Mentor Advice Forumadvise-for-furthering-my-career-in-dental-hygiene
Lia Kaporis asked 9 months ago

Hello my name is Lia and I am currently a full-time Dental Hygienist.  Although I love what I do I would like some advice on what steps I could take to further my career.  I was looking into becoming a clinical instructor and I am interested in what the work-life balance would be like.  I also would like to know if working while completing a masters is difficult to do. One last question I\’d like to ask is if being a clinical instructor is more difficult than being a didactic instructor.  Your advice is much appreciated, thank you. 

1 Answers
Rella Christensen, RDH, PhD Staff answered 9 months ago

You stated you are “passionate about microorganisms, pathology, and microbiology related to periodontal disease.”  The level of education you pursue will be dependent upon your resources, time, and your interest and enthusiasm.  Generally, in the basic sciences, opportunities are limited without a PhD.  You need a PhD in microbiology and classwork in physiology.  You have probably realized that periodontal disease is related to more than just the local microbes.  If you develop an interest in discovering the “why” of what is going on, you will need skills in anaerobic microbiology and expertise in genome sequencing and organism identification.  In addition, you will need to acquire skills in searching and reading scientific literature.
In order to be a teacher, you need to develop expertise.  Unfortunately, there is a “price to pay”.  For me, that price has been a near complete loss of social life, sleep, and personal time.  There just isn’t enough time in a day, especially if you have a husband and family.