Jasmin Haley, RDH, BSDH, CDA
Allegany College of Maryland, AAS, 2007
University of Maryland, School of Dentistry, BSDH, 2008
Fones School of Dental Hygiene, MSDH(c), Expected graduation 2018
Hygiene Edge Interview
1. Where do you currently practice/what type of dental hygiene practice?
I am a PRN hygienist at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC) in Baltimore. I have always loved educating and previously I spent 4 years teaching full-time at a community college. In Spring 2017, I will be joining a dental hygiene program as an adjunct instructor.
I am the founder of Beyond the Prophy LLC, through BTP I empower and inspire hygienists to provide the best patient-centered care and to explore career options that promote excellence. I am also the Co-founder of MOMgienists LLC, through Momgienists my friend Christie and I talk about everything except the kitchen sink and support other mothers through our podcast and Facebook support group.
2. What interested you in dental hygiene as a career?
My fascination with teeth started at age 13 because I had severe crowding and I was teased about my smile. I was accepted to a specialized high school in NYC that had a dental assisting program. After the dental assistant program, I knew my journey in dentistry was not over. I wanted to pursue dental school and decided I would attend dental hygiene school to financially support myself through dental school. Low and behold! I have stuck with dental hygiene for 9 years and it has provided amazing opportunities in my professional career. Many of my opportunities came through my involvement with the American Dental Hygienists' Association and my state constituent. As one my friends, Shavonne Healy, states "ADHA is your professional lifeline." My membership has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined as a student and I am so grateful. It has helped me unleash my potential and now the opportunities that await me are boundless!
3. What is your favorite thing about dental hygiene?
I enjoy connecting with my patients, students, or course attendees. Dental hygienists have a special role in building relationships with their patients and the opportunity to impact their lives every day.
4. What is one piece of advice that you'd give yourself as a dental hygiene student?
Have more fun! I was blessed to make lifelong friendships in dental hygiene school. Although, I went to the BEST program in Maryland, I could have had more fun! As SADHA Class president, I filled my time up with my responsibilities and school work. I didn’t make enough time for myself. I am thankful to my study partner and two women in my class from Ocean City, Maryland, who persistently asked me to hang out with them. I felt that I never had time for fun. However, when they took me out for karaoke it was the best decision I made! It was my Friday outlet that helped me to let out some steam and rejuvenate myself for the upcoming weeks before graduation. I still karaoke till this day!
5. Any funny or favorite stories from your career?
My first temp job out of dental hygiene school was very interesting. I was an awkward mess because of my nerves. My first patient of the day needed to take a full mouth set of radiographs and provide a prophylaxis in 45 minutes! The pressure was overwhelming and I thought I was going to pass out on the spot. The gentleman that I was providing treatment for was very kind as I fumbled along gathering my equipment. Unfortunately, while assembling the XCP holders I didn’t realize I grabbed a defective set. I successfully took the anterior periapical and bitewing radiographs. I was almost finished until I was unable to remove the ring from the posterior periapical XCP to prepare for my final quadrant. I kept tugging and tugging until it finally released --and my hand hit the patient right upside his head! My hand was balled in a fist while I was tugging and I basically punched him in the face! He slumped down in the chair, head down into his chest and didn’t move. He then opened one eye and smiled at me. I was mortified! We both laughed it off and I survived that day. I often thought of him while teaching radiology lab. I remember where I once stood as a budding future dental hygienist.
Final takeaway for the future dental hygienist: It's okay to be a ball of nerves, anxious for your first day as a licensed hygienist -- EMBRACE it and REMEMBER don't stand too close to the patient's face when putting the XCP together! Ha!