ services to get patients/clients in the door (sound familiar…free teeth whitening anyone?)


Instead of using “free” to attract patients/clients, it is much better to become a trusted authority. It gives the practice much better stability, attracts the ‘right’ kind of client and is much more personally rewarding.


At my ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice’ last Friday, we discussed this topic as well. Offering free education and information regarding a particular topic is far better than offering free procedures or give-aways. i.e. new power brush with every new patient exam (note: this is also frowned upon by our regulatory bodies).


Differentiating yourself by being really knowledgeable on a subject, and by sharing valuable content, you will become a trusted authority. Once you can clearly explain why these things matter to the client, they will choose to stay with the practice they feel can service them best. Though we cannot use the word 'expert' in our communications, done right and the client will quickly realize you really know your ‘stuff’ and really care about them.


So how could you become a trusted authority? Educate, educate, educate the public! And there are so many ways to do that! The more we keep up with our education, the more we educate, the deeper our connection to the client and the more our practice will grow! It is just one of the secrets we teach at the ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice” events.


Thank you to everyone who joined us this past Friday for a fabulous day and for all your lovely emails following. It was a win-win kind of day for everyone who attended! One office said it was the first course they attended where there was something in it for all members of the team! The trip to Ridgeroad Winery is always a nice way to end the week as well :)


If you are interested in joining us for our next event, the information is below. It is free and sponsored by Crest & Oral B and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. For those who are from out of town, there is a hotel only 10 minutes away. I recommend you save the date and join us!


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 5th, 2018


When I was out visiting in British Columbia last month, I met a very engaging dental hygienist who also works at her family marina. As we were loading up my friend’s boat for an excursion, we were talking about everything hygiene. One of the things that really struck me during our conversation was when she said she was having a difficult time getting her society group together to ‘show up’ for professional development. She found some really great presenters, who have to travel in, but unfortunately only a handful of RDH’s attended. She said it was packed last year and now this year, not at all. I asked why that is and her answer is one that I am very familiar with and that is, ‘their QA cycle is done’.

Each province has different requirements and different ‘audit’ cycles. And after operating rdhu for almost 10 years now, I notice the QA cycle as well. Sometimes we see the same people all year long (and trust me, I love seeing you all year long, that’s not what this is about!) and then we won’t see that person until he/she is getting audited again. Some have 75 hours to achieve over the one-year period! Can it be done…sure, it can! Is it going to be fun and rewarding…probably, not so much!

We sign our Registration every year that we are keeping up with our QA requirements. This quote comes to mind for me: J. C. Watts Quotes. “Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.”


PD is like fitness to me. Doing a little bit of fitness each day, you will notice a change in your body and your mind. Doing Professional Development along the way, you will notice a change or transformation in your dental hygiene practice. You will notice a change in your mindset and will feel more engaged and empowered in your practice. And at the end of the day, when it’s your ‘turn’ to submit your QA Requirements, you won’t be jamming in hours and feel panicked and pressured. When we continuously learn we will feel fulfilled and engaged and in control of our career. It’s not just about QA requirements. It’s also a gentle reminder each day, that what we do is so important. We play an integral role in our client’s overall health.


We are finishing off production for the Summer 2018 edition for the ‘Dental Hygiene Quarterly’ this week and I want to share with you what this publication is about. Every quarter or season, 3 hours of Professional Development or CE is published and delivered to your door (in a DVD format) or online (from your computer or mobile device). The information we deliver is always hot, current and relevant to our practice. It was designed to keep you up to date with an ever-changing and growing profession. It was designed to keep you connected. Every time we finish recording a presenter, I feel like WOW…everybody needs to see this. I have learned so much from this publication over the last two years since it has been under the rdhu umbrella.


We keep the price-point very low to help the dental hygienist financially, as RDH’s we have a lot of commitments and fees to maintain our licence. If you would like to stay connected and current with your learning, I encourage you to join us. I promise, that you will feel connected, informed and current and in return you will feel engaged in your dental hygiene practice. And if you are that person who is working hard at getting 75 hours this year, please reach out to me so we can help you. Life gets in the way sometimes. We have all been there at some point.


If we continue to do the same thing year after year and only taking courses when it’s ‘our time’, you will never truly feel satisfied in your career.


I committed to life-long learning many years ago, both professionally and personally, and the transformation for me has been so rewarding.


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,