As a dental hygienist, you will embark on an exciting career using specialized skills to keep smiles healthy, patients comfortable, and the public educated on prevention and dental health. With client-centred care, you will support and care for many different people. Learning to adapt and modify your approach for each client will help you find your own success. Dental hygienist programs give you the opportunity to prepare for work in dental offices, hospitals, clinics, and other environments where you may find employment.
When you become a dental hygienist, you can apply strategies to your daily work to ensure you put your best foot forward. Entering your chosen field is both exciting and a little daunting. With the right preparation and approach, you can relax and feel confident that you will find success and fulfillment along your way. Read on!
Finding Career Success as a Dental Hygienist
Be a People Person
The key to success as a dental hygienist is people skills!
- Communication – keep your clients informed and make sure you understand their concerns
- Kindness – you can offer a friendly face to help clients feel calm
- Adaptability – each client is unique and will have different needs
One size does not fit all – each client is different
Recognizing the individuality of each person you help will make you a better professional.
- Fearful clients may require reassurance
- People who seem unsure may appreciate an explanation
- Children require different approaches than adults
- Some clients want a very friendly atmosphere
- Other clients prefer professional distance
Effective Strategies for Client Compliance
When you have something important to say to a client, these tricks can encourage them to comply.
- Greet clients warmly and make a connection
- Sit them up in the chair when you have something important to say
- Ask questions to understand how the client feels
- Make space for discussion
Maintain Attention to Detail
- Dexterity will help you with accuracy
- Follow rules of sanitation, sterilization, and safety
- Observe changes to help prevent further issues down the road
Take Time for Self-Care
Dental hygienists have physical jobs and need to keep their stamina up!
- Eat well
- Drink plenty of water
- Get adequate sleep
- Identify stressors
How to Deal with Difficult Clients
Difficult clients won’t harm your success with the following strategies.
- Confidence – show your competence by speaking politely and assertively
- Communication – use questions to identify stressors or concerns for clients
- Boundaries – understand where your professional limits are and when to take a step back from a conversation
- Professionalism – maintain your professional demeanour at all times