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Nearing Graduation and TERRIFIED!!!

I graduate in 15 short days…..I am terrified. One, I do not have any previous dental experience not as an assistant or anything. I am terrified going to a new job whether temping or permanent. What if I make a complete fool of myself because I don’t know what I’m doing. Two, I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. When I scale I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing fulcrum, chair position, or how to properly reach maxillary 2nd and 3rd molars. I feel like I know nothing, what if I miss something important? Is it normal to feel this way? Any advice on how to get over this feeling?



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3 Answers

I was in the exact same situation as you – new graduate, no experience, not feeling comfortable/confident with what I learned in school. To complicate everything, I moved to Europe a few weeks after graduating so I had to learn dental lingo in a new language to be able to communicate with my boss/co-workers and patients. And I landed in a situation where I didn’t have a seasoned hygienist to learn from, which is not what I expected.

My advice to you is to ask for advice from your future boss and co-workers. Use their feedback and constructive criticism to look at yourself in a new light. Because I didn’t have a seasoned hygienist to learn from, I asked colleagues if I could shadow at their offices during my days off so I could learn new tricks and techniques. The key is that you WANT to be a good hygienist, which means that you will be. Good luck!!

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It is very normal to feel this way. I would certainly get some experience by temping. People are usually very good about helping you out when you are filling in and you can get the feel of how dental offices work.
As far as not feeling confident about your technique, etc., five in…you are graduating, you have been taught what you need to know. Get in there, learn from mistakes and past yourself on the back for the good things!! You can do this!!

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Thank you so much ladies! I’ve been talking with recent graduates who have said pretty much what’s listed above. To get out there and ask questions and learn techniques from others and to adapt them as I’d like.
I’ve already made the decision to temp first as I want to get as much experience as possible.
Again thank you for the great feedback and tips!

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