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When did you feel like you became a good rdh?

I’m a newer rdh (I’ve been working full time for just about 8 months). Recently I’ve missed some deeper pockets. I feel like a complete screw up especially considering I passed boards with 100% and always was a straight A student in school. When did all of you feel like you became a really good hygienist? Is it normal to miss things when you are starting out? Did you feel like this in your first year of working?



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4 Answers

I have been a hygienist for 29 years..and I feel in my 6th year was my aha moment. I felt I experienced enough and seen enough that I could confidently speak to a patient and know the outcome. That I could tell a patient why they needed perio scaling and share with them what the outcome would be and really believe it that that will be exactly what will happen. Patients who are smokers, I know will rarely have the best outcome..but until I seen it over and over I thought I could make everything better. Missing things? I still miss things you can’t be perfect every day every patient. The fact you are here and learning more makes you a good hygienist already

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I’ve been practicing for almost 4 years now and I feel like I’m still learning every day. My first year I felt like I stumbled through cleanings and felt like I knew nothing. Its completely normal. I have to remind myself that I am always learning. I felt the same way you did starting out. I passed my boards with flying colors along with great grades in school. Started working and felt like I didn’t know what I was doing half the time. The real world is a different experience than in school so it takes time. I’m just now getting into the swing of things and feeling more confident in my abilities. BUT I still take a step back and remind myself that it’s an ever growing field, I’m always learning, and willing to keep learning. Keep your head up, it keeps getting better with time.

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My favorite teacher in school told our class that within two years we would either be a good hygienist or one that just “buffs and polishes”. The fact that you are concerned and want to do better tells me you are going to be a great hygienist!! It takes time to get your groove, keep at it, don’t be too hard on yourself, just keep learning. 🙂

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I’m a year and a half in on a practice, 2 years out of school and I feel completely confident in my hygiene skills, i’m just solidly working on my patient communication skills, I struggle when it comes to completely quiet patients and teenagers… but it will come, I have to slow myself down when i’m missing things, I had a solid conversation with my dentist so that she would let me know to go back to spots and neither of us would feel put down or anything. When I first started out I was constantly second guessing myself though. You’ll get there, Just enjoy yourself and the confidence will follow =)

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