She was a young high school graduate with a four month old daughter who had no financial or emotional support from the baby’s father, depending on her parents to support both her and the baby feeling hopeless, thinking that life was going down the drain for her. Every day she would look into her beautiful daughter’s eyes and cry because she knew that her daughter deserves the best, and that is what she couldn’t give her. She searched deep within herself and found the courage and motivation to achieve greatness. She knew she had to further her education to pursue her longtime dream; which was to become a secondary educator.
Not only did she realize that she wanted to attend college but she had to work to take care of her baby and help with her tuition. She filled out an application for school and typed up multiple resumes. After six months of feeling hopeless, in January 2010 she was enrolled at the college of the Bahamas and got a job as a dental assistant. Taking her baby to school in the mornings, headed to work, and schooling at night became her daily schedule. After a year of working and schooling, it was then that she realized that she no longer wanted to become a teacher, but she had grown a passion for dentistry.
Working in a people oriented atmosphere and having a flexible schedule made her feel complete. This young lady is me and this is why I want to become a certified dental hygienist. Dental hygienists work in a people oriented atmosphere. The priority for most dental offices is to make the patients feel as relaxed as possible while teaching them how to properly care for their teeth and gums. My personality best fits the job demands; I have great communication skills, love helping others and making them feel relax.
Many people have a phobia for dental office; I have witnessed both children and adults who are afraid of dentist. For example, we had a patient who came for dental treatment on three different days was seated every time and the tray was set up for her to have an extraction. She was so afraid that even though she was in excruciating pain she would not follow through with her procedure. I had to calm her down and explain to her that the situation will only get worse, not better, and this is for her well-being, that it will be best to get the tooth out before it develops more damage to her mouth.
After she was finished she hugged and thanked me for being so patient and caring in assisting with her and making her feel at home. Working at the front desk and sometimes dealing with disgruntled people, I have to remain calm and answer them in a professional manner; this is the norm for me because I have good communication skills. In addition, dental offices should always be clean and sanitized for the safety of the workers and patients. They must adhere to strict compliance of proper radiological procedures and the appropriate use of protective devices when running anesthetic gas.
To protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases, dental hygienists wear gloves, surgical masks and safety glasses. Because dental hygienists must sit while working on patients, they have to be careful to avoid possible neck and shoulder injuries to themselves. Notice in dental offices there are hand sanitizer pumps on the walls, in the bathrooms and in the examination rooms to help decrease the level of infections. All metal instruments are to be sterilized after every use and deposable products are thrown away.
A dental office is where patients come when they are seeking oral health assistance. Dental hygienists teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, remove hard and soft deposits from teeth as well as providing additional preventative dental care. They record the presence of disease or abnormalities after examining patient’s teeth and gums. This is my most favorite part of the job, taking dental pictures using x-ray machines, developing the film, reading the film and explaining to the patients their treatment plan.
This gives patients the ability to prevent other disease from developing in the body such as gingivitis or other gum disease which can lead to more severe problems, like heart attacks. Not only are the work environment people oriented but the fixable schedule of the job is great also. One of the biggest perks of working as a dental hygienist is the flexible scheduling. In this field, many different types of work schedules are common, including full-time, part-time or just weekends.
My schedule is great for me because it allows me the opportunity to follow one of my dreams which is to open a teen center to help teenagers follow their dreams and help groom them into becoming good citizens. On weekends, which is convenient for me because of my week day schedule and the teenagers who are not in school, would be great for holding special events such as seminars or taking field trips. Helping to groom teenagers is another way that I can contribute back to my country. Many dental hygienists are even employed at multiple offices, working one or two days per week in each one.
This will help me to build my clientele and allow me to meet new people. Not only is this good for me but my patients as well; if they relocate from one place to another they will be able to see me at whichever office is closer to them. This is also advantageous for me because earnings for dental hygienists vary based on education, experience, and location. I will be able to get more experience and increase in salary. Hygienists may be paid on an hourly or daily salary, or commission basis. Dental hygienists make annual earnings of about $64,910 in a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While you might occasionally have to squeeze your personal schedule to fit the demands of a busy dental office, most dental hygienists are able to set their own work hours to meet the needs of their hectic lives. As for me, I will set my schedule to work in the day not night because I will want to pick up my daughter and spend quality time with my family at night. I am a family-oriented person so this works out perfect for me. On Sundays going to church and having family gatherings is a tradition in my family; this is a tradition that I will continue to honor. There are many reasons why people consider a career in dentistry.
For some it’s the appeal of the salary income, or for the title it holds, but for me it’s the passion that I have for helping people, the flexible scheduling and the comfortable working environment. Being a dental hygienist can offer the best of both worlds as the career doesn’t require the same amount of schooling as to becoming a dentist, but still allows people to educate the public, work in a dental office and have somewhat flexible hours. I can honestly say I love every aspect of the dental field. When you love doing your job, it will not feel like a job but it becomes a hobby.
Courtney from Study Moose
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