Readers' Responses

March 31, 2006
Readers say they have seen a "Dead Hygienist Walking."

Dear Kristine:

I really liked your "Dead Hygienist Walking" message click here to read. I see it all the time. When you talk about having passion for the profession, though, I don't think it is such a matter of people burning out or losing their passion. It seems to me that the hygienists I know who have passion for their profession have always had it. I see too many hygienists coming out of school who do not take pride in their profession, who are constantly willing to settle for less, and who won't stand up for what they believe.

For me, it comes down to what I feel about the patient in my chair. While that person is in my chair, he or she is the most important person in the world to me. If I fail him/her in any way, I feel like I've betrayed a friend. That makes it my job/duty/privilege to serve the patient to the best of my ability and my obligation to seek to improve that ability constantly.

Thanks for the article. It made me say, "YES!" Hopefully it made a few other hygienists say, "That's how I want to be."

I've been practicing hygiene since 1972 when the U.S. Army gave me my first scaler, and I have been proud to be a hygienist ever since.

Roger Hyland, RDH

Dear Kristine:

"Dead Hygienist Walking" is so sad, but so true. I'm such a hygiene nerd that, when I run into a "Dead Hygienist Walking," I cannot get away from him or her fast enough! I try talking to that person and encouraging him/her to try new CEs (such as UOR). But most of the time the comment I get is, "Well, I only need 15 CEs to keep my license." I know right then and there that I've met a "Dead Hygienist Walking."

Thanks for doing a great job!

Carla Gantz, RDH