What makes a good hygienist?

Oct. 28, 2005
Reader response wanted. In your opinion, what makes a hygienist a good one, or a dentist for that matter?

Dr. John Stivers posted a recent question on the dental network genR8TNext. He was in the process of interviewing hygienists for a position within his practice, and he asked, "What makes a good hygienist?" He included the following:

• Someone who can be committed to this practice — its success and growth.

• Someone who either already knows or is capable of coming to know that there is a higher possible standard of care than is seen in most practices, even financially successful ones.

• Someone who is a team player in all aspects, someone who is both willing to pitch in when needed to do most anything, but also someone who helps make those around her perform better.

• Someone who is comfortable with the fact that we are working on our practice.

• Someone willing to change.

• Someone experienced and knowledgeable in many aspects — has a basic knowledge of restorative, cosmetics, and occlusion — with what dentistry has to offer.

• Someone who is into personal growth and development.

• Someone who is a student of dentistry.

• Someone who is enthusiastic and can actively promote all that dentistry and this practice has to offer.

• A truly good communicator, one who feels/shows empathy with the patient, one who can be bold about delivering bad news but also one who can celebrate the successes of our clients and the practice.

• Someone who can be nonjudgmental.

Since this can generate so many reactions, I wanted to hear from the RDH eVillage readers. Please respond to either or both of the following questions at Kristine Hodsdon.

"What makes a good hygienist?" Or, "What makes a good dentist?"

A compiled "Top 10 List" will be published in an upcoming newsletter.

I can't get no job satisfaction

We've often take part in salary surveys, yet how many of us take the time to rank the parts of our job that bring us satisfaction.

Please rank the following terms of creating job satisfaction: 1 = highest and 10 the lowest.

• Ability to implement new technologies

• Accessible lunchtime shopping or restaurants

• Relationships with my patients

• Flexible hours

• Continuing education

• Opportunity to educate patients

• Providing and marketing quality care

• Time allowed to be spent with patients

• Relationships with other hygienists within the practice

• Relationships with other team members (except hygienists) within the dental practice