Thursday, December 15, 2011

I got a job!!

After searching and searching and interviewing and doing working interviews, I finally got an awesome job.  Part time, 2 days a week from 1-6pm. WOO-HOO!  Lets just say I hate the hiring process and that I also hate not having experience.  Most employers were not wanting to deal with someone fresh outta school but I finally found a doctor who was willing to "take me in".  And guess what?  Its because I have a BS degree in hygiene FROM a university.  He did not want some proprietary school that just opened who shoots out 80+ hygienist a year.  So my extra classes and going full time during the summer paid off.  I'm so glad I decided to get my bachelor degree.  I was in school for 4 years anyhow, I better have something to show for it!

To those of you currently seeking a hygiene job - dont settle.  I interviewed for a few offices and finally found the one I'm at now.  The office I work for now - Dr.B- I interviewed for in October.  The interview went great, I delivered a follow up thank you letter and didn't hear back from them.  I was so bummed.  I then went ahead and applied for more openings and ended up interviewing with a dental group that had me do a working interview for an entire day and did not offer to pay me - RED FLAG.  They then told me they needed me to do a SECOND working interview without pay the following week and that then they would hire me. It sounded to me like they were looking for free work so I declined my "second" working interview.  Especially since the office was a joke and way behind with the way they ran things.  I saw a patient who was CLEARLY perio and I told the doctor she had 7+mm pockets and he was surprised and told me that he didn't know how his other hygienist would miss that. was very evident in the xrays past & present that this woman had perio and it had been missed.  The lady told me she had never heard of that disease which was shocking - she had moderate bone loss that was CLEAR as day on her xrays.  She also was a long time heavy smoker which is a red flag.  Needless to say I didn't want to work for an office who was very lazy about patient care and who also laughed and talked about patients in the back room while they were still sitting in the chair!!  So unprofessional.  So although I really wanted a job and the experience (because they were willing to hire a new graduate) I declined.  I was so bothered that Dr. B's office hadn't called me back that I called them almost 2 weeks after our interview and asked if I was still being considered or if they had filled the position.  That is when I learned that the doctor had become very ill and had been out for the past week and a half.  So although that sucked for the doctor I was so happy to know I hadnt been looked over and I was SO grateful that I had decided to call.  I feel it was my persistence that let them know I REALLY wanted to work for them.  A week later the office manager called me in for a second interview and I was offered the job that day!!  With...I might add...FANTASTIC pay.  Arizona pays hygienist VERY well.  Something Utah definitely does not offer.  I'm making $10 more an hour here than I would ever have made in Utah. 

I have to say the first day I was off to a rough start.  It is a transition from school to private practice.  Not to mention Dr.B's office is really up to date, completely paperless and utilizes every ounce of technology possible.  This is SO good for me because I feel like its only going to make me a better hygienist.  The full time hygienist there has been with him for 9 years and is amazing.  I feel more comfortable working with someone so experienced because I can go to her with any questions.  Since starting almost a month ago I have learned to pick up my pace and probe correctly (lol).  Bad habits die hard apparently.  I'm so grateful that Dr. B has been patient with me and pointed out areas where I need to improve.  I'd rather him tell me and teach me things then get mad and talk behind my back.  There is no way for me to get better without constructive criticism.  Anyway that's where I stand now.  Its so rewarding to have a good job after all of the hard work I put in.  I am so blessed to have been able to follow my dream of becoming a hygienist.  Not everyone gets the opportunity to even be accepted into a dental hygiene program, let alone one of the best programs in the nation (WEBER STATE WOOT WOOT!)  I'm SO excited to be working in this office and to be learning something new every time I'm at work.  The learning phase should never stop or you become bored and complacent.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First "REAL" day as a hygienist!

Yesterday I was able to sub at an office where they are needing some coverage for a few weeks (I get to go back next week, yay!).  And it was AWESOME!  I knew I went into the hygiene profession for a reason.  I felt so spoiled!  I was an assistant for 5 years so I know what goes on with their side of things...but being a hygienist was amazing.  I had my own assistant because it was double hygiene (I was so scared about that, but it actually worked out great) and the scaling came back immediately - like riding a bike ;-)  Even though it had been a few months since I had picked up an instrument it felt like no time had passed.  It was so great!  Although being 34 weeks pregnant makes the day very tiring, it was so fun and I'm so excited for next week.  I hope they let me work every week for them until I'm due. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Arizona Jurisprudence Exam

Well this is my first post as a LICENSED dental hygienist and I thought it might be fun to blog about what its like in the private practice, working world, side of things.  You read all about my school experience so now you get to hear what its like getting licensed, finding a job, handling a job, etc.

