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Making so many mistakes as a newly licensed RDH

I recently received my license about 2 weeks ago. I was offered a position the same week. I feel like I’m making so many mistakes. The other hygenist checks my work while I’m learning and I’m constantly leaving calculus behind. I’m constantly running over time and the front desk moves my schedule around to accommodate me. The office manager talked to me about it. I’m so new I don’t know how to use a digital sensor, had to take an FMX, and it was a disaster. I feel so terrible for treating patients and wasting office time. I’m really terrified I’m going to get fired or that I’m going to continue to constantly make mistakes. I feel so lost and I have zero idea what I’m doing. Is it always like this?

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1 Answer

The transition from the hygiene program to “real life” can be a struggle and it’s very normal to feel frustrated and like you don’t know what you are doing. I certainly needed some time to feel confident during the transition and to get into the swing of things. Remember, you DO know what you are doing and with new equipment and a new environment, its just going to take time and experience to get there. You need to be patient with yourself. Much easier said than done, but with patience and experience, things will get better.
Here’s another way to think about it: Remember when you first started seeing patients in clinic? You may have felt like you weren’t ready and didn’t know what you were doing. However, with time, you became more comfortable and learned a lot. Going from school to an office is kind of the same.
The office that hired you knows they hired a new grad. The fact that they are adjusting your schedule to accommodate you is awesome. Think how you would feel if they didn’t adjust your schedule and didn’t work with you while you were getting used to things? This is a good thing!
Give yourself time to learn and be confident in skills. You wouldn’t have graduated from the hygiene program and passed boards if you didn’t know what you were doing!

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