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Heart In Hands

5 reasons to join Heartland Dental as a new graduate

March 22, 2022
Entering the real world of dental hygiene can be scary. Heartland Dental provided Caitlyn Scheifer, RDH, with the perfect work environment after school, and she still loves everything it has to offer.

There are several career paths available to dental hygienists, and when you’re just starting your career, it can be overwhelming to determine what’s right for you. You may ask, do I start as an educator or work clinical? My passion is taking care of patients, so I knew the clinical side was where I wanted to start. I always loved visiting my dental hygienist; she was one of my inspirations for attending hygiene school. When I found out she worked for Heartland Dental, I knew I needed to check them out. Turns out, it was one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made! 

Excellent support and systems

I’ve worked in several offices that are supported by Heartland Dental, and what is consistent in all of them is support from peers, leaders, and systems to guide me toward excellent patient care. As a new grad, I needed the guidance. It’s scary to think about leaving hygiene school, where you’re given several hours for one patient and guided every step of the way. You’re probably thinking, how will I ever be able to treat a patient in one hour? Don’t worry, your team, doctor, practice manager, and mentor have your back. 

Heartland Dental provides hands-on training with a mentor and virtual training that will guide you through your first few months. One of my favorite systems as a new grad was how to guide patients through an appointment and communicate with them in a way they prefer. For me, learning how to identify a patient’s personality and build my communication skills to cater to each patient has led to happy patients who want to come back and see me again. 

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Up-to-date technology

Throughout my career, I’ve been introduced to several different patient care technologies. But the one that’s been the biggest game changer for me is the iTero scanner. I can show patients the wear on their teeth, inflammation, calculus, cavities, broken teeth, the list goes on. We also have access to the best materials and supplies. Heartland Dental has provided a platform that allows supported offices to compare products from multiple suppliers while giving competitive pricing options. 

The joy of collaboration

It’s not just about having technology; it’s important to figure out how to use it effectively and efficiently. The quickest way to do that is to collaborate with my peers. Every day, I can collaborate and network with any hygienist or supported doctor across 1500-plus supported offices. Say you need help with your education points for sealants with a patient; you can post in the forum and within an hour you’ll receive tips from several hygienists. To me, this is absolutely remarkable. My region provides a monthly collaboration time for hygienists to come together and network. We’ve all studied textbooks and read case studies, but how powerful is it to hear real-life scenarios from hygienists who have been working for 15 years or more? 

The security of stability

When I was looking for a career, stability was very important to me. Working with Heartland Dental has given me a sense of flexibility and security. For example, if the supported doctor I work with needs to take an extended leave, another supported doctor fills in so I can still see my patients, or Heartland Dental will set me up to work in another supported office. I take such pride in working for a company that gives me flexibility and stability. I’m never worried about being able to put food on the table and keep a roof over my family’s head. When COVID-19 began, it was a very uncertain world for dental professionals. Based on the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance, hygienists found it difficult to go into work. As you can imagine, worry set in fast, and one of my biggest worries was how I was going to pay for my health insurance. 

These feelings were assuaged when Heartland’s CEO, Pat Bauer, announced he would donate part of his salary to pay our portion of our health benefit premiums. Two years later and it still gives me chills to know Heartland Dental truly cares about their employees.

Lifetime friendships

I’ve met some of the best people and made lasting friendships with them. In fact, one of the first business assistants I worked with ended up being my maid of honor in my wedding. I also talk daily to a practice manager I met at a supported office that’s two hours from me. Finally, my hygiene mentor was my support when I started with the company six years ago. Now we talk daily and partner together to support new hygienists. These are just a few examples of the friendships you can form. 

Entering real work life can be scary after hygiene school. In school, educators guided us every step of the way. With Heartland Dental, you’ll never be left to navigate on your own. I promise when you decide to join a Heartland Dental supported practice, you’ll be making the best decision of your life. 

I’d love to connect with you! Feel free to contact me at [email protected]. If you’re interested in growing your hygiene career with us, explore your career opportunities at a Heartland Dental supported office.