Career, Advice

Make 2020 the Best Year of Your Career (So Far)

By Melia Lewis, RDH, BSDH on December, 5 2019
Melia Lewis, RDH, BSDH

Melia has been a dental hygienist for 10 years and loves being part of the dental field. She's originally from Alberta, Canada, but now lives and works in Utah. When she's not practicing dental hygiene or working on her website Hygiene Edge, she loves being in the Utah Mountains or being with her 5 year old Georgia.

With the New Year fast approaching, many of us are starting to think about our resolutions and goals for 2020. 

Usually these goals have to do with eating healthy or heading to the gym more than you did last year. But have you ever thought about setting goals when it comes to your career in dental hygiene? If you haven’t, why not?

We spent years studying and practicing to get our degrees, and now spend many hours each week in the op. Maybe 2020 is your year to set a few career goals and switch up the way you practice dental hygiene!

 

Who should set career goals?

The short answer: everyone who has a career!

If you’re working, why not make the most of your time? Even if you’re completely happy with your job, you can probably think of some way to improve your performance or make your workday better.

 

Why set career goals?

Do you love where you’re currently at in your practice? Even if you said yes, you can still set goals!

Setting a goal or two for 2020 can help you learn something new, keep practice a bit more exciting, and improve your knowledge and skills to benefit your patients.

Even if you’re not looking for a new job or wanting to break into a different field, setting goals overall will help you and the community you work with.

 

What are some goals you can set?

If you’re looking for some career-oriented goals you can set for 2020, here are a few ideas:

Join the ADHA. If you’re not a member, you could definitely set a goal to join in 2020. It can be a bit of a financial decision, but spending the time to see where you can budget in a membership fee, or picking up a day or two of temping, could be part of the plan. For me, being part of our professional organization has helped me network and meet many amazing dental hygienists both in my state and all over the country, as well as support a career legislatively that I love so much.

Prioritize safety. Have patients wear safety glasses during each appointment. If you currently don’t require patients wear them or regularly forget, I’d urge you to start! They protect such a vital and susceptible part of your patient.

Invest in yourself. Spend time investing in your practice. Maybe you need to purchase a cordless handpiece this year to improve your ergonomics. Maybe you want to invest in a few new pairs of scrubs. Maybe you want to attend a national convention and learn about some new tricks or products. Whatever self-improvement looks like to you, you could definitely make that priority in 2020.

Set a time to sharpen your instruments weekly. If you haven’t invested in sharpen-free instruments yet, save your hands and save time by setting aside at least 15 minutes a week to sharpen all your instruments. You’ll notice how much more effective your scaling time is spent with sharper instruments.

So spend some time over the next few weeks reflecting on what your 2020 goals will be for your career and for you patients! Let us know what you decide! We’d love to help cheer you on as you work to achieve them.

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