Monday, May 9, 2016

5 Years - Class of 2011!

I cannot believe it has been 5 years since I graduated from hygiene school! What a huge part of my life that I will never forget. I remember when I was going through school I felt like it would never end. I thought I would never find enough patients, never find hard enough patients, never know how to scale properly, never know how to probe, and never feel confident! Wow, am I amazed at the growth that has taken place in private practice. 

To those wanting to get into a hygiene program: keep applying, keep trying, keep studying, get good grades and don't give up! I waited 3 years to get in.

To dental hygiene students: This to shall pass. I promise this will all be over before you know it and you will come out the other side with a new sense of self-worth and pride. This is a refining process and teaches you what you are made of. It's tough, you study A LOT, you don't get a lot of nights out, you stress a TON, you hurt (physically), you cry, you feel bad about yourself, you feel great about yourself - what a roller coaster! It's so worth it at the end!

To new graduates: You got this. You just endured 2 years of a HARD program. You are MORE then capable of going out into the real world and getting things done - and getting them done well! Don't let someone make you feel like you don't know what you're doing because you're new - YOU GOT THIS! You DO know what you're doing. Yes, it's going to take a little while to get into the groove of private practice (yay to WAY shorter appointments and charting!) but don't be scared. Be confident. 

One day you'll look back and it'll be 5 years for you and you'll wonder where the time went. So grateful for my career and all that I've learned from the people I've worked with. I continue to learn everyday and try not to be too hard on myself when I don't have a good day. 

Thanks for the comments and the readers that go deep into my archives and read about my crazy hygiene days when I blogged for a I blog to help others understand what I do and why I do it and encourage anyone going through this journey too.  

Good luck! And congrats class of 2016!


  1. You have a perfect work!! I am a Finnish dentalhygienist! Have a great summer!!

  2. Your words made a big different to me today! I am a dental hygiene student at Tx and I am studying for the dental care class ��. Thank you for your support and words.

  3. I am looking into becoming a dental hygienist, I am completing the pre reqs now and must apply by January 10th as the program starts in the fall semester. What do you recommend for the application process, interviews, what looks good, ect.? Or if you could write a post about your experience doing all that, that would be amazing. I really love all your posts, as I just read them all in one night. Whoops! :)

  4. Firstly, congrats on 5 years of being a DH!
    I read through your blog from 2011 to find some information or tips about finding a job after graduating and I was wondering if you had any more tips?
    I graduated May of 2015, but after taking some time off to move and to travel a bit, I am finally looking for work and I'm so scared!
    I'm worried I won't remember how to scale anymore or my X-rays will be awful. I also am worried no one will hire me since I am a new graduate that didn't work for a year.
    Any advice?

    1. Scared?? Dont doubt yourself! You've got this! You know what to do, just think back to all the practice you've had leading up to this point. It doesn't matter that you've taken time off - thats the beauty of DH. Most hygienist have gaps in their employment due to moving/kids/break etc! Scaling is like riding a bike - once you have seen a patient or two you'll be wondering what you were so scared of. Also I think employers are attracted to confidence. Dont sell yourself short because you're "new". You are just as valuable to them as a seasoned hygienist. Just be prepared to go in their with your strengths in mind and let them know why you deserve the job. Yes, you might have some kinks to work out in the beginning but it'll come with experience. You've got this!

  5. Hi Jenn!
    I stumbled upon your blog and am so grateful I did. You are such an inspiration. I am currently doing my prerequisites to enroll in a dental hygiene program. First of all, I'm so nervous. I am 35 and starting all of this. My question to you is did you encounter anyone that was pregnant during the program, and what are your thoughts on getting pregnant while in the program? We are trying to find a healthy balance, but don't necessarily want to wait 3 years. I am very concerned with the ability to work while going into the program, as well.
    Again, I'm so glad I found your blog!


    1. So glad you found my blog and found it helpful! To answer your questions: Dont worry about your age - we had some "older" students in my class (please know I dont think you're old, I'm in my 30's myself) and they were able to find employment with NO problem - in fact you almost have an advantage when you graduate because people automatically assume you have experience! Second: Most DH programs are 2 years in length. I was pregnant my last year of the program and delivered after I graduated. It wasn't an issue at all (unless your super sick...then you gotta work through that - you cant really take time off cause you're not feeling well for months on end!) We actually had a ton of girls get pregnant in our program. Some planned some not! ha! If you have support from your family it makes it a lot easier! That way they can tend to your baby etc. As far as working...I know some people do it but it does make it harder. I didn't work while I was in the program itself. Your time is already stretched very thin and a lot is expected out of you. Most of your free time will be spent studying, volunteering, or just de-stressing!! You will find your way! Just take it one day at a time. If you read some of my other posts you might have known I already had a toddler going into the program - you learn to adapt and handle it. I truly believe if you want it bad enough you will make it work. Good luck!! You're a rock star and can do this!