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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Aug 25, 2021

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Jessica Atkinson, MEd, BSDH, RDH., Melia Lewis, MEd, BSDH, RDH., and Shelley Brown, MEd, BSDH, RDH., of ‘Hygiene Edge’ host the podcast this week. They have invited their students Angie, Blair, and Courtney to discuss challenges they faced in dental hygiene education and ways hygiene educators can set up students for success. Angie is about to start her final year at Dixie State University, Blair is a recent graduate from the Texas Woman’s University, and Courtney is about to graduate.


In this episode, Angie, Blair, and Courtney each describe the challenges they faced as new students of dental hygiene, including the effects of the pandemic and the changes that came with going online for learning. They also discuss how instructors have been helpful with resources, why good communication is important between instructors and students, the importance of mentors, and then round off the episode by giving advice to dental hygiene educators from their perspective as students.




Interview starts: 2:30


-   What was overwhelming to Angie as a new hygiene student

-   Blair explains feeling out of place as a new student

-   How a year break from school made Courtney anxious about going back

-   Transitioning online during the pandemic

-   How do educators assist students with resources?

-   Why good communication is important

-   Face-to-face communication versus online

-   The importance of constructive pep talks

-   The benefits of having different instructors

-   Why there is a need for mentors

-   How instructors help with the workload

-   Advice from a student’s perspective

-   How personal is too personal?

-   3 tips for dental hygiene educators




“The biggest thing I remember, especially on my first day, the first summer classes, was just feeling so alone in the fact that I felt kind of unworthy to be there.”


“I just remember being so excited that it was finally here. I've been set on being a dental hygienist since I was in junior high.”


“Don't be nervous to ask for specifics.”


“It's all about teamwork and getting through with our classmates.”


“I just really value face to face communication when it's possible”


“It's interesting how education has changed. When I was a student, I would always just go directly to the office, I don't feel like we communicated via email a whole lot.”


“So every time someone would stop and ask me for my reasoning, that is what helped me more.”


“I think I hesitate too long oftentimes in clinic to ask for help or for an instructor to kind of give me guidance on things.”


“There is always a point in school that feels like you can't do it anymore. It's too much, but you can always just hang on.”


“Everybody teaches differently, everybody learns differently.”


“You're there to learn and grow from each other's experiences, there to learn and grow from the experiences of your instructors, and to really become the best hygienists possible.”


“When I can connect with an instructor I feel so much more comfortable asking them for help.”


“The only thing harder than being a dental hygiene student is being a dental hygiene educator.”





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