Exploring career options

New York hygienist wonders about career opportunities as she completes program for bachelor's degree.

Dear RDH eVillage:

I have been a registered dental hygienist in New York for a number of years and having been working on a bachelor's degree. Now that I will complete the degree in May 2009, the dynamics in the dental office for me has changed. This is to say that this fulfillment for me is becoming an uncomfortable edge in my relationship with the dentist and staff. Wasn't thinking of moving on, but what other options could be considered for an RDH, BS?

Not a lot of jobs out there these days.

Thanks,
MJW, RDH

Dear MJW, RDH

Start networking! As part of the www.amyrdh.com email community I found camaraderie. This took me to writing for magazines, which took me to speaking, which led me to more and more people of like mind.

Networking will show you other hygienists who do wonderful things and find ways to get paid for it. They write articles; they work in labs. Some started mini practices with dentist's stamp of approval. Hygienists start consulting companies, or worked for consultants.

RDH magazine also has an online community. ADHA is also a great place to look for career options and strategies for developing your career.

Don't reinvent the wheel. That sounds a little trite, and you're asking yourself how do I know which wheel is already invented?

CareerFusion is the exact answer to that. Think of it as a career college for any level of clinician. You'll learn how to use your computer the way businesses want you to use it. Learn the software that will give you a leg up. You'll sit with clinicians who are of like mind, and are on the same path as you or who are creating their own a path.

The 2009 CareerFusion retreat brought together book and chapter authors, speakers, and people who had started their own businesses in speaking, sales, perio, and even orofacial myology.

CareerFusion retreat brings together industry people who are looking to hire people with a clinical background to do a number of things. Some of the attendees are now doing Lunch N Learn meetings in their area demonstrating products they know better because of the time they spent with the company representatives. Others are running case studies in their clinical practice.

Join us for CareerFusion 2010 (www.careerfusion.net) and start getting benefits right away in the form of mentoring by industry leaders and others who have successfully transitioned their careers, as well as Member Only Webinars focusing on a wide variety of topics.

A degree is only a starting point, as you learned with your first degree.

Shirley Gutkowski, RDH, BSDH, FACE

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