Dental Hygienist Spotlight: Helen

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Name: Helen

Currently going to school where? When are you graduating? Seattle Central College, June 2018

What do you love so far about dental hygiene? I love interacting with patients and providing them with the best care possible.

Your favorite subject in hygiene school? My favorite subject in hygiene school is local anesthesia.

What do you love (qualities/style of teaching, etc) in a professor/clinical instructor? I am a visual learner so I enjoy powerpoint presentations. I like having demos at the start of clinical sessions and hands on practice so I can have the actual experience during clinical sessions.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate (like where you want to work/what kind of practice?) I am hoping to work at my private practice that I have been working as a dental assistant for the past 5 years. I would also like to try temping around at other offices to see what other offices are like.

Any funny stories from hygiene school? I cannot remember any funny stories so far but if I do, I’ll make sure to share it on my page.

What interested you in starting a DH school vlog? I started dental hygiene school by creating an Instagram account to document my journey throughout the program but as I entered my 2nd year I thought it would be great to show others who are interested in the profession to see what dental hygiene school is like through vlogs of dental hygiene school and parts of my daily life which I post weekly videos on YouTube. I am hoping to spread the awareness of the profession and hopefully create videos to give tips and advice in the near future to those who are interested in becoming a dental hygienist too! My Instagram account is _dentalhygiene and my videos can be viewed through the link in my bio.

Any advice for a hygiene student just starting out? Dental hygiene school can get pretty overwhelming with the amount of course load and clinical hours to fulfill. Try to balance your life out and take it day by day. Find time for yourself to keep doing the things you enjoy and everything will be ok in the end. Teamwork is key so make sure you are always communicating and helping your classmates out.


Do you know a hygienist that is amazing and should be spotlighted? Email us @ hygieneedge@gmail.com.

Dental Hygienist Spotlight

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Name: Rebecca Comstedt

Graduation: I graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006.

What are you doing now?

I am currently working 4 days per week for a general DDS. There are three hygienists in the practice, and the DDS is looking to hire an associate in the near future. I am passionate about patient education, presenting a simple (yet accurate) message to the patients, and creating a system/process to improve oral health. I want to change the oral health conversation and improve oral health understanding. We are seeing periodontal disease in younger ages (just as we are seeing more chronic systemic disease in younger ages); if we can change the condition of the mouth, we can change the condition of the body. This happens when we address Biofilm, Bacteria and the Body. When it comes to addressing the body, nutrition is the foundation, so we need to be informed on basic nutrition (I've come to love the Juice Plus supplement, and the research they have on improving gingival health). RDH Companion is a resource that provides the RDH with patient education materials that connects oral/systemic health, and offers a variety of methods to improve the biofilm, bacteria and body. We also seek to present this information in a language the patient can understand and appreciate. 

Any advice for dental hygiene students?

 You are entering a field that is on the cusp of great change. The medical community can no longer ignore how the bacteria in our mouth relates to the body; as a hygienist, you are on the front line of teaching the patient how to kill the bugs and heal the seal! Connect with your ADHA association to stay in the know and in relationship with other RDH's, be confident in your education (you are more that a teeth scraper!!), and take care of your body!


If you have an amazing hyginenist you'd love highlighted, email us their info @ hygieneedge@gmail.com.

Hygienist Spotlight- Krystal Frankfurt

 

Name: Krystal Frankfurt

From: Grew up on a dairy farm in Gibbon, MN. Lived in Australia, Germany, Nevada, and currently; Montana.

Where and when you Graduated DH School: Minnesota State University, Mankato -May 2012. Studied abroad in Australia and got to visit the “Crazy Dentist” of Australia

Favorite Part of Dental Hygiene: Knowing that I can help someone and make a difference in their life and health!

 

Funny story from school or practice? Oh boy, which one! I will start with the most recent. I was doing my chart notes when I noticed my patient from earlier that day was checking out at the front desk. I saw their date of birth on the top of my chart read todays date, so I exclaimed “[Patients name]! Happy 48th birthday! Hope you have a great birthday!” and their blank expression turning into a confused looked smiled back with no words exchanged. As I turned back and continued in my chart notes, I thought to myself “that’s weird they didn’t say anything, maybe I did the math wrong”. I continued writing when I realized I had someone else’s chart! It was at that point I completely turned red because I not only called my patient the wrong name/age but gave them a “happy birthday wish” that turned out to be 8 months ahead.

In the military I was instructed to called my patients by their rank and last name. I had been working for about 3 months mind you, calling them by their rank and last name. Well one day, the patient I called back started laughing. When we got to the patient room and they informed me they had to tell me something. I was shocked to find out SSG wasn’t pronounced S-S-G but STAFF SERGENT! (and you can imagine all the other ranks I butchered.) It all made sense why sometimes my patients were unsure when I was calling them back and received lots of smiles.

One day when I got home my husband informed me his tooth just “fell out!” I looked inside his mouth and indeed he did lose something, but rather than “his tooth”, it was a crown. Coincidently it was hailing out and we were about to get in the car to head to the dentist. I asked if he had remembered to bring his crown. He dug in his pocket grabbing his white crown to confirm he had it and then accidentally dropped it on the ground. WHILE it was hailing. We spend hours digging, sorting, and deciphering what could be a crown or hail. After hours of only finding hail, we gave up and spent a big chunk for a new crown.

