Dental Hygienist Interview Paper

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The name of my interviewee was Carrie Miller-Chase. With twenty years of experience, she stood out as the perfect interviewee. Her long term service as a practitioner in the dental health field ensured that I not only had access to limitless information, but also made it possible for a comparative analysis between the current and preexisting state of the field. Aside from being experienced, Ms. Carrie is my friend, giving rise to open and free exchange of information during the interview. However, the main reason why I chose to interview Carrie was her excellent clinical skills and her passion for her job. As a medical practitioner, she has the rare gift of empathizing with those she interacts with. I always admire her dedication to improve the oral health of her clients, and improve their quality of life as well.

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Carrie Miller-Chase obtained her skills from Virginia Commonwealth University. On getting into the medical field, she worked as a dental assistant for five years. Henceforth, she has been a dental hygienist to date. As a medical practitioner, Carries employer is Dr. P. Folck who owns a cosmetic dentistry office in Virginia Beach. Her office consists of two dentists and fifteen staff members. As the hygienist, her role is to prepare the plan and make recommendations on the restorative treatment to be carried out.

To break the ice, I asked Carrie to explain why she decided to venture into the field. As a child, Carrie used to have lots of dental issues. As a result, she made constant visits to the dentist to seek treatment. The issues did not secede even when she was in high school which resulted to frequent visits to the orthodontists. As time went by, she realized that the hygienists at the office always looked radiant and were eager to serve her with a smile. It was then that she realized that this was the line of work she desired to venture into.

I also inquired on the nature of the relationship between Carrie and Dr. Folck, her boss. She easily replied that the relationship with her employer was very good. Both had a clear understanding on the role of each other in the workplace to ensure no collision occurred. In her office, the dental hygienist did the check up on the patient. Due to the adherence on the principle of autonomy, the hygienist would consult the patient. The doctor expects that by the time he/she comes in to do the patient exam, the hygienist has prepared a treatment plan and has made recommendations on the treatment measures. Carrie feels that her boss respects her expertise and experience. To enhance employee relations, Dr. Folck buys lunch for the entire office as motivation. In addition to that, every time the office reaches its goals the doctor ensures that everyone has a gift certificate for a spa service.

I was also interested to find out the responsibilities that were expected of her. Carrie responded that she was capable of carrying out all the clinical and non-clinical practices expected of a dental hygienist. Assessing a patients periodontal condition, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation of the treatment plan, placing sealants, taking digital X-rays, giving oral hygiene advice among others were a few clinical practices expected of her. She also had non-clinical duties which include and are not limited to ordering clinical supplies, participating in the office hiring process and directing the community service activities of the office.

On inquiring on if the office was at per with modern medical practices, she replied that her employers preference on keeping up on modern medical practices made this very easy for the employees in the company. The office is already equipped with the recent 3D CT scanner, the newest Schick digital sensors, intra and extra oral cameras and a Cerec machine for the fabrication of crowns. In addition to providing the most recent gizmo, Dr. Folck ensures that the employees receive constant training. He takes responsibility himself by providing once a month employees training. In addition, he ensures that at least once a year all employees attend CE classes at the American Dental Association. Proficiency is further ensured by hiring a practice management hygiene seminar that ensures that employees are more profitable and that the office runs smoothly towards achieving both individual and organizational goals. This goes a long way in ensure that the team is at par with modern medicine practices.

My interest was also fixated on the day to day running of activities, and I asked on the same. Carrie officially reports to work at 7:30am, where a staff meeting is held with the doctor where they review the previous days chart and plan for the patients coming in for the day. Shortly after, she ensures that all supplies are at hand for the day. At 8:00am, the office officially opens to patients. The maximum time scheduled to each patient is one hour and thirty minutes. A lunch break is often taken at 1:00pm after which work resumes till official closing time at 5:00 pm. At the end of the day, Carrie expects to have served at least seven to eight patients. However, in case a patient does not show up or runs late, she uses up the time to help the hygiene team, sterilize the equipment and stock up on the supply. At the end of the day she normally leaves at closing time but at times she is left behind to fill up the appointment charts if the schedule was so busy that it was impossible to fill up between appointments.

Carries loves several aspect about her work. On the forefront is the positive relationship she has with her patients. Bulk of the patients she has served end up becoming her friends. The bonds she makes with them is so close that some of them have no qualms about bringing their family into the office. Her coworkers also relate to her like family would. In this respect, they help each other out on several aspect and this teamwork culture really lifts a load off on busy days. However, on the negative side, she feels that the growth in size of the office may negatively affect the business by loss of the personal relationship between a patient and the practitioner and that attention may drift away to making money more than provision of quality service. She is also demoralized by arrogant young assistants who let their ego overrule their respect over those who are more experienced. She is also irked by patients who show up late to appointments, are rude to practitioners and non-compliant to oral hygiene recommendations.

On her aspirations, Carrie responded that she aspired to see more autonomy in the medical field, though she admitted that remote supervision was not forthcoming in Virginia anytime soon. She also aspired for there to have more correlations and exchange of information among all medical related fields to achieve better service in the medical field. She also expressed concern that the high number of graduating medical hygienists might cause a shift in the demand-supply curve in the disfavor of the profession. As parting advice, Carrie told me to ensure that I respect and relate well to all the practitioners in the medical field as it could prove the difference in the hiring process.

In conclusion, a one on one interaction with a practicing dental hygienist proved insightful to me. I was provided with a rare glimpse into what goes on in the profession I intend to pursue. I realized that even in the medical skills it is important to keep up with the current technology and methods occurring in the career. As Carrie mentioned, the increasing number of medical practitioner made me realize that I needed to stay on my toes and ensure that I have an edge that will make me stand out in this profession. Her cry for autonomy also made me realize the importance of a welfare organization like the ADHA in various professions. She also broadened my mind to further ventures and made me come to a conclusion that I would like to pursue a masters degree and be involved in the research and teaching sections of the field.

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