Choosing a career after graduation is one of the most important life choices since this decision can affect not only career prospects and personal well-being but also the general perception of the world. In this regard, the assessment of the desired position should be comprehensive and objective, and as a convenient method of analysis, an interview with a specialist in a specific field will be conducted. I intend to talk to Mr. M., a close friend of my family I have been acquainted with most of my life. Mr. M. is a dental hygienist with a doctoral degree.
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He has been working in this field for over ten years, and throughout this time, I have admired his professionalism and ability to improve qualifications constantly. As an interesting angle of the interview, I would like to focus on how my interlocutor deals with job routine to be aware of the tasks to accomplish in the future. Our conversation will allow gaining valuable information about the peculiarities of the profession of my dream, the nuances to take into account when applying for this position, and the strategies to cope with the job routine.
The career history of Mr. M. is an important aspect to analyze the field of dental hygiene since the assessment of the main stages passed may allow obtaining a comprehensive look at this position.
How did you become interested in this field?
After finishing school, I did not have a choice whether to enter the medical specialty or not. Since childhood, I had wanted to work in the field of medicine, and at the stage of high school, I realized that I wanted to become a dentist just like my father. After considering this specialization carefully, I opted for the profession of a dental hygienist since I was sure that this occupation could help me develop and, at the same time, earn a living. When studying the specifics of work, I concluded that this profession suited me best.
How did you begin your career?
Firstly, I applied to the clinic where I wanted to work. I was interviewed, told about the specifics of the future job, and three days later, I was invited for an internship. After a one-month probationary period, I got the position of a dental hygienist, and during the first year, along the way, I took refresher courses and participated in conferences and workshops to improve my professional skills.
What are your main responsibilities as a dental hygienist?
Today, I have a wide profile of qualifications to carry out different procedures. I conduct the initial screening of patients, remove plaque and tartar, and make recommendations for maintaining oral hygiene. In addition, I assess the prospects for dental treatment and determine if a patient needs additional procedures or not, for instance, surgical interventions. My specificity is preventive cleaning, which is an essential factor in maintaining the health of teeth and the oral cavity.
Recommendations from the Professional
To have an idea of the potential pitfalls and ways to overcome challenges, during the conversation, I will ask the respondent for recommendations on how to succeed in his profession.
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What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
In my opinion, the most important qualities that a dentist-hygienist should have are patience and diligence. Any professional skills and mastery can be acquired over time. Nevertheless, without the desire to self-develop and improve individual qualifications, an employee is unlikely to become a sought-after specialist.
What are the most effective strategies for seeking a position in this field?
To become a dental hygienist, one should constantly monitor job offers in different clinics. Practicing on one’s own at the beginning of the career will be problematic because, initially, this is crucial to earn credibility and gain experience. The constant analysis of vacancies can allow finding the right position, but even in case of failure, one should not despair and needs to continue pursuing the ultimate goal.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job?
Do not be afraid to learn regularly and take part in various activities that can enhance your knowledge. In the work of a dental hygienist, despite the routine, many nuances and aspects affect the quality of treatment. The ability to develop one’s talent and expand the area of interest will help hone different skills, which, in turn, will have a positive effect on personal professionalism.
The Professional’s Perception of Job Routine
A focus on what a dental hygienist’s job routine is can help identify the specifics of such occupation and determine whether the job affects the lifestyle.
What is a typical day like for you?
My working day is long, despite the limited number of responsibilities. Firstly, I screen patients, do checkups and the necessary procedures, and write referrals to other specialists. Further, I take part in joint activities with colleagues because sometimes, I am involved in surgeries. The rest of the time I fill out outpatient histories and do the paperwork.
What do you like most/least about your work?
Most of all, I like constant contact with patients in my work. By interacting with people, I not only hone my professional skills but also gain valuable communication experience. Paperwork is the least enjoyable part of my immediate duties. However, I am aware that the order at work, including the documentation, builds diligence and patience, which, as I have already mentioned, are crucial qualities for a dental hygienist.
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
Since I spend long hours at work, this affects my lifestyle. I do not have much free time to entertain with my friends or family. Nevertheless, I try to keep myself in shape, and my work helps me in this. I stand much during patient screening and procedures, which allows me to avoid the typical problems of a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, by the nature of my work, I try to maintain a healthy diet because I know how junk food affects the oral cavity. Therefore, my work unwittingly leaves an imprint on my lifestyle and individual habits.
The interview was conducted on February 28, 2021, at lunchtime. The entire conversation took about 20 minutes, which allowed me to get answers to all questions and devote the remaining time to personal communication. The interview took place in one of the quiet street cafes, and while we were waiting for our order, we had time to discuss much. The subject was informed of the purpose of our meeting in advance and agreed to my further use of his responses. Mr. M. is a professional in the field in which I would like to work, and in addition, he is a close friend of our family. Therefore, my choice fell on him as a person who could give me unbiased and valuable comments.