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New grad and calculus removal

I am a new grad and working at my first job with 2 other very experienced DHs. Recently one of the DHs saw 2 pts that I had done SRP on and because they were very heavy pts she decided to check my side of the cleaning and said that there was leftover supracalc and stain in some areas. I was super embarrassed and felt REALLY bad that I let the pt down by not doing my job properly. Then the other hygienist proceeded to tell me that maybe the office wasnt giving me enough time and that I should ask for more time. I accepted her criticism and thanked her for bringing it to my attention. I believe that pt care comes first so if she says I am not doing a good job then I feel that I obviously need more time and also I need to do a better job. There is only one thing that I keep questioning… she is really into production for herself and has been saying some shady things that make me think she is only telling me this for her own selfish purposes. Many people have problems with her in the office and the dr and office manager know. I am just debating on whether I should just be straight up with the dr and business manager and tell them she said I was missing pieces so I would like more time during SRPs? And is this fairly normal for a new grad to be missing pieces? Thank you.

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1 Answer

This is a tough one because there’s a difference between constructive criticism and criticism with ulterior motives. If the other hygienist tells you that you’ve missed calculus, stain, etc. have her show you where. This way you can not only learn if it’s an honest mistake, but also see if you really did miss something. The other thing to consider is how long the SRP patients’ appointments were spaced apart. It may have been new stain and/or calculus, not necessarily something you missed. Some patients build calculus and stain quickly and may actually just need more homecare instruction with suggestions of homecare aides (electric toothbrush, etc.). If this is the case, its poor form for the other hygienist to use this as an excuse to criticize you. I also wonder why the doctor and office manager would allow this hygienist to disrupt the office if they are fully aware of the problem!
The next thing is to ask yourself if you really feel like you need more time with SRP patients. All patients are different, but do you feel you have enough time to be thorough? If you do, I wouldn’t ask for more time just because another hygienist told you that you should.
Even though we strive for perfection, we all leave calculus once in a while, no matter how new or seasoned a hygienist you are. As long as you are checking your work by exploring, blowing air, etc. and doing the best you can, you are doing just fine. Do make sure that your instruments aren’t passed their prime or need to be sharpened. Check your ultrasonic inserts too.
I’m proud of you for taking the other hygienist’s criticism professionally and for caring so much for your patients! Don’t feel badly, you are looking for solutions and that is awesome!

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