There’s something that Brenda Morris needs you to know. “There are huge challenges in delivering quality and timely dental hygiene care to British Columbians who are most vulnerable to dental disease. Populations such as children, immigrants, first nations, those with low income, seniors and those with developmental disabilities face barriers to dental care in a traditional dental office setting. There are plenty of private practice dental offices that work well with these populations, but if there was more opportunity for dental hygienists to practice outside the walls of a dental practice, access to dental hygiene care could be greatly improved. Greater access to dental hygiene care would mean a healthier mouth and healthier individuals. In turn this would lead to healthier communities. Being able to provide oral care as members of a larger health care team is critical to the health of the population.”
BCDHA is pleased to welcome Carol Yakiwchuk who has joined our staff in the position of Dental Hygiene Practice Consultant. Carol will serve as a resource person to members, other agencies and the public on issues related to all aspects o…f dental hygiene practice, including independent dental hygiene practice, clinical practice, and employment-related issues.
Carol can be contacted at the BCDHA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why did you decide to pursue a degree in dental hygiene?
I first realized I wanted to be a dental hygienist when I was in high school. At that stage of my life, I knew that I was interested in sciences and health care and began to consider dental hygiene. I also knew that a dental hygiene program could be costly so I put it on hold for a bit and started pursuing general sciences. But, the desire was too strong. General science didn’t have a clear direction, and I needed something more focused.
My desire to be a dental hygienist also stems from my childhood experiences. When I was a kid there wasn’t a huge amount of emphasis placed on oral care in my home. My parents are both immigrants to Canada and their focus was understandably on other things. As a kid I was always getting cavities and had to be put under for quite a bit of dental work because I was such a non-cooperative patient. It doesn’t sound like a great start, but as I matured and spent more time in the dental chair, I got used to it and really came to value the work everyone in the office was doing. I liked the way the office functioned, I liked how clean it was, and I felt that the working hours were great. I really grew to admire and respect the people who promoted good oral care.
In many ways it was meant to be!
Where do you hope to work once you enter practice?
Graduation is coming up quickly for me! Like many of my classmates, I will likely start off my career in a dental practice so that I can gain more clinical experience. What I dream of is working in a dental office where I can build a hygiene practice and I do not feel like I am constrained by a money-driven business. I want to be able to negotiate the length of appointment times because time-constraints can really reduce the quality of care. Another option would be to build an independent dental hygiene practice and reach underserved populations. In the future, I’m also considering more education and doing some research. Thanks to our great professors who can put us in touch with a variety of influential people, I’ve also started thinking about going into the administrative side as well either the CDHA or the BCDHA.
What’s great is that the door is wide open and there are so many possibilities.
Ronnie Singh is a busy woman with a mission. She advocates for the profession, runs a successful dental hygiene practice is active in the Surrey business community and has tackled some of the professions’ biggest issues with her local MLA.
Ronnie comes to B.C. via the Fijian Islands and Ontario, moving to Canada in 1982. Starting as a Certified Dental Assistant in 1987, she has also worked as a Treatment Coordinator, Dental Administrator, Dental Office Manager, Clinical and Administrative Instructor and, most recently, Dental Hygienist.