Happy, healthy New Year to you and yours! As I usher in my new year with family and friends, I cannot help but think about our proud past as a dental hygiene profession and the professional association I have the honor to be a member of, Nevada Dental Hygienists’ Association. The way I practice dental hygiene today is because of the passion and foresight of my predecessors. First and foremost, I want to personally thank all leaders who changed dental hygiene for the better.
Today, I look to the future of what dental hygiene will become,and with excitement for those changes in Nevada. I ask the question, “What If?” Will administration of Botox just be a small addition to the duties dental hygienists will be able to perform? Will dental hygienists be licensed to be mid-level practitioners and practice in medical and dental settings, much like a nurse practitioner,to meet the growing health care and dental care needs? Will local anesthesia and nitrous oxide administration be an issue of the past and changed under general supervision to the Nevada Revised Statutes?Will dental hygiene diagnosis and treatment be recognized as the first step towards oral systemic health? Will dental hygienists be able to bridge the gap between medical and dental fields? Will dental hygienists have more choicesto practice in medical offices, dental offices, hospital settings, and retirement homes with advanced educationaldegrees and licensure? Will graduating with a BS degree be the standard as an entry-level degree? Will there be more clinically based Masters and PhD programs to emerge for the dental hygienists who desire to practice in these settings? Will there be a State Board of Dental Hygiene Examiners whose interests are to protect the public in the specialty of dental hygiene? If you asked yourself the “What If” question, what are your possibilities? I would have to say, they are endless and have no limits.
I invite you to visit ADHA.org. There are so many resources at your fingertips. I encourage you to read the official White Paper from ADHA. It is a position paper about the dental hygiene profession. While you’re online as a member, look at the travel discounts for hotels, car rentals, and cruises, too. Mercer offers affordable medical insurance as well as malpractice insurance for dental hygienists. If you have always thought about being a part of this great organization, start today! NDHA wants you to be a part of us! It is as simple as paying a one-time annual dues fee or quarterly payments. It is less than $1 dollar a day. By this simple act, it sends a clear message that we band together as dental hygienists.
In closing, great things occur when a group of passionate and focused individuals collaborate to bring about incredible results! Be a part this powerful synergy. Be a part of NDHA!
Xuan-Thu Failing, BSDH