Qualities of a Great Clinical Instructor

Do you currently work at a dental hygiene school? Or have you thinking of changing careers from clinical to education? Ever wondered what it takes to be a great clinical instructor? Below is the top five qualities good instructors have from hundreds of literature written on the subject:

Review of Literature ‐ Good Clinical Teacher (from 1909 to 2008)

1. Positive relationship with students & supportive learning environment (27 citations).

2. Communication Skills (21 citations).

3. Enthusiasm for healthcare (19 citations).

4. Enthusiasm for teaching (18 citations).

5. Enthusiasm for life (14 citations).

Sutkin, Wagner, Harris, & Schiffer, 2008 Literature Review

What was interesting about this study is that not only does an instructor need to love the topics their teaching, but also have a love of life. Having hobbies, friends, family and interests outside of dental hygiene will ultimately help you in the long run with connecting to your students and making you better at your career.

As an educator, the last thing you have time for is fun. We know how busy you are! We also know you can work it in! Even if it playing a simple game on your phone once in a while, getting into photography, or watching a few TED talks, you will learn new ideas that will help you on your education path. 

Though you may not be teaching in a formal setting, we as hygienists are always educators. We are constantly teaching patients on treatment and OHE recommendations, and hopefully inspiring them to increase their overall health. Having a love of life will show your patients how much you care about them and their health. 


What do you like to do for fun that helps with your enthusiasm for life?  Let us know below!