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Pregnant hygienists and sisters fill in for each other

May 4, 2012
Three hygienists/sisters help each other out in Pleasant Valley Dental Practice.

Emily Mortensen, RDH, and baby Reid; Lydia Barton, RDH (pregnant)

By Lydia Barton, RDH

We come from a family of eight: four girls, two boys, Mom, and Dad. We were always close growing up. With four girls, our father must have worried a lot about the future, wondering how our lives would pan out. While I was in high school, our dentist (and family friend) started talking with dad about what a great career dental hygiene is for moms, emphasizing that hygienists can work part-time if need be. The seed was sown and dad then planted it in my head, since I am the oldest. While in high school, I began to look into career paths, doing reports on dental hygiene and then some job shadowing.

Related article: Pregnant mothers at Pleasant Valley Dental practice

My sister Emily, just 2 years younger, was watching me. I spent my summers shadowing a hygienist and decided that, although there were other educational pursuits I had considered, it made sense to choose hygiene. Also, if I wanted to work part-time down the road and continue my education in other fields, hygiene was a great option.

After graduating from Union Mine High School and attending Folsom Lake Community College, I started applying for hygiene programs. One day, I heard that a new hygiene school was opening in Orem, Utah. Having attended a brand new high school, I quickly recognized the advantages of attending a school with all the latest technology and equipment. I sent in my application and was accepted! Wow! At age 19, I nervously made the drive across the desert to start a new career. My next two years turned out to be so rewarding!

After my first year of hygiene school, I was thrilled to learn that my sister, Emily, had applied for and been accepted into the program. So, we became roommates. She moved in, and we spent a wonderful year together.

After graduating from Utah College of Dental Hygiene in 2007, I shuffled between California and Utah, working in both states. I started to pursue another degree, which I joyfully put on hold as my boyfriend proposed and we married.

By 2010, Emily had been married for a couple of years and was working for Dr. Goodis in California. Chris, my husband, and I were living in Utah while he completed his college degree. We then decided to move closer to my family. Emily was already in California and Julia, our younger sister, gained acceptance to Utah College of Dental Hygiene with plans to return to California upon graduation. We were so proud of her, and looked forward to holiday breaks when we could all get together, talk 'dental' over the Thanksgiving table, and drive every one else crazy.

Anticipating starting a family in the future and considering my desire to be at home as much as possible with my children, we thought that being close to my two hygienist sisters could prove to be beneficial! And so it has! Not long after moving to California, Emily became pregnant. I have been able to fill in for her while she has been on maternity leave with her full time office. Now, I am pregnant and anticipate working a little less before the baby is born. Emily will soon be back to work and Julia is waiting for her board results and license, just in time to pick up the hours that Emily and I have left behind at our offices. We all live near each other and we are excited to have family “baby-sitters” that we know and trust.

Emily's husband Aaron, and my husband Chris are happy that we are able to have a career and still have time to be a mom.

And you may be wondering about the fourth daughter? Katrina is 16 and is planning on becoming a geneticist. We all support her in her aspirations but love to tease her about joining the dental field. Our brothers have chosen different career paths, but we occasionally remind them that, if they ever get tired of their college majors, we would love a dentist in the family!

Emily has a two month old beautiful baby boy named Reid and I am due in early October.

Lydia Barton age 26
Union Mine High School 2003
Folsom Lake College
Utah College of Dental Hygiene 2007
Worked in Cameron Park, CA during 2008
Moved to UT, worked in Saratoga Springs and Mapleton, UT 3 years.
Married and moved back to work with sisters.
Expecting a baby.

Emily Mortensen age 24
Union Mine High School 2004
Folsom Lake College
Utah College of Dental Hygiene 2008
Had baby Reid Orlin Feb 12, 2012
Worked for Pleasant Valley Dental 2008- currant

Julia Dold age 21
Union Mine High School 2008
Folsom Lake College
Utah College of Dental Hygiene Dec. 2011
Finishing board exams.