Ergonomic Tips for Dental Hygiene For Temping

Caitlin ParsonsFounder of The Aligned Hygienst

Let’s be real, working as a dental hygienist can be tough work. It can be challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. For many offices, there is a constant state of change happening, and it can be draining for some to keep up. Temping at offices, in my opinion, is even more challenging. In this blog, In this article, you’ll learn for dental hygiene for temping to make your day more easeful!

This blog is inspired by a recent episode on The Aligned Hygienist Podcast with an amazing guest, Astrida Curtis. Astrida is an RDH and runs her own temp agency on the East Coast. In addition to running her temp agency, she works regularly at an office and temps for offices in her area. I had her on the podcast so we could talk about different ways that we can lighten the load of temping–for hygienists and dental offices.

Let’s dive in.

Tips for Dental Hygiene For Temping: Bring Your Own Stuff

One of the most important things dental hygienists can do to bring more ease into their day and reduce stress is to be prepared. Bring your own things when you go to offices, so that you’re prepared. Many hygienists don’t realize the small steps they can take to really prioritize themselves; prioritizing ourselves and our health may look different for everyone.

No one will care about your health and wellbeing as much as you do. So who cares if you look like the crazy bag lady bringing things to each office? Here are a few things you might consider bringing with you while temping or if you have a couple of different offices you work at.

  1. Bring your own chair. If you have a saddle stools or a chair that fits your body just right, own it. Use it. Bring it. Your body isn’t designed to sit for extended periods of time, so when we find a chair/stool that works for our body type, utilize it as much as you can to protect your body. I’m personally a fan of Crown Seating saddle stools and chairs, but it all depends on your body.
  2. Bring your own instruments. Yeah, that’s right. Not every office will have the same instruments that you like or that you’re used to. In addition, not every office’s instruments will be sharpened appropriately, and you likely won’t have the time before you start your day to sharpen. For me, I’d be bringing my Montana Jack and a Cavitron.

Be Prepared for Your Day

There’s a much different feel to the day when you’re prepared and ready versus starting off on the wrong foot, feeling chaotic, and all over the place. There are things you can do to be prepared ahead of time whether you’re temping regularly or just here and there.

Learn about the office. If your temp agency or the office you’re at doesn’t share much information about the office, that’s okay. You can do your own research to prepare yourself. Go to their website and check it out. See if they have social media. Get a feel for the vibe and the team you’ll be working with. Understanding the office, how they run, and its values will save you a lot of time and energy.

Send out a questionnaire. Oftentimes, temp agencies like Core Dental Staffing with Astrida Curits will give you a questionnaire from the office that has all the information you need to get your day started. But there are certainly temp agencies and offices that won’t provide anything. That’s okay, you can create your own. Making sure you know things like: where to park, what time to get there, hygiene/perio protocol

Write Everything Down & Save It

Taking the time to write a few things down will save you a lot of time down the line. So, bring a notebook or create a separate section in the notes on your phone. I know, it sounds cheesy and ridiculous, but having a safe place to write your notes on the day will help you in the long run.

You can write down things like passwords, how to signal the doctor for exams, perio protocol, and more. If you write it down somewhere safe, you can keep it for next time. Another piece to this one is you can rate the office for your own personal use. That way the next time you’re asked to temp at an office, you can check back to see if it’s in alignment with you.

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Tips for Dental Hygiene: Making Things Easier

Working as a dental hygienist is definitely not the easiest job in the world. And in my humble opinion, temping can be harder–especially if you take your job seriously.

Making sure that you have some necessary steps in place each time you temp will save you so much time and make things a much easier process for you and the office you’re going into. It might take a little time upfront to plan, but your time is worth it. And working with as minimal outside stress as possible can change the trajectory of your day.

Just as we create systems in offices where we work full time, we can create them for temp jobs too. The more prepared you are, the easier it is for you, but it also gives you a better sense of different offices. Plus, from an office perspective, if they have a hygienist who’s prepared and on top of things, they are much more likely to ask you to come back next time which improves your bottom line.

Yoga & Ergonomics for Busy Dental Hygienists Ready to Thrive In & Out of the Op