Mentor Advice ForumFurthering My Career in Dental Hygiene
Christine Boulay asked 2 years ago

 My name is Christine Boulay.  I am a student at SUNY Farmingdale in the BS degree program.  I am interested in learning more about the research side of dental hygiene.  I read your Q & A and was amused that you described being in research as a treasure hunt.  I loved this analogy!  I feel that I’m a very curious person and with that spark for knowledge research may be the direction I head to after graduation.
I also enjoyed reading that you had opportunities arise over the course of your hygiene career that you felt motivated to not pass up.  My question to you is:
Do you feel that there were opportunities during your dental hygiene career that you did pass up but wished you didn’t?  What did you learn from not making that choice?  Do you have any regrets from not making that choice?
Thank you very much for your time!

3 Answers
Helene Bednarsh, BS, RDH, MPH Staff answered 1 year ago

Look for oral health advocacy groups in your area, they are all over the country.

Alice M. Horowitz, RDH, MA, PhD Staff answered 1 year ago

No, I did pass up a few opportunities during my career but I had/and have no regrets. If you know what you want to do at least for a given period of time, then figure out how to get there. good luck.

Amy E. Coplen, RDH, EPDH, MS Staff answered 1 year ago

My suggestion for you if you want to help with advocacy for dental therapy in your state is to reach out to organizations like Community Catalyst and see if they can connect you with other organizations in your state the support dental hygiene. We are in the process of getting legislation passed in OR and I am just one of many people and organizations working toward this initiative. Here are some of the organizations in Oregon that have joined the Oregon Dental Access Campaign. This is our third year working on this initiative. It is not easy and it is not fast. It take bringing together many stakeholders, but I will tell you that you can make a difference!

Oregon Dental Access Campaign partners:
Advantage Dental, AllCare Health, Alliance4Kids, APANO, Capitol Dental, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Coquille Indian Tribe, Health Care for All Oregon, Native American Youth and Family Center, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association, Oregon Primary Care Association, Oregon Public Health Institute, Oregon Rural Health Association, Oregon School-Based Health Alliance, Our Children Oregon, Pacific University and Willamette Dental Group.