Last one is the greatest memory from hygiene school. I laugh every time I tell this story! I placed fluoride varnish on my patient and told them not to eat or drink for 8 hours. Later I ran into their mom I thanked her for her son helping me out. That’s when I found out it all went well except he was starving! I had accidentally told them 8 hours instead of saying nothing hard or crunchy for 4-6 hours. At least we know the fluoride was absorbed!

Eight grade I knew I wanted to go into dental hygiene. My dad went to the dentist for routine care and they found a lump on his jaw. After referring him, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was able to catch it in Stage 1 and after going through chemo and radiation, he is now 13 years cancer free! That’s when I knew I wanted to pursue hygiene.

Any advice for a dental hygiene student? Stay positive and keep working! Be proud of the things you’re learning—everything you learn will help you to help others!

Hygienist Spotlight- Sarah Theil

Name: Sarah Theil

Dental Hygiene School: San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico

What got you interested in Dental Hygiene? I wanted to be a photographer. I moved up to Provo and was all signed up to attend at the time it was called Utah Valley State College. I was driving down the road and saw a sign for a Dental Assisting school. I remember calling my mom and telling her I unenrolled from UVSC and signed up for dental assisting school, all within a matter of an hour. HAHA. I was a dental assistant for 4 years before I realized how awesome dental hygiene was. I wanted to be able to make my own schedule and see my own patients. Most importantly, I knew one day I wanted to be a mom and I wanted to be able to make enough money in a few days that I could stay home and raise my family the rest of the time. So off to hygiene school I went! That was 11 years ago.

What do you do for work now? I work clinically one day a week. I still have those few patients left that threaten to never get their teeth cleaned as long as they live if I don't do it. I am a secretary on the Dental Hygiene Committee of the NM Board of Dental Healthcare. I am a dental hygiene examiner for two different examining companies. And most recently, I started a company called CE Zoom!

What is CE Zoom? CE Zoom is the only fully automated CE management platform. From one website, a person can be notified of a course, register for it, verify their attendance, take a mandatory survey, receive a digital copy of their CE certificate, track that course against their individual state's rules and regulations, and in participating states have their completed CE transcript submitted straight to the state for license renewal or and audit. This is a great tool for a dental professional, however, it's even better for a company or conference to help manage their presenters, registration, surveys, and certificate distribution! AND from a state dental boards viewpoint, it's a fantastic way to do an audit. The system separates everything into different categories based off of what each individual state's rules are so when the person doing the audit receives a transcript, they don't have to think about what course goes into which category. It is all done and separated out for them. If the person doing the audit relieves a transcript, they don't have to think about what course goes into which category. It is all done and separated out for them. If they person doing the audit doesn't feel like a course was good for that state, they can deny the course and the system will automatically recalculate knowing if that individual passed their audit or not. This is a very basic description of what CE Zoom can do. If you want to know more, get on the site and sign up for a free account!

 

What is one piece of advice that you'd give yourself as a dental hygiene student? Everything you learn in dental hygiene school IS and could be useful to you at some point! I remember we had to give so many presentations and I could not figure out why and hated every second of it! Now, I know why that was so important and am so grateful that I learned how to do that! I have to stand in front of group of people all the time now and present my company and I honestly feel because I was forced and taught how to do it so early on that this is now very easy for me to do. Also, I wish I had started networking and being more involved in the American Dental Hygiene Association sooner in my career. I could know and could have made so many more connections if I had been networking and volunteering since the day I graduated rather than for the last 5 years.

What is one thing you would want to tell a dental hygienist who is interested in starting their own company? It's not easy. I could count on my hands and feet how many times I wanted to give up. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It's kind of funny- the reason I was really gung ho about starting CE Zoom and making this work is because I wanted to be able to stay home full time with my kids. The COMPLETE opposite has happened. Now I'm gone even more because I have to travel so much to teach people on how amazing this program is. I know though that in a few years things will change and I will be able to to be home more with my kids. However, I absolutely love the opportunities I have gained from all of this! I would have never met all the people I have and made the connections I have if I never started this! I would still be working my 2 days a week and filling in for hygienists when they go out of town, which would have been fine. I remember in February I was in Ohio at dinner with some "big dogs" of a company and I remember just sitting there thinking "Wow! Two years ago I would have NEVER imagined I would be at dinner with these two guys talking about our families like we are old friends." Now I have been invited to be a member of the Crest Smile Council and I get to spread my voice about the importance of CE and why it's important for dental professionals to care about the continuing education they are going to. 


Thank you Sarah for letting us highlight you in our latest Hygiene Edge Hygienist Spotlight! If you know a hygienist worth spotlighting, email us at hygieneedge@gmail.com.

Dental Hygienist Spotlight

Avalene Roberts has been in the dental field for over 19 years. She is a mom of two little ones, is the head hygienist for a busy New York practice and is the CEO of DDS Connections, a nation wide dental employment web site.  She is one busy lady. She thought of everything when creating DDS Connections for dental professionals. The website gives an interactive experience where dental professionals can search for employees by years of experience, zip code, pay rate, languages spoken, full/part time or temporary work and of course position.  Some unique features about DDS Connections are that it allows you to upload a personal professional photo, post case pictures and add video references from past teachers or employers. You can become part of the DDS Connections community at www.ddsconnections.com. We here at hygiene edge are happy to support a fellow hygienist as she helps hygienists reach their employment goals!