How dental hygienists can invigorate their careers

Forums like Facebook make it easy for clinicians to congregate and share thoughts on everything from products to office politics. It’s exciting that it is so easy to get information, but it’s also sad to see how many in our profession are unhappy. Obviously, there is no way to accurately measure the overall discontent, but it appears to be at an all-time high as compared to previous decades.

Those of us who have enjoyed or are enjoying satisfying careers are scratching our heads. While we are not so naïve to think that everything is perfect in every clinical practice, we love this profession and are disturbed by how desperate some are to leave. At times the anger is palpable, as clinicians lash out at employers, patients, coworkers, and the health-care system.

Certainly, not everyone is cut out for clinical work, but that is where most jobs are these days. The traditional office setting with a handful of doctors and employees is becoming more and more rare. Some aspects of the future are scary and disturbing, while others, such as more open practice acts, are exciting and invigorating. Today’s clinicians will have to be nimbler than ever in adapting to the changing landscape. Dental hygiene has a growing number of practice models, including corporately owned offices, multilocation practices, federally qualified health-care centers offering multidisciplinary care, and the advancement of dental hygiene services provided outside of a traditional office setting using portable dental equipment.

Here are some strategies that can help refocus your future as our profession evolves to meet these changes.

Remember why you chose this profession

Most of us chose dental hygiene because we wanted to take care of people, earn a decent living, and have a flexible schedule that allowed us to have a reasonable work-life balance.