Happy National Dental Hygiene Month
From Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS
This year marks my 31st year as a dental hygienist. When I graduated, like students today, my main goal was passing boards and getting a job. For me, it was also about joining ADHA and getting involved in my local component. Today, when I'm asked about career advice, joining ADHA and getting involved is at the top of the list. Too often we look at professional membership as if we are purchasing a car - what does it come with and how will it benefit me. Joining ADHA is more like joining a health club. The biggest selling point is opportunity; and to take advantage of the opportunity you have to go to meetings and engage with your colleagues.
This past August, I attended the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene in Cape Town, South Africa. I was fortunate to serve as a delegate, along with Tammi Byrd (pictured with me) for ADHA. Traditionally, opening ceremonies involve having the representatives from member countries march in with their flags. This year, the host country spiced things up and we danced in to a song unique to our country (Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen). It was a special moment. After the ceremony, as Tammi and I talked, we found we had both experienced the same feeling; of awe and gratitude for all the opportunities that have come our way via ADHA membership and involvement. We wished that all hygienists could experience that same feeling of pride for your profession and organization that we had at that moment.
As dental hygienists, we are so fortunate to work in a field where we can directly see the difference we make in people's lives. This October, in celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month, I encourage you to honor who we are and what we do by attending a meeting given by local component or state association.