Kick Starting Your Dental Hygiene Career
March 10, 2014
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If you're thinking of looking for a new job in the health care industry, a dental hygiene career could be right for you. There are several skills necessary for a job in dental hygiene, and you may find that you utilize many of them in your current role. Here are some of the transferable skills necessary for an ideal dental hygienist candidate.
1. Great With Customers
As a waitress, retail associate or secretary, service with a smile is an essential part of the job. The ability to kindly interact with people, happily help them with their requests and resolve concerns efficiently will make you an excellent dental hygienist. Working with patients is a major part of the career.
2. Attention to Detail
You can spot that a meal is missing a garnish from a mile away; you notice the picture frames aren't hung evenly in an apartment; you are in charge of the accounts receivable, and people come to you for help. If this sounds like you, you're very detail-oriented, which is a must for a hygienist.
A dental hygienist notices problems with the mouth, teeth, gums and neck and brings them to the attention of the dentist. Also, the deep cleaning and dental treatments require a hygienist to clean and polish the teeth thoroughly. In addition, you will need to take the patient's dental history and chart the details of the dental visit.
3. Ability to Take Initiative
A go-getter attitude is required to be successful in any field, and dental hygiene is no exception. As you examine and clean the mouth, you will be able to identify problems and make recommendations to the patient to help them avoid more severe dental complications. Your expertise can greatly impact the people that you care for.
4. A Love of Learning
Every job has a training period during which a new hire learns to do the job well. If you learned absolutely everything you could about your job to become an expert, a dental hygiene career may be right for you. A dental hygienist must complete a degree in dental hygiene, learning about oral health, nutrition, psychology and anatomy. Upon graduation, a dental hygiene professional must keep up with innovations in the field, and with further education you could even become involved in research or teaching future dental hygienists.
Dental hygiene is a career that requires many skills and abilities, which may seem intimidating at first. But remember, a second career isn't "starting over" — it is bringing the knowledge, experience and skills you already have to the next level of success.
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