We're excited for an amazing 2019-2020 years in Utah and in dental hygiene with our new UDHA President Kathleen Young. She is amazing dental hygienist and educator that wants what is best for dental hygiene in our home state and for the entire county and profession.
I have been a dental hygienist for over 40 years. I graduated in 1979. I knew from 8th grade on that I wanted to be a dental hygienist. I had two uncles that were dentists, so they inspired me. I chose dental hygiene over dentistry, because of the flexibility it offered. I always like to share the story of when I was a student. I went out to get my patient and it was a very grumpy old man! He kind of scared me. I wasn't sure what to do with him, then the thought came to treat him as if he were the nicest person in the world. I did this through the whole appointment, and by the end, he actually was pretty nice. It was a lesson learned for me that you always treat people the best you can, because you never know what is going on in their lives.
My favorite part of clinical hygiene was the relationships I built with my patients. That, to me, is the best part of dental hygiene. My goals for 2020 are:improve our collaboration with the Utah Dental Association and inspire hygienists to serve in their community, state, country and world.
Best advice for new dental hygiene graduates: Realize you don't know everything, but also that you know a LOT. Time is a great teacher, and you will get better and better. Also, don't skimp on standard of care. Try to educate your dentist on the importance of oral cancer screenings, blood pressure, etc.