A hygienist reflects on the CareerFlow West Retreat experience

Sept. 28, 2007
Jodie Heimbach, RDH, discusses her weekend of expanding on her career skills with her peers.

Caption for photo above: At Alcatraz, GC America scholarship winners Jodie Heimbach and Angie Stone (lower right) were accompanied by GC America MI Specialists Robin DiPace and Millie Fu (upper right), and RDH Columnist Lynne Slim at left. The five toured the former prison during a break at CareerFlow West.

by Jodie Heimbach, RDH

With 30 years of clinical dental hygiene under my belt, I've been itching to broaden my horizons. I wanted to do more and learn new things. I would love to be an educator for a company or perhaps get involved sales or consulting, but felt I needed an injection of new skills to be able to branch out.

I had heard about CareerFlow and it being the only seminar of its kind for dental hygienists looking to expand their scope of practice. I was dying to go. I was fortunate to have been awarded a scholarship to CareerFlow by GC America.

I have to say that my CareerFlow experience was one of the most stimulating and invaluable experiences of my life. It far exceeded my expectations. Co –founders Kristy Ménage Bernie and Beth Thompson have more than succeeded in creating an amazingly fun, nurturing, safe, highly educational and informative program which also included yoga! We heard national speakers Betsy Reynolds and Bruce Manchion share their wisdom with us. The staff including Debi Gerger, Michelle Hurlbutt, Fran Papadakos and Maryann Fujiyama was so patient and supportive!

I learned about sales skills and made a group presentation while working with my team members and the corporate partners. The corporate partners were unselfish in sharing their pearls of wisdom with us in a panel discussion. The seminar covered sales, consulting, speaking, writing, and computer skills in word and PowerPoint.

The last day we gave our individual PowerPoint presentations on our CareerFlow experience. Some, like me, had never used PowerPoint before. Others were e much more experienced. Everyone was so supportive of each other and it was interesting to see what everyone's highlights were. We laughed and cried together.

There was also time for some fun, and some of us went to San Francisco to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner and on the Alcatraz tour.

If you are itching to broaden you career horizons, consider attending the next CareerFlow. You will learn so much, make new lifelong friends, and give yourself some other career options. My thanks to the entire CareerFlow staff for this incredible life-changing experience and to GC America for treating me like royalty! I look forward to what lies ahead; the possibilities are endless.