I am not a dentist. I am not a dental hygienist. Admittedly, I never had the desire to learn about the importance of our teeth. I am not an expert, nor will I ever be when it comes to dentistry, but I have a responsibility to become an expert at my job and establish authority in the industry.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I joined the Oral Health team almost five years ago, I was entering an entire new world. Of course I knew the importance of routine check ups with my dentist and hygienist, and to be diligent with my oral healthcare routine. Did I ever think my career would be based around the field of dentistry? Absolutely not. But what I do know now, more than ever, is that we aren’t so different. I have found a strong desire to stay current, to educate myself, to be willing to grow, and to most importantly deliver my best – as all experts do.
No matter how much you think you know; ideas and content are constantly evolving. As dentists and hygienists, you have the responsibility to be an expert. You are a trusted resource, not just to your team but also to your patients. Your duty is to be constantly learning, putting forth your best effort and to develop skill sets that prove you are the expert. Even though our education and training are on opposite ends of the spectrum, my desire to succeed is similar. As an editor for the Oral Health Group, I am a trusted resource to our readers. I have the responsibility to deliver the best quality content, as you have the responsibility to deliver the best quality care to your patients.
Determination is essential when it comes to succeeding in your career. As hygienists, being passionate about your job will not only have a positive impact in the office, and on your coworkers, but more importantly on your patients. Having a strong desire to evolve is a key factor in ensuring growth and happiness throughout the span of your career.
Alongside passion, I strongly believe that networking is vital. One fail-proof way to impact your career is to develop and maintain a network of contacts. In dentistry, continuing education, tradeshows, conferences, study clubs and conversations with peers are beneficial to your professional and personal growth. Creating a network of support can more than likely provide you with an outlet for discovery.
No matter which field your career is in, the fundamentals for success are essentially the same. Visualize where you want to be and use your skills to make it your reality. Taking steps to be viewed as a leader in your industry is important for marking your territory. I am not an expert but I’m here to start conversations. So let’s start talking.