How To Become A More Valuable Dental Hygienist To Employers


If you are looking for a current position, or want to know how to improve your abilities, and work value, then we go over some of the best tips to keep in mind.

Show Your Empathy

Just like with any major healthcare position, most people go into the industry out of a sense of empathy. Although, it’s very common for people to feel like they lose that sense of empathy once they go into the workforce.

Every dental practice loves someone coming in with positive energy, and enthusiasm. These are some of the most sought-after traits because they can boost the morale of the entire office, and this is just done through a domino-like effective one person coming in being extremely upbeat and positive.

However it’s not just about positivity, this also helps other dental hygienists that are at your practice, to possibly reignite the passion that they’ve had. These passions being centered around empathy, and wanting to help others.

Continue Your Education

This is one of the best ways to increase your value to an employer on paper and in your technical abilities and skills. There is typically always some form of education that you can continue to pursue if it is something that you are interested in doing. This can be from gaining additional certifications and therefore the ability to take on more responsibilities, or train other individuals within the office. 

An example of another certification that you might be able to acquire would be a local, state, or otherwise anesthesia license. Being trained and having the legal capability to assist in any dental procedures that would require this, would prove to be a very valuable skill. This would allow you in some instances to possibly replace the anesthesiologist that might have to be brought in for specific procedures. Or, if they already have one on staff you may be able to substitute in to accommodate absences.

You can also continue your education in a more traditional manner. This can be done by getting the subsequent degree that would advance your career path. For example, if you had a bachelors degree, you could look into and possibly pursue a master's degree. How would these degrees help you in being a dental hygienist? This is where it’s important to remember that your degree can be in whatever specific field it is that you decide to pursue. 

With the possibility to even eventually enroll in dental school, and pursue becoming a dentist yourself, you can work your way through a full bachelors degree. The most common degrees to go into the dental field are those of biology. That being more specifically, a Bachelor of Science in Biology. 

More often than not, the only requirement to pursue the program to become a dentist is that you have an undergraduate degree. However, pursuing a degree in biology will probably serve you the best in transitioning into a dental school.

However, it is important to remember that these do not all have to be fast processes. If you don’t have a degree yet, look at possibly gaining an associates degree. If you don’t have a bachelors degree yet, just focus on getting a bachelors degree, and so forth.

Continuing your education is both an investment in yourself and knowledge, as well as an investment into your career and future. It is highly recommended to consult with the practice that you are working for to see if they offer any form of a reimbursement program for pursuing education.

Be Confident, Not Arrogant

You are being hired because you have knowledge and skills that most people do not have. However, especially when we’re looking for a new position, we lose a lot of our confidence. This could be due to a bad previous experience with your most recent employer, being let go and told that your work was subpar, or any other instance that may shake one’s confidence.

However, like we previously said, you are being hired on because you know how to do things that other people do not know how to do, and you know things that other people don’t know.

So when you know you are right, be confident in your knowledge, and your abilities. This confidence in yourself will bleed over into performing well in your interview, your communication with your coworkers and boss, as well as your communication with patients. No employer wants to hire someone that they won’t have to always reassure on their decisions. They want you to perform your job to the best of your ability, and sometimes that includes making the judgment calls to the best of your ability. With the exception being due to more serious cases.

Be Willing To Train Dental Assistants On Work They Can Do

More often than not dental assistants are not being allowed to do as much as they are legally allowed to do. Some of this may not be happening due to them not being trained on these responsibilities, well other times it may just be the practice owner chooses to not allow dental assistants to do so. If it is the former, express an attempt to take the initiative to train the dental assistants in the processes that they are allowed to assist with. Allowing dental assistants to start taking on more tasks will help expedite your own processes, the dentist’s processes, as well as those of your coworkers. 

This increase in responsibility will also allow dental assistants to feel more fulfillment within their job. It’s commonly regarded that one of the key factors and whether or not someone feels that they are being fulfilled by their job, is due to the responsibilities that they have, or do not have.

Express What You Are Passionate About Learning More Of

It’s important when you are going into looking for a new job, talking with your current employer, or anything in between, to express what it is you want to learn more about and what you are passionate about. If you want and are passionate about using laser-based dental tools for cleanings, bring that up when you were speaking with someone from a dental practice that has those tools. 

Odds are, you’re going to know that they have those because you’ve done your research and that’s why you are applying there.

In another aspect, if you were extremely interested in cosmetic dentistry, then let that hiring manager or Dentist know that that is something you want to be able to focus on and learn more about. People love being able to help other people, just like the first point that we made previously in this article. Odds are you went into this industry to help other people. Most people will help you if given the opportunity, and positive affinity towards you.

When you are excited and passionate about something, that excitement tends to be contagious to other people. Especially if they feel like they can help you become even more excited about it from their own knowledge or opportunities that they can provide to you.

Be open about what you love. Be open to asking for opportunities to pursue this. And be open to the reasons why you love it. All of these will serve you extremely well when talking to people because they want to help you.

Next Steps

Taking into account all these tips, there are still some things you can help to improve on paper. We have a couple of other articles that help to address any other aspects that you might be interested in approving. You can find them here:
Posted in dental hygienist at 05/10/2021 01:11 PM