Last week I received my license from Utah - YAY I'm an RDH!  and today I took Arizona's jurisprudence test which was much harder then I thought it would be.  Granted I only studied a whole hour for this test... and looking back I probably should have studied a LITTLE bit more, BUT needless to say I passed!  I just want to brag and say that is 6 for 6.  I didn't think I'd pass ANY of my exams the first time and here it is a few months down the road and I've passed ALL of them the first time!  What a miracle!!  So here is the low down about this exam:
  • Dentists and hygienist take the same exam.  Do not just study the dental hygiene aspect!  Study ALL of it!  
  • Know about how to get licensed and all the punishments that could follow you for it.
  • If you do happen to fail you get to retake it THAT day and I think they might tell you what you missed?  Not sure since luckily I didn't fail, and I don't think anyone who took it today failed either.  They grade it right when you submit it.
  • Last: Study more then 1 hour for this exam but don't stress too much over it - I passed didn't I?  haha
AND here are some tips for applying for Arizona licensure.  Do NOT apply right before June 30th!  Because if you do and you get your license you get to renew RIGHT away and pay the $325.  If you wait until July to get your license you get to have your license for the full year before you have to renew.  Anyway...if that sounds complicated just call them and they'll explain it to you.  I am getting the shaft and I get to renew in 5 weeks because I didn't realize this stupid set up in their system.  At least I will then have my license here for 3 years before having to pay again and this also puts me on the same schedule with Utah for renewing my license...though not sure if thats a good thing...that just means I get to pay TWO fees instead of one.  Whatever.  Now I just have to wait 7-10 days and I'll be able to work here.  YAY!  I'm ready to make some money and start paying off my student loans! (hooray)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Graduate of the Class of 2011 - BS, RDH

Here is my final "student" blog entry:  Friday was graduation and it never felt better to walk across the floor KNOWING I had passed everything and was taking my final steps to becoming a hygienist.  This program has been amazing & awful at the same time.  However, I have absolutely no regrets and am so grateful and blessed to have been chosen to complete it.  I'll never forget what Prof. Perry said to us our first few weeks of class. "You worked so hard to get in to this program and now you're gonna work even harder to get out of it" - WOW was that the truth.  All of my hard work, sweat, & tears have paid off.  I am a BS, RDH!  I am so proud of that title. To the future classes at WSU Dental Hygiene: Hold on tight, get you work done, find your patients, read Malamed, and it will all be over before you know it.  When you think you cant do it anymore - just keep going.  I completed this program with a husband who lived in another state because of medical school, therefore acting as a  single mom to a 2 year old and being pregnant, served in the AmeriCorps twice - earning over 1200 volunteer hours, AND I graduated magna cum laude.  Adios WSU.  Thanks for all the memories and friendships I have made along the way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I passed WREB

Trust me...I could write you a novel about my WREB experience but I think that's all I need to say - after the LONGEST 33 days of my life, I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and yes that includes the POS POC)  And with a much higher score than I thought possible!  If you want to read all the details check out my personal family blog.  CLICK HERE!

Friday, April 15, 2011

This is weird

So today was my last and final day of clinic...I'm not sure how to feel about this.  It's very bitter sweet.  It hasn't hit me yet that I am done with the program and graduating in a matter of 8 days.  This program has been my life for 2 years.  I have ate, slept, breathed, and lived dental hygiene for 2 years straight.  One would think that I'd be so happy to be leaving it behind (and a big part of me is) but the other part is sad and not sure of what I'm going to do with myself now that I have so much free time!  I am one who, apparently, thrives off of a busy busy schedule.  When I don't have 50 things to juggle at once, I get really bored.  One would think: (temporary) single mom, 3 year old (did I mention this 3 year old has the energy level of about ten 3 year olds?), pregnant, and full time school would be enough to allow someone to NEVER get bored...but to be honest, I've been kind of bored ever since boards were over!  Anyway, I'm proud of myself.  I did it.  I have a Bachelors degree in dental hygiene. I didn't even think I'd ever GO to college, let alone one of the best and most demanding hygiene schools in the nation AND come out with a BACHELORS degree!?  Are you kidding me??  School/education is not promoted in my family and I'm pretty sure I am the first female to graduate from a university with a Bachelors within my immediate family.  So I'm proud.  I survived 9 months without my husband (who has his own demanding school schedule that I now get to 110% support HIM in) and I maintained a 3.8 cumulative GPA (magna cum laude).  I did over 1200 hours of service for AmeriCorp (give or take a few...) and I paid for this entire program with scholarships and pell grant (whoot whoot).  Now THATS something to be proud of!  I think I will write one more time before I say my final goodbye...I'm just not ready right now.  I'll post in a week...

