Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 07 Sandersthumb72717

Ideas to Inspiration: Is the story grim, or is it all about attitude?

July 21, 2017
Jackie Sanders, RDH, states that some grim perspectives about dental hygiene should actually serve as an inspiration to embrace the profession. 

By Jackie Sanders, RDH, MBA

Statistics fluctuate back and forth about dental hygiene and the demand for employment. Recently, Mark Hartley enlightened us with statistics from the government, reporting that there are close to 205,000 dental hygienists, and dentists are still as the primary employer, hiring almost 195,000. We hear stories of the challenges of finding a good job, the overabundance of new graduates, and a growing demand for alternative career choices. Is our future grim, or do we need to change our lenses through which we view our profession?

We have numerous RDHs who love their profession, provide quality care to each patient each day, and would never consider any other option. We have a group that is anything but satisfied, looking for new options and alternative choices. Then lo and behold I read a recent article written by Mark Frias, RDH. His article is like no other and made this hygienist stop and pause for a moment. Here is a link to the article but, reader beware. It is bold!

Some may have found it harsh. Personally, I found it enlightening, bold, and filled with truth. Maybe some of his questions could be used when accepting dental hygiene students. Maybe the questions could be shared with those individuals who are deciding whether dental hygiene is truly their passion or how many wish someone would have shared these thoughts with you prior to going into dental hygiene.


Other articles by Sanders


What I know is that there are thousands of amazing dental hygienists out there. Each year SUNSTAR and RDH take the opportunity to recognize dental hygienists who have gone beyond their own expectations. These hygienists embrace their daily challenges, continue to follow their passions, struggle and consider the hard times to be part of the rise to success—all while being the “care givers” they chose to be. These are the individuals that make this RDH proud to be part of the industry.

On Friday, August 11, I hope each of you will join me at RDH Under One Roof to recognize the 2017 SUNSTAR/RDH Award of Distinction recipients, and the 113 alumni who inspire me.

Jackie Sanders is Manager of Professional Relations & Communications for SUNSTAR. She serves as a liaison responsible for communications with professional and industry associations, educational institutions and the dental professional community. She is a recognized and active opinion leader within the dental hygiene community and associated social networking programs. She serves on the ADEA Legislative Advisory Council, is a member of ADHA IOH Advisory Committee, and serves on several Editorial Advisory Boards.