Noel Paschke, RDH, MS, has more than 32 years of experience in dental hygiene including 15 years’ experience in corporate dental industry, currently leading a team of 10 dental hygienists for Philips Sonicare as the senior manager for North America Professional Education. She encourages her team to always “dream big.”
Paschke is a member of the American Dental Education Association and ADHA. She has served as an ADHA state and national delegate, speaker of the house of the Maryland Dental Hygienists’ Association, and president of the Greater Baltimore Dental Hygienists’ Association. She is currently on the Dean’s Faculty at the University of Maryland Dental School and was previously on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Her dental hygiene private practice experience includes general practice and periodontics. Paschke is also a member of Dimensions’ Corporate Council.
What are the benefits of working in industry?
I love to dream big, which is one of the mottos in my department. In the business setting, dreaming big provides a lot of diversity in responsibilities and opportunities for professional growth. These are two key benefits of working in industry. Another significant advantage is the ability to attend national and international conventions and meetings all over the world. As part of a large global company, I have exceptional opportunities to experience a much broader view of the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene than I would in private practice.
A piece of advice I have for any dental hygienist in North America is to attend an international meeting, such as the upcoming International Federation of Dental Hygiene meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, in July 2010. By attending an international meeting, you will gain a wealth of information on different ways of practicing dental hygiene, various educational backgrounds, and other problem solving approaches than we are familiar with here in the United States. It’s fascinating to learn about the various dental cultures, how the different team members interact, and how different health care delivery systems work. As our own government addresses the problems in the American health care delivery system, the timing is perfect to learn about other ways of providing health and dental care. We really have a lot to learn from our international colleagues.
Are there any downsides to a career in industry?
In the corporate environment and especially in a global position, there sometimes seems to be no end to the work day, especially when you’re working with people in other countries with up to a 12- hour time difference. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help manage this issue. I am a morning person so I have to plan to keep my energy level high if I have a 10 pm conference call with colleagues in Asia. The corporate environment is probably not a good fit for those who want to work a typical 8 am to 5 pm schedule. It requires that you become very disciplined about finding a work/life balance.