The hygienist’s blog – changing the way we work

hygienist talking to patientClaire Berry explains how she realised her potential as a hygienist and started to grow and invest in her business.

Being a hygienist can be an extremely rewarding career. It is one that I am hugely proud of and passionate about. But it can also be terribly frustrating at times.

When I first entered this career it was to make an impact on people. To have the ability and in depth knowledge to help prevent patients from losing their teeth to periodontitis or caries meant I would change people’s lives. I was going to be able to turn around their bad habits. They would thank me and happily continue seeing me for their lifelong care, working together as a team.

The reality (I often hear from hygienists)…patients see the hygienist as a ‘cleaner’. They want us to mindlessly ‘clean’ their teeth without saying a word, without the ‘lecture’ about smoking or using an electric toothbrush. Patients want the exact 30 minutes they have paid for. They want every bit of tenacious stain gone in the short time we have, while we try to also access their pockets for RSD and slip in a 6ppc annually.

All this while I try and slide in some OHI, chase prescriptions, write detailed notes, clean down, process instruments and set up for the next patient (who is now complaining because I am running late and eating into their 30-minute appointment, which of course they must have every last second of)! Sound exhausting and rather deflating?

I must admit, I am lucky because I no longer work like this. I turned it around before I felt the need to leave the profession I loved. How did I do it?

Growing potential

I am...

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