This is how we celebrated the end of clinic!

Had to finish up those, oh so important, notes!!!

Marilyn cooking our tortillas!

 Me & my bestie Jenny - how am I going to live without her EVERY day!?
 Our version of Costa Vida Salads mmm mmm mmm!!
 Pregnant & Hungry - MOVE OVER!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cant take anymore

Ok so I was holding off on writing a post until ALL of my exam results were in seems as if WREB is following the "30 day policy" on releasing scores because of the POS POC exam!  So my scores are sitting in the WREB office right now...but do they want to make the lives of dental hygiene students easier or less stressful by releasing them? NO!  They want us to suffer because they cant decide how to grade the new exam that is seriously the stupidest thing I've ever taken.  They are TWO SEPARATE TESTS!  RELEASE THE SCORES ALREADY!!  I'm starting to go a little crazy waiting for these results.  I'm starting to second guess everything I did during the clinical and thinking of all the ways I could have failed it.  #1 way - MISSING CALCULUS!  So...WREB please release the scores already!  Dont wait until the week of graduation.  Stop torturing us!! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Exam week is O-V-E-R

So the week that I have been planning for, dreading, dreaming of, preparing for, wishing for, hating...has already come and passed.  It doesn't seem possible.  It truly was one of the MOST stressful weeks of my entire life.  I have never felt so much anxiety, pressure, nervousness, elation and happiness all wrapped up into a few days.  Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Wednesday was anesthesia written & clinical.  I was physically sick that morning to take the test.  I was so nervous over 50 questions!!  I read and read Malamed like a mad woman for 2 weeks straight...and it paid off because I passed!!!  As I was taking the test I went through and marked a few questions I wanted to review before I answered & turned in my test.  I had figured before the test started that I could miss a maximum of 12...and guess how many I circled?  12!!  I did not plan that it just happened.  I felt pretty confident about my other answers so to me this was pretty much a blessing.  I answered them the best I could and clearly I did alright!!  Waiting the 10 minutes for our envelopes was really hard.  But then they placed them out on the table and we all nervously walked to our "numbered" envelopes and this is what I saw....

WHAT A RELIEF!!   However I did almost have a heart attack because I saw the second box was checked and I had expected the first box to be checked if I had passed.  So my heart stopped beating for about 2 seconds until I saw it said "congratulations".  I was BEYOND happy!! 

Then the realization set in that I had to do the clinical portion of this test.  I had focused SO much on the written part that I had not freaked out over the clinical yet.  I remained pretty calm though and prepared my unit, got my patient back and. BAM!  Failure.  Before I was even able to do the injections my patient was dismissed because she was missing her upper right 2nd molar.  I had not read the candidate guide close enough to realize that this was an automatic failure.  Now you are given 2 chances for anesthesia on the same day, but I had fully prepared to use my second chance as my LAST resort and as a fall back in case my nerves got the best of me.  I was not prepared to hear that this was a FAILURE and that I had to pay $120 to get another patient back in the chair AND that I better do it right the very first time or I was done for.  As it turns out my peer pal Jodie was hanging out at the clinic in case someone needed her and lucky me, I did!  I feel it was such a blessing that she was there.  She was my mock board for anesthesia so I felt pretty comfortable with her.  I got her back, pulled myself together and did what I had to do to pass.  I was really nervous because I knew I only got one shot but I was also kind of mad which I think worked to my advantage to help focus me.  I wasnt shaky at all and I felt determined to do it right the first time.  I did the left IA and left PSA and within 3 minutes the exam was over.  I cleaned up my unit and right as I was walking out my envelope was waiting for me in the basket.  I opened it to see this...

Yes, I cried out of relief.  I was so happy to see a success memo.  I felt so glad to be done with the whole anesthetic testing and I couldnt believe that it was all over within a few hours that day.  I had been dreading that day for SOOOO long and stressing and STRESSING about it.  I'm surprised I don't have an ulcer.  I got all my stuff and went downstairs for Hygiene orientation for the next day.  I have to say I slept pretty well that night.

