As dental hygiene month comes to a close, I have been imagining a place that would make Irene Newman proud. Today I took a temporary placement in Wheaton, Maryland. Wheaton is in Montgomery County but very different from the aforementioned Nordstrom ridden granolaville that is Rockville. Wheaton is increasingly diverse, with a growing Latin population and rent rates. The office today was located in a prime location just off the metro and Georgia Avenue.
As a hygienist, the words that immediately make me feel great are “this is your room and here is a second room you need it”. Life on the ship has made me completely indifferent when it comes to crazy scheduling. I am almost numb and can embrace thirty minute scheduling without fear. If you say that I have another room you have given me room to fluorish. The second room allows the dentist to discuss sports, the future of their children or occasionally the patient’s treatment plan during the exam. I am free to roam about and start providing amazing care in the next room. Offices that do thirty minute scheduling without an assistant or second room are my kryptonite.
I was greeted at this office by a warm dental assistant who assured me that she was there to help me throughout the day. She encouraged me to open drawers and look for anything I might need. The two rooms were identically stocked with supplies, had dark oak cabinets and a modern burnt orange seating. The beautiful floor to ceiling windows were luxuriously dressed with cascading curtains. The office was immaculately designed with high end artwork, paint colors and equipment. I was ready to twirl in the lap of luxury but had to check out the instruments first. I have visited many beautiful offices with instruments that couldn’t puncture a grape. I was pleasantly surprised that their instruments were samurai swords of periodontal splendor.
There ends the vanity of this story. I am not all about shiny instruments and floor to ceiling windows. I feel most at home when I feel valuable and respected. The dentist approached me and introduced himself and welcomed me to the practice. He cared to know my name and encouraged me to ask for anything I might need. In my experience if the dentist is warm and conscientious towards you, the staff will be as well. Kindness surely trickles down along with respect and humility.
The patients throughout the day made it clear that they were very happy with the care I provided. And the staff thanked me profusely as if I volunteered. It was a day in hygiene heaven that would make Irene herself proud.
Top ten tips that you may be in a Hygiene Heaven.
1. Your equipment still has legible button labels.