My first day...

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lago in Austin, Texas

57 months ago

So I am a new grad, and just got my first job at a seemingly great place. Did anyone else feel totally incompetent on their first day? I feel like I gave the crappiest care, which kills me. The staff was nice enough, but I feel like maybe I made a bad decision going into this field..any thoughts?? I know I am not the BEST hygienist, but I really care about the patients and the care I give them. I know that I have a ways to go before I master this career, but is this normal?

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

57 months ago

Lago,
This is normal....new grad...new job....you feel like you're watching the patient walking out the door thinking to yourself that there's still calculus in their mouth..... Don't worry.....you'll get it next recall!! Seriously...don't worry..... Be pleasant....with patients and staff...and smile.....relax and smile......let people know you want to learn...let people know you're open to ideas or ways of doing something easier etc.... The most important part is making that patient feel comfortable with you...and that they liked your office......you'll get to 'everything' as you practice...no worries...

good luck....hey...i'm flying to austin on thanksgiving day!

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exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire

57 months ago

lago in Austin, Texas said: So I am a new grad, and just got my first job at a seemingly great place. Did anyone else feel totally incompetent on their first day? I feel like I gave the crappiest care, which kills me. The staff was nice enough, but I feel like maybe I made a bad decision going into this field..any thoughts?? I know I am not the BEST hygienist, but I really care about the patients and the care I give them. I know that I have a ways to go before I master this career, but is this normal?

It's nothing like clinic! You actually are allowed to be a professional and utilize the skills you've learned! Hang in there! Glad to hear you found a good office...they are rare...takes notes for yourself, prep if you can as much as possible prior to the beg. of your day...have room stocked, know where things are etc...it's just a matter of repeating , you'll get a pace and be fine....have cavitron tips ready...breathe , smile , you've made it through the schooling and now the real world...maybe a little less stressful...oh, and remember to ":-)" for YOU! P.S. Great advice from 30yr.vet.....from 24yr VET

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Ashley920 in Shelby twp, Michigan

57 months ago

Hi Lago! How did your first day go? I am a new grad as well and I had my very first working interview today. & somehow, I scored another working interview this thursday at a different office. The office I was at today seemed to focus mainly on patients and their oral care. The appt's were 1 hr long, and new patients were an hour & 15 minutes. The doctor was extremely nice & helpful. Bad thing=he seems like a cheap ass & has decided to pay me A LOT less than what I expected... & the hours are only 9-7 on Monday & then One saturday a month.& he said those hours could be cut... Now the other office that I am doing the working interview for this Thursday, the Dr. is paying me a lot more but the bad thing=the appts are 1/2 hr..new patients 45 minutes. & the office seems to focus on a hygiene "assembly line". But this office is giving me about 20-25 hours. If I should get offered both which office should I choose? :-/

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Don't look back... in Beamsville, Ontario

57 months ago

lago in Austin, Texas said: So I am a new grad, and just got my first job at a seemingly great place. Did anyone else feel totally incompetent on their first day? I feel like I gave the crappiest care, which kills me. The staff was nice enough, but I feel like maybe I made a bad decision going into this field..any thoughts?? I know I am not the BEST hygienist, but I really care about the patients and the care I give them. I know that I have a ways to go before I master this career, but is this normal?

Oh I remember my first day soooo clearly and it was 25 years ago! I took over a position from an experienced RDH who had been fired with no notice on a Friday and I started on Monday. Fully booked day and every patient took one look at me and said "Where's Helen?". The care I gave was well below what I would now deem acceptable. I was more concerned with surviving the day and then the next day and then the next day and eventually the days turned into weeks, then months and after one year I quit and moved on. There was a lot wrong with that practice but by the end of one year I wasn't in survival mode anymore. Like you I really cared about quality and my clients and ultimately that is what mattered. You don't learn the finesse of scaling at school you learn the theory and some gross motor skills. Hang in there, keep honing your skills, be true to what you know is ethical and you'll make us proud!

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exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire

57 months ago

Don't look back... in Beamsville, Ontario said: Oh I remember my first day soooo clearly and it was 25 years ago! I took over a position from an experienced RDH who had been fired with no notice on a Friday and I started on Monday. Fully booked day and every patient took one look at me and said "Where's Helen?". The care I gave was well below what I would now deem acceptable. I was more concerned with surviving the day and then the next day and then the next day and eventually the days turned into weeks, then months and after one year I quit and moved on. There was a lot wrong with that practice but by the end of one year I wasn't in survival mode anymore. Like you I really cared about quality and my clients and ultimately that is what mattered. You don't learn the finesse of scaling at school you learn the theory and some gross motor skills. Hang in there, keep honing your skills, be true to what you know is ethical and you'll make us proud!