The next day, lucky St Patrick's day,was my hygiene clinical exam.  This exam I felt nervous for but I have been preparing for this one the longest (since day 1 of the program) so I felt a little bit better about this exam.  I was just scared that my patient wouldn't show up and I would be out of $1021.00.  I was allowed into the clinic at 12 to set up and get my patient back.  I had an hour to turn him over to the examiners for them to "accept" him and say he was indeed a board quality patient.  You never see the examiners to help keep things unbiased.  Of patient was 30 minutes late!  I almost had a freakin heart attack.  Especially since my back up patient had canceled on me that morning!!  She didnt even know she was my "back up" patient and she canceled on could she?  I told her how important this exam was.  What a blessing I found the patient I did and used him instead.  So I got him back, did my stuff, made an executive decision about which quad to submit & any extra teeth.  He was pretty sensitive so I numbed him up - without supervision ;-) !  That was cool.  And then I sent him off to the examiners.  I waited 45 minutes for him to come back to me.  That is a stressful 45 minutes.  Luckily my first submission passed (which means I did not get docked any points, yay!) and I had 2 hours to clean his quadrant.  I used the entire 2 hours.  I declared 3 extra teeth so I had to do a few teeth on the bottom.  I could NOT get the distal (back) of his lower right molar clean.  I was trying everything and I knew calculus was still there.  I was starting to freak out because I had no time left.  I finally just got my ultrasonic out, turned it all the way up, and prayed it would come off.  Within a few seconds a HUGE chunk of calculus came out and I wanted to jump out of my seat and cheer but I finished him up super fast and sent him back to the examiners for his final evaluation.  They kept him for about 30 minutes.  I cleaned up my unit, gathered my things and waited for them to release him.  I tried to pay him for coming but he would accept my money (good guy) and that was IT.  I was officially done with every exam.  I wont know the results for another 2-4 weeks...but it is what it is.  I pray I passed.  Time will tell.  This is one exam I do NOT want to have to repeat.  I'll let you know how it goes.  For now though...I am enjoying not studying and having time to do whatever I want to do.  It has been MONTHS since I have watched TV and not felt guilty for it.  :-)  5 weeks until I graduate.  I think I can do this.

Monday, March 14, 2011

National Dental Hygiene Exam

PASS! 1 graded, 1 pending, and 3 to go!  Here goes nothin...

Monday, March 7, 2011

LA Mockboard...pass?

Ok so we had our LA mock-board and I actually did ok, except on that dang PSA!  What was I thinking??  The IA went pretty smooth but the right PSA was ridiculous.  I couldn't figure out why I kept hitting bone from the get-go until Perry told me.  Anyway, couldn't do the right PSA after 3 attempts so they had me do my left and I passed that one just fine.  So technically I would have failed on the real board, because the examiners probably wouldn't have told me to do the left side, BUT had I just done the left to begin with I would have passed both.  So now I'm debating which side to do...if I get so lucky to be able to DO my clinical!  Anyway, I got the PSA wrong because I was OVER THE 1ST MOLAR!! Who does that?  I couldnt even figure it out I was in such a tunnel vision.  Anyway....I have 9 days until the real deal.  I hope lady luck is on my side.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I'm sitting here with the realization that all of my boards are about to start and be over with in a blink of an eye and I'm not feeling prepared.  Yes I have studied...but I just dont feel ready.  They ask so much of us and I'm just not sure I can do it!  Tomorrow I take the Process of Care Exam (I've heard this exam is a JOKE and no way to study for it) so I'm getting really anxious about that.  Friday is my big 8 hour exam...and I'm sitting here having panic attacks about what to expect on it.  I dont know if I've studied enough.  What if I just plain dont know any answers??  What if I BOMB this test and have to retake it?  Lets not even get started with local anesthesia...I'm scared shi*less about that one.  If I fail the written I'm done for!  My board patient needs to be numb and if I cant do it I have to have someone come up to do it for me!  I dont know anyone!  Failing is NOT an option.  I have to do incredible.  There is no way around it.  It has always been my goal to pass all 5 of these exams the first time around and now I'm questioning everything.  Not to mention I have messed up my back SO bad (thinking it was from last mockboard) that I can hardly sleep at night and it hurts to breathe in.  I'm going to get a massage today but I'm afraid its going to make it feel worse because everytime someone has rubbed it for me its even more excruciating after.  I feel like I should have a huge black/blue bruise.  Ahhhhh so stressed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

3rd Mockboard - PASS!!

