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!