Nice response!....and....accurate. It is sad though that some Dr.'s let the exp'd RDH's go in hopes sometimes of saving money or they might want young and cute to look at, or they think they can "mold" you...etc. Dentists are an interesting lot! IMO it's 50/50 as far as the pedestals and personalities...sometimes it their private life coming into play and you are in the production. All that replace other DH's not knowing the circumstances should try to be as aware as possible of the office politcs....because on a whim with some, you may be gone...stay positive or move on if it means your sanity in an office....so many to choose from now, so it's not worth your health to stick it out. GL to all and be a "colleague" to other RDH's and not backstab in the oversaturation that is here to stay...because, what comes around goes around....

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Don't look back... in Beamsville, Ontario

57 months ago

exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire said: Nice response!....and....accurate. It is sad though that some Dr.'s let the exp'd RDH's go in hopes sometimes of saving money or they might want young and cute to look at, or they think they can "mold" you...etc. Dentists are an interesting lot! IMO it's 50/50 as far as the pedestals and personalities...sometimes it their private life coming into play and you are in the production. All that replace other DH's not knowing the circumstances should try to be as aware as possible of the office politcs....because on a whim with some, you may be gone...stay positive or move on if it means your sanity in an office....so many to choose from now, so it's not worth your health to stick it out. GL to all and be a "colleague" to other RDH's and not backstab in the oversaturation that is here to stay...because, what comes around goes around....

Can you practice independantly where you live?

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exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire

57 months ago

Don't look back... in Beamsville, Ontario said: Can you practice independantly where you live?

Hi D, Not that I know of....Canada and the USA, a bit different as far as how, what, who....of your rights and licensing as an RDH. But, what is happening to our profession not only of the oversaturation NOT THE RECESSION, but the overabundance...is unfortunately unprofessional of some Dr.'s and many RDH's now...just to find work! Watch what you say and do, what comes around goes around...so to those "taking" your position, be aware that your replacing another RDH, can easily be you TOO! I would like to see the Associations in the USA and CANADA, fight for us, NOT happening...why? Are their hands tided? No, Do they really care about us as a profession? Not sure, I think most in the associations don't want to rock the boat and loose their jobs and security....alot of vindictive people out their in many fields...just turn on the TV....very sad for alot of professions, but it seems we, RDH's, have been hit so hard and no recourse, absorbing the MANY in the field (TOO MANY)...it's not going to happen either....Dr.'s: 99, RDH's:-1....

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SamanthaHygiene in Salem, Massachusetts

36 months ago

Hi! I am a recent graduate and I started a few weeks ago. Where I work i get a full hour for my patients, which is great! But, I felt like I forgot just about everything because of my nerves and the office instruments i used were very different from what I learned on. Anyways, the real reason I am posting is because the hygienist I was shadowing pretty much told me she doesn't sharpen any instruments and I feel like I am going to be the only one doing it. Should I just do it and be thankful I have a good job? I brought my own sets in (not enough to cover the whole day and after taking a look at them she said that she liked them and wanted to try them. I am a bit annoyed because I take care of my instruments and sharpen them regularly. I am not trying to cause any office drama or anything, but would it be wrong of me to take my instruments back and forth from home because I want to keep them in good shape?

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MelMoo34 in new bedford, Massachusetts

36 months ago

Just be happy you have a job

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RDHCJ in Connecticut

36 months ago

I agree with MelMoo. be glad you have a job and do not quit that job unless you have another job to go to because the job market is bad.
It IS normal to feel a little overwhelmed at first. Eventually you will get used to the job.

