Mentor Advice ForumCategory: QuestionsStruggling to find my niche.
Guest User asked 5 years ago

I am a dental hygienist who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a marketing concentration in May 2001, after which I took time off to raise a family. I have been working clinically since 2015, but I am still struggling to find my niche. I am passionate about oral health and personal care. I worked as a licensed cosmetologist and I am detail-oriented, having worked as an executive assistant where I facilitated business communication, sales reporting, and special projects for employee-recognition programs. I am eager to combine all of my professional experiences and academic achievements while still being committed to my family. Do you have any ideas of avenues I can investigate? Thank you!

2 Answers
Candy B. Ross, RDH, BS Staff answered 5 years ago

You have tried many different opportunities and continued to learn. I applaud you on your drive. There are opportunities to combine your experience and education—they sometimes are just hidden. Have you thought about adding nutritional counseling to your education? There is a wave of dental offices beginning to take action on the oral/systemic link by providing their patients with nutritional counseling to ensure their antioxidant levels are high enough to combat disease and inflammation. Has the office you are working in added any additional testing for routine visits, like oral cancer screening, blood pressure monitoring, etc? I think there is a niche for dental hygienists to add this role to their patient care. I always advise anyone looking for new opportunities to volunteer for philanthropic events like Mission of Mercy, Give Kids A Smile, and Team Smile. Make yourself visible in your community and meet and interact with everyone you can. You are obviously a driver and you never know what links you might make!

Lillian J. Caperila, RDH, MEd Staff answered 5 years ago

With your background and enthusiasm, I suggest you investigate employment opportunities in a “corporate” structure of dental practices, such as dental service organizations. You are well-suited to serve as a dental hygiene team leader.