These last seven weeks, have not been anything that I ever anticipated, nor do I think anyone ever saw anything like this coming. Over these last few weeks I have taken time to reflect on what it means to be a hygienist, especially a hygienist in 2020. The future of dental hygiene will be changing, however with the support of our members and our peers we can only hope to shape what our future holds for each and every one of us. Now more than ever it’s important that we stand together and work towards our united goals and aspirations for the future of our profession.
In last several weeks, I have received your concerns through social media, emails, and text messages. I understand that there is fear for when we can return to work and questions for when that will happen. Let me just say I hear you and I empathize with you in your fears and concerns. I wish I had the answers to all of your questions, but at this time there is still uncertainty. The CDC this week posted an update for the dental office settings along with ADHA and ADA releasing a toolkit for the dental office. With these tools to guide us, we have the ability to gain knowledge and a better understanding of what the new normal might look like. However, some still have questions about what this actually means. Will we be required to wear head coverings, face shields, disposable gowns? Will we be required an N95 mask or is a class III surgical mask sufficient? What should we do if our employer doesn’t want to follow these recommendations and we are left in a situation where we no longer feel comfortable caring for our patients? Let’s be honest, it’s not just ourselves we worry about, it’s about the health and wellbeing of our patients and loved ones.
As we begin to embark on another week off from seeing our routine patients. I want to remind you, yet again, that we are all in this together. As more concrete information becomes available, I will keep you informed. Some may have different opinions on returning to work and that is fine. Stay strong and remember that the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association is here for you. We may not be able to answer all questions but we have a great team that can do their best to assist you.
Danielle Rauch, RDH, BA
President of the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association
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Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association
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