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Tom in Chicago, Illinois

34 months ago

This is such a sad state of affairs . . . I'm only a patient, not a DH . . . reading this stuff in response to my experience of poor dental practices across the board in Chicago . . . the aforementioned comments are exactly what I would have expected (although its still hard to hear it) . . . IMO, these dentists are immoral - they're way overly focused on profits as opposed to patient care . . . I was happy with my dental treatments until Northwestern U. closed their dental clinic 15 years ago . . . after a decade of good treatment I was out on my own . . . the first dentist I went to, instead of scaling my teeth he slide the curette across and around my teeth in a clearly faking manner . . . the next dentist didn't make any attempt to manually scale (or otherwise) pocket calculus, instead only using a profy jet above the gum line . . . I don't know how to find a good dentist that charges are reasonable price and does excellent profy . . . homecare is tops but I still have great concern about dental care . . . some 4mm pockets in the back, and my gums often don't feel right (gingivitis) despite the plethora of homecare strategies/efforts - I now wouldn't dream of eating something and not cleaning out mouth with, e.g., a Water flosser . . . I expect I'll wind up in Tjuana, Mexico for perio treatment within a couple years due to poor American dental practices . . .

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CBoxton in Cedar Creek, Texas

34 months ago

Boy, Am I glad to hear others discuss feeling overwhelmed about their first career experiences. I just graduated in May 2012. It has not been what I expected. When I first decided to become a hygienist it was in 2005 so job were more plentiful but now not so much.I am still curently "unemployed" and it seems that I may stay for that way for a bit. Interview after interview , most state that they want someone with more experience.Suprisingly, they are a lot of open positions in Austin, TX but they are very particular concerning appearance and experience. Experience I can understand. I was hired for approx. 3 weeks at a Medicaid- type office but got "let- go" due to the company not able to support another hygienist. I think it had more to do with them trying to take a huge advantage of government funds and me being uncomfortable with all that. So to all that have a great job, Congrats. To those who just have a peice of
a job, at least you got income and can support yourself.

SamanthaHygiene in Salem, Massachusetts said: Hi! I am a recent graduate and I started a few weeks ago. Where I work i get a full hour for my patients, which is great! But, I felt like I forgot just about everything because of my nerves and the office instruments i used were very different from what I learned on. Anyways, the real reason I am posting is because the hygienist I was shadowing pretty much told me she doesn't sharpen any instruments and I feel like I am going to be the only one doing it. Should I just do it and be thankful I have a good job? I brought my own sets in (not enough to cover the whole day and after taking a look at them she said that she liked them and wanted to try them. I am a bit annoyed because I take care of my instruments and sharpen them regularly. I am not trying to cause any office drama or anything, but would it be wrong of me to take my instruments back and forth from home because I want to keep them in good shape?[/QU

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carla2 in santa fe, Texas

33 months ago

Tom in Chicago, Illinois said: This is such a sad state of affairs . . . I'm only a patient, not a DH . . . reading this stuff in response to my experience of poor dental practices across the board in Chicago . . . the aforementioned comments are exactly what I would have expected (although its still hard to hear it) . . . IMO, these dentists are immoral - they're way overly focused on profits as opposed to patient care . . . I was happy with my dental treatments until Northwestern U. closed their dental clinic 15 years ago . . . after a decade of good treatment I was out on my own . . . the first dentist I went to, instead of scaling my teeth he slide the curette across and around my teeth in a clearly faking manner . . . the next dentist didn't make any attempt to manually scale (or otherwise) pocket calculus, instead only using a profy jet above the gum line . . . I don't know how to find a good dentist that charges are reasonable price and does excellent profy . . . homecare is tops but I still have great concern about dental care . . . some 4mm pockets in the back, and my gums often don't feel right (gingivitis) despite the plethora of homecare strategies/efforts - I now wouldn't dream of eating something and not cleaning out mouth with, e.g., a Water flosser . . . I expect I'll wind up in Tjuana, Mexico for perio treatment within a couple years due to poor American dental practices . . .

It is worse than you think. My dentist nver even ask about the patient after they have RP&S he only ask if they were charged and if they paid. I went in to tell him about a ladys infected gums and all he said was we need to charge for 4 quads. Never asked about her condition after that.

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exp in Massachusetts

33 months ago

To Samantha in Salem, MA....keep your "own" scalers separate from that RDH....if she likes them you can write down the scalers you have and give her that....not to be mean about it, but if she gets a hold of them , IMHO, you won't get them back....alot of times, RDH's have to find the time somewhere to sharpen instruments...all of them, if you want decent scalers. Sometimes it's hard to get the office to buy new ones too, see if this other RDH can order some or speak with the Dr. there and let him know that some of your scalers would be a good addition or replacement for old , non-usable scalers....just a thought...see if you and the other RDH's can approach the Dr. with the types and # you'd need...rem. they are expensive, so look through all your kits to see and let the Dr. know you've done this before asking for replacements.

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