YAY!! I FINALLY PASSED A MOCKBOARD!  I'm so glad it was my last one and sent me away feeling a TAD bit more confident for the real board in 4 weeks!  I only missed 1 spot on the entire exam!  I'm so happy.  I dont feel bad about the spot I missed either because it was 18-D which was sandwiched between 17-M which was tipped completely on top of it.  I only had a tiny little window to work with to remove the calculus and I think I wasnt applying enough lateral pressure.  Even Prof. Wold had a hard time removing it.  Anyway, 94%!!  This is just what I needed right now.  I know every day and every patient is different so I will not let this get to my head - I'm just so grateful I passed.  I hope I can pull the same kind of results on my real board and I will be one happy woman!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Falling Behind

Where are all the class III's and IV's??  Certainly not in my chair!  I have seen 2 quads of a III this semester...good thing I was able to do so many last semester.  I only need 6 left but it is starting to stress me out.  I've also only had 1 quad of a IV and I need 7 more!!  I haven't done many injections this semester either, and boards are coming up really fast so I'm getting scared about that.  AHHHH I just want this last year done already.  10 more weeks...I dont know if I can make it WITH all of my requirements done and boards passed.  I'm beginning to think its not even possible.  I didnt have an afternoon patient this afternoon and all that is on the recall list are 1B's....can someone tell me where your finding your patients??  I need help!  I'm willing to take left over's ;-)  Anyway...our final mockboard next week.  I'm praying for a passing grade for once.  I just need a LITTLE boost in my confidence. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

2nd Mockboard - FAILURE

I'm not even sure how much I'll be able to write about this experience because it depresses me every time.  However, yes I did fail my 2nd mockboard.  Isn't that a boost to the ego when the REAL boards are 7 weeks away??  First of all...I was so off on my probing that it makes me want to throw up thinking about it (-5 points right there).  I have NEVER been off on my probing before (in fact I used to be kind of proud of my "probing skills") but now I am questioning everything I am doing and I must suck at it.  Second: TISSUE TRAUAMA.  Again I have never even caused tissue trauma, but this patient was SO FREAKIN HARD!  I might as well have just left the calculus below her gumline because it didnt do me any good to go digging for it.  And can I talk about how much blood and saliva this patient produced?  I would just look at her and her gums would pour blood and her mouth would fill up with spit.  I had to have the suction in her mouth the entire time because I couldn't see what I was doing. Also, she had wisdom teeth.  Note to self: Do NOT allow your real board patient to have WISDOM teeth.  It was so hard to access 17-D.  Sending my patient back I knew I had missed 3 spots of calculus because I could feel them (yay for at least being able to feel them) but I didnt know how to get them off.  I tried my very best to get them off to no avail.  Prof. Alexander then helped me get them off and told me to use the WRONG END OF THE GRACEY to do so - worked like a charm.  Ok, so since when are we supposed to be using the wrong side of the instrument to be doing anything??  I have officially thrown EVERY THING I LEARNED IN FIRST YEAR out the window because I'm pretty sure it was the biggest waste of my time.  Ok and last but NOT least..........the very embarassing SUPRA CALCULUS ON THE LOWER ANTERIORS!!  How could I have missed this?? How?  SUPRA! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  I was so focused on trying to get the tenacious calculus off of her back teeth that I didnt give a crap about the front.  Well apparently WREB will penalize you for ANY supra calculus even if it is not highlited!?!  Now I am still in debate about this because Prof Perry said this was not true and Alexander says it is true.  So I personally emailed WREB myself but have not heard back yet.  It doesn't say in the manual that this is the case.  So if I am not penalized for SUPRA calculus then I will not to be embarrassed of my score but for now I have my head in the sand and am questioning if I have learned anything in the past year. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lateral Pressure!

Today was a learning experience for me!  I had a class II with very tenacious calculus.  I, however, did not even know this until I learned how to use my explorer correctly!!  For the first time, ever, I was taught how to use it opposite of how I have always been using it - posteriors: Do not let it hug the tooth!  Also, the nevi shouldnt be hugging the teeth either!  Just make sure your very adapted and your fine.  So lesson for today: Use instruments the opposite way you were taught...AND for the tenacious calculus part.  I was working, working, working, to no avail.  Finally Prof Wold "helped" me feel how much pressure to use to pop it off.  I have NEVER used so much lateral pressure in my entire life.  So now I know what it takes.  Good thing our instruments are made of stainless steel.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Final Semester

I am 2 weeks into my final semester and let me tell you how I thought this semester would never come!  But here it is...and I survived it.  Its incredible what can happen in 1 1/2 years.  It doesn't even feel like that much time has passed since I began!  So far things are moving right a long and I'm content with my clinic days.  I find myself a little calmer than I used to be when it comes to finding patients.  2nd semester - NERVOUS WRECK! 3rd semester - started out nervous wreck and moved to "eh" 4th semester - we need patients?  ok just kidding!  I'm more proactive then that...but I think I handle it better now and don't feel as if my schedule needs to be packed 6 weeks in advance....but speaking of 6 weeks in advance, do you realize that I will be taking my National Written Board exam and my "Patient Care" exam in 6 weeks?  Thats right.  Lets get this show on the road so I can get OUT-OF-HERE!! Graduation never looked so good.