Are you in favor of a mid level dental provider?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weigh in on mid level dental providers...

The profession of dental hygiene is in the position to really expand but our voices need to be heard. The ADA is really promoting the concept of a mid level dental provider. The concept in itself sounds great until one looks at the fine print.

Dentists spearheading this idea are considering unlicensed, minimally trained persons to perform triage treatment for patients. I am absolutely appalled at this idea. Not only is this unsafe for patients, it is unethical to even consider sub standard treatment for the very people we have taken an oath to protect. When I think of a mid level health care provider, a nurse practitioner comes to mind. I have asked many of my patients what a mid level dental provider means to them.

The responses were very interesting. Most thought that a position of this type would be something between a hygienist and a dentist. Not a single person felt it would be a good idea to have an unlicensed person providing mid level care.

It is extremely important that this reckless idea is rejected and existing licensed dental providers are considered for this position. Better yet, let’s contact our legislators and educate them as to how hygienists can fill this very necessary position.

Welcome to my life.

Looking forward to ADHA

This year, the ADHA Annual Session and CCL will be held in Washington, DC on June 17th-23rd. This is an exiting time for me for various reasons. There is such camaraderie amongst hygienists. Although most of us only see each other one or two times a year, we are reunited like it has only been a few weeks. Each hygienist brings a different talent to the table that makes our association unique.

This year, ADHA will be participating in Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Each state can have five representatives meeting with different legislators. I have never participated in a Lobby Day but am very excited to learn the process. The Idaho Dental Hygienist Association will be represented by three hygienists and our lobbyist. Capitol Hill, here we come.

Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Warm Welcome Back to Reality

Back to reality. While I loved Hawaii, I really missed my kids and am glad to be home. I always wonder what I missed with patients when I am gone. Apparently, in my absence, I missed seeing one of the largest pieces of calculus ever found in the mouth still attached to a tooth. Luckily, Dr. Sutton knew that I would want to see it, so he saved it for me. I kid you not—in a disposable cup with water. I witnessed a piece of something that measured at least 1 inch by ½ inch attached to an extracted tooth.

At first, I thought it was part of the alveolar bone, but after closer examination, sure enough, it was calculus. Although I was disappointed that I didn’t get to remove the boulder, seeing it after the fact was still exciting.

Now, how many careers can satisfy you like that? I love dental hygiene.

Aloha and welcome to my life.

Island Thrill Seeker

After a few days on Oahu, we packed our suitcases and headed for Maui. When we landed, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The tropical, lush paradise I so desired didn’t disappoint. We checked into the Ka’anapali Beach resort and headed to the beach. Whales were jumping as the sun was setting. ADHA really needs to consider Hawaii for an annual session.

I have been known to be a little bit of a thrill seeker, and this vacation was no exception. Our entire group went to Molikini Island on a snorkeling cruise. The water was warm and crystal clear. We saw the most colorful fish and pretty coral. After an hour there, we went to Turtle Island. Sea turtles aren’t very pretty and I would be lying if I said they didn’t scare me. However, they are the most docile creatures I have ever seen. If you ever get a chance to go to Maui, I would recommend Boss Frog Adventures for snorkeling. They provide top quality equipment and a great lunch at the end of the tour.

Our last day on Maui was the perfect setting for a zip line adventure. We went on five different lines including a 750 ft. span over a ravine and through a forest of bamboo trees. I am pretty sure there was some tachycardia going on under my harness.

Welcome to my life.

Greetings, from Hawaii!

Against my better judgment, I have returned from the land of palm trees and tropical fruit. I am really jealous of my fellow District 12 hygienists that live in Hawaii. You are so lucky to have a taste of paradise every day!

When Chad and I arrived in Oahu, we were really surprised. I’m not sure what we actually expected, but high-rise buildings and major freeways were not it. Don’t get me wrong—the warm tropical air was like a welcomed hug from a long lost friend. Once we got out of the airport and headed towards Waikiki beach, things got significantly better.

We spent twp days relaxing on the beach, shopping at the international market and enjoying authentic Mai-tai’s. I have never tasted pineapple so sweet in my entire life. As most hygienists know, pineapple is very acidic. Here’s a little suggestion for anyone going to Hawaii: If you plan to eat lots of pineapple, plan for canker sores on your tongue. Luckily, I packed a small bottle of Peridex in my suitcase!

Welcome to my life.

Anticipating Aloha

Two more days and I will be basking in the sun on a beach in Hawaii. It has been really snowy and cold here. Our trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been feverishly packing and organizing everything from our suitcases to the kids’ schedules. Shelby and Taylor will not be traveling with us as they cannot miss school and their activities. We promised to take them on a tropical trip this fall or next spring.

Neither Chad nor I have been to Hawaii but are hoping to go snorkeling, whale watching, zip lining and relaxing. Many of my patients have given me suggestions of activities and sights to be sure to take in.

I am one of these people that try to squeeze too much into a day both in my personal life and professional life. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to slow down and smell the roses. Take time to enjoy your adventures whatever they may be. Allow yourself to relax.

Welcome to my life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Little Marriage Advice

Today is my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We went to Boise for family portraits and a nice dinner. I truly believe that they have set a great example for me and my siblings. Chad and I will be celebrating our 20th this year.

I read a great article in the local newspaper a couple years ago about marriage. The headline caught my eye, “Marriage, not children, is the center of a family.” The author, a psychologist, explains that the divorce rate is ever increasing due to the fact that children do not see their parents as a couple in love but rather individual mom and dad roles. When these children grow up and have children of their own, they also model the roles of mom and dad.

It is difficult to put your relationship with your spouse ahead of your kids and I don’t advocate neglecting kids in any way, but take the time to nurture your friendship and relationship with your spouse. Go on a date without your kids. Take a weekend away. Be a positive role model for your kids.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being that for me. Happy Anniversary, I love you.

Welcome to my life,