They’re here! My New Course Selection for 2015

August 28, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  My 2015 selection reflects some new courses as well as my most popular ones from 2014.  I strive to blend the skills from my dental hygiene and marketing careers to create courses that are though-provoking, solution-oriented, and engaging.

How to Reach Your Fullest Potential: Mastering the Dental Hygiene Process of Care:
Do you feel if you could practice to your fullest potential that you would be happier and the practice more successful? Patient loyalty isn’t tied to how fast someone cleans teeth. Instead, satisfaction is tied to the overall quality of the visit; the time, attention, and care given to individual needs and concerns. This course will raise confidence and empower you to embrace and employ the dental hygiene process of care for personal and professional success.

Practicing Smarter, Not Harder: Getting to Yes with Periodontal Patients
Do you have patients who just don’t seem to get it? Those who would benefit from periodontal therapy but somehow never schedule the treatment or worse, ask for a prophy? The reason patients don’t accept treatment isn’t that they didn’t have the information but rather that the information didn’t speak to their feelings. Both knowledge and positive emotion are key components in motivation. This course will raise confidence and empower you to reframe your patient conversations for better treatment acceptance. Best practices in initial periodontal therapy and evidence-based standards of care will also be reviewed.

That’s Not What I Learned in School: What Successful Practitioners Do Differently
Did you learn that floss is the magic elixir preventing everything from caries to bone loss? Or perhaps you are still providing ‘routine care’ – such as prophys, fluoride treatments, and radiographs. While education provides the foundation, it depreciates over time as new research, therapies, and treatments emerge. This course will empower you to move out of your comfort zone and feel confident adopting new evidence-based strategies for everyday patient care.

Love it, Don’t Leave it: Ten Tips to Enhance Career Satisfaction
Do you ever dread going to work, feel burnt out, or daydream about a new career? Is going back to school not feasible? A great deal of our time, effort, and energies are focused on the workplace. Not being happy can flow into other areas and reduce our quality of life. There are some simply strategies that can enhance career satisfaction, make you feel more confident, and empowered to make the day and work place more enjoyable.

Seniors & Boomers: How to Treat the Most Medically Complex Generations
Does it seem like your patient population is getting older? Are many taking multiple medications? Currently, 43 million people are over the age of 65, and the number is growing daily. It is estimated that 3 in 4 in this age group suffer from 2 or more chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or COPD. Many are cancer survivors. Others will have experienced joint replacement. This course will empower you to feel confident treating those that are medically compromised or complex, experience polypharmacy, and may have some type of disability.

There is No Generation Gap Here: How to Treat Patients from Ages 8 to 98
Does it seem as though more and more patients of all ages have a complex medical history? It is estimated that 3 in 4 adults over age 65 and 1 in 15 children suffer from 2 or more chronic medical conditions. Rising rates of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle is prevalent in all age groups. It contributes to the early onset of disability and many chronic conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and asthma. This course will empower you understand and feel confident caring for all age groups.


Encourage a Quitter

November 15, 2012

Today is the American Cancer Society’s 37th Great American Smokeout; a perfect day to remind ourselves of how important it is to encourage our patients to stop using tobacco.  People who smoke are four times more likely than non-smokers and twice as likely as former smokers to have periodontitis making smoking the number one risk factor for periodontal disease.

If we want to talk to our patients about the oral/systemic link, we don’t need to look any farther than tobacco use. According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) smoking harms every organ of the body. Nearly one in five deaths each year is attributed to the adverse effects of smoking.  For every person who dies from smoking, another 20 people are living with a smoking related disease.

Smoking cessation improves overall health reducing the risk of disease and premature death.   Almost 69% of current smokers would like to quit and 52% have quit for at least one day.  No one is ever too old to quit.

It can be daunting to talk to our patients about smoking cessation.   We know they know smoking is harmful.  Yet if we value the oral/systemic link as much as we say we do, then one way to align our values with action is to encourage our patients to quit.


November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November 1, 2012

Back in 2001, when I was president of my local dental hygiene component, I received a flyer from one of the local hospitals announcing a diabetes fair.  The theme was ‘Diabetes from Head to Toe’,  so, I called and asked, “who’s covering the mouth?”  Total silence followed by “no one has every contacted us about this before.”   Fortunately, they welcomed us, and that led to an invitation to exhibit at the first Diabetes Expo held at Navy Pier in Chicago. Thus began a ten year plus relationship between the West Suburban Dental Hygienists’ Society and the American Diabetes Association.

To say the event was eye-opening would be an understatement.   We met single and double amputees, people who were legally blind, and those just struggling with their diagnosis.  What many of them had in common was that they had no idea that diabetes impacted their oral health.  Many had not had a dental visit in years; and more importantly, their medical providers were not even recommending it.

What was even more shocking was the lack of knowledge that most medical professionals had in this area. One physician actually asked me why we there.  He had no idea that diabetes increased the incidence and severity of periodontal disease.

According the American Diabetes Association, 25.6 million adults have diabetes.  Nearly 11 million of them are age 65 or older.  That’s a lot of people who need our help.

It’s time to take our message out into the community.  Volunteer at a local health fair.  Contact the diabetes association in your area and see what opportunities are available.  People will be receptive to your message.  I know the volunteers from West Suburban find the day very rewarding.