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This is a "Dear Abby" type section where I will post a new question weekly that a student can ask for advice or help in ANY topic. You can ask anonymously and anything goes! Don't hold back!


Question 3 (3-10-06)

Dear Andy = Hi Andy! I graduated DH school in May ’05. I recently found a full-time dental hygiene position. I work 36 hours a week and by the end of the day my index & middle finger hurt. I am always conscious about not using my fingers to scale, but sometimes under stressful situations I catch myself using them. Are there any tips or suggestions that you can share with me? Even if you know of a CE course about ergonomics I would be so grateful! Thank you so much for your help!! It is greatly appreciated!

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Question 2

Dear Andy, Hi i'm in my 2nd semester of my freshman year. I feel like i'm going to lose it. There are so many requirements to make in clinic and so little time plus everything besides clinic we need to get done. I feel like i'm not getting it sometimes and that i'm not going to understand what i'm doing when I graduate. I'm in a fog because everything is crammed into a short period of time. Any advice?

anonymous: Make me anonymous

Hi there anonymous. Wouldn't it be nice if teachers understood or seemed to care? I think most of the teachers are in the "I walked to school in the snow" mentality where they think that when they were students they had so much to do and had it "so hard" that they want to lay it all on you as well. Some of them are understanding and some are not. To be a dental hygiene student you not only have to be very focused, very organized, very patient, but also very strong to endure all the emotions that come along with being a student. We are the cream of the crop of students. Not only do we have didactic educational classes to go to and study for, but we also have to do clinicals and most of the time find our own patients. This can be a triple team factor against us and sometimes it doesn't seem fair. I used to think that there were too many factors pulling me in all different directions that eventually I would split down the middle and go postal on someone. Thankfully that never happened but I sure was close a few times! What helped me was to only think 1-2 weeks ahead of me. If something was due beyond 2 weeks then I didnt even think about it until later. It's all I really could do becuase most of the time I wanted to think of the "big picture" but thinking of everything that was due and required of me, made me not even want to get started. It's almost like if you were going hiking. If you just had one huge hill to climb you almost don't want to start because you can see what lies ahead of you. However, if you only had a small hill to climb and once you got to the top of that hill you noticed there was another little one to go up then it's not so bad becuase your're not thinking beyond that first hill. There is no simple solution but iIt worked for me. Another thing to take into consideration is that it's actually a good thing to be in a tough program and entering a tough profession. If it were easy to become a dental hygienist then there would be so many of them, our pay would be low, and probably the standard of care would be low. Knowing that every dental hygienist had to "suffer" just like you makes it a little more receptive. I know personally I wouldn't want to be in a profession that was a piece of cake to enter or something that I didn't have to work hard for. There is a quote by Anthony Robbins that says "Remember anything you want that's valuable requires you to break through short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure." We know that going through the pain of the requirements and stress are tough to endure, but it sure will make it that much more rewarding in the end when you have that RDH after your name and you're part of an elite profession! Don't worry about taking baby steps to get through everything, try to organize everything in order of importance and date due and just plug away at it until you eventually move on to the next task. I know YOU CAN DO IT! Good luck!



Question 1

Dear Andy,
I'm sick of my classmates negativity all the time, especially now that boards are near. How can I stay optimistic?
Thanks, Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,
There are always going to be negative people around you, its just up to you to make sure they stay far enough away that they don't stink your attitude also. If you surround yourself with negative people or as I call them, "downers" then your going be the one hurting in the long run. Are your classmates paying your bills? Taking your tests for you? Are they there to pick you up when your down... or do they just want to bring you down with them? Sure dental hygiene school can suck. Tests suck. Heck, studying for boards can suck.. we all know this and don't need to be reminded about it every time a classmate opens their pie hole. Just remember, nothing sucks more than having to cram harder only to take a test that your going to do terrible on anyway. This is your life, your future, your career.. YOU are in charge of what happens to YOU...and you got this far... don't ruin it just for some people who think they will feel better to get others to feel crappy with them.. You know the technique you use in your Community Dental Health lecture where; you see the teacher, your might hear the lecture, but really your just pretending and daydreaming instead? Well use this same principal. Just give your classmate a smirk, and then pretend they are giving you a really boring community lecture and you just don't give a ....

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