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Kathleen's Blog - June 26th, 2018


Last week I received 3 emails from leaders that I follow regarding 'Personal Branding' so I was thinking about how this relates to dental hygienists. Unlike the branding you would have for your practice, this is more about YOUR brand and what makes YOU stand out from the crowd.


Having a personal brand can help you excel in your career. It can get you the respect you deserve in your practice and help you get the position or job you want! It is about being ‘that’ person that everyone would like to ‘go to’ when needed.


Along the way, I have heard from many offices that they have ‘that’ dental hygienist in their practice. You could be the ‘one’ who is great with communication and can close case treatment recommendations. You could be the ‘one’ who is known for her/his positivity in the practice – always smiling and willing to help out. You could be the ‘one’ who is well educated in microbiology and uses the microscope and treatment modalities that go along with that. You could be ‘the one’ who is really dependable or the ‘one’ who is great with instrumentation and sharpening of instruments…the list continues.


What makes you the ‘one’? What can you do within your practice to be known as ‘that’ person?


I remember when I was practicing clinically, I was known as ‘The Sharpenator’ or the ‘Sharpening Queen’ and would sharpen everyone’s instruments (hence why I started my own instrument company way back when!) I was known as ‘Hawk Eye’ in another office when I was living in BC because I never missed a thing in the mouth. I was known as the ‘Happy Hygienist’ in another practice because I was always positive and smiling. What are you ‘known’ for? What makes YOU unique and stand out from the crowd? What is your personal brand that ‘shows up’ every time one of your colleagues sees you?


I am looking forward to the summer as I will be known as your ‘QA Coach’! I will be helpful, dependable and will ‘show up’ for you! The Mission Possible project starts up next week where I will be helping those CDHO Registered RDH’s work on their QA Records over the summer! And if you think you can’t spare a half hour or hour each week, you can save the information shared for when you have time in the fall. We have run this program a few times over the years and have always received great feedback, so I look forward to doing it again! You will receive helpful emails every week. We will hold Live Facebook chats in our private Facebook group so that you can have your QA questions answered to the best of my ability! I look forward to working with our QA Coach members. More information on how to join will be found below.


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support and your feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 19th, 2018


On one of my recent On-Track-Tuesday blogs I mentioned the importance of Professional Development and keeping up with our requirements, even when we aren’t being audited. It raised a discussion on some of our social media outlets and I would like to make sure that I communicate one of my fundamental beliefs. If we don’t continue to be engaged in our learning and to grow and develop our skills, we can fall out of love, so to speak, with what we do. Continuing to learn and implement new knowledge and abilities into our practice helps to keep us engaged in the everyday work that we do. I don’t think this is unique to Dental Hygiene, I think this is true for any professional that wants to love what they do.

We spend a third of our life working, it's worth the effort to love it. Continual learning, skill development and implementation is one way of helping make that happen. Another is to work in an environment where you are happy and able to practice in the way that you wish to practice. I was very fortunate when I was practicing clinically in that, I would say, I thoroughly enjoyed 90% of the practices where I worked over my career. I know things have changed somewhat, but in the end, people are still people and there are a lot of great dental offices out there where the dental hygienists are happy and thriving. If you are working in a practice that is making you compromise and you aren’t feeling respected, then it might be a good idea to start putting the feelers out there for a new office. It may not happen tomorrow, but if you don’t start now, before you know it, another year will have passed and you will find yourself in a place where you still don’t want to be. I meet so many dental hygienists at our courses, events and over the phone and I know there are some who absolutely love what they do. They are engaged, work in a practice that respects them and they are continuously learning and implementing. They do not consider it a chore. Whereas, there are others, who really aren’t happy where they practice, cannot make change and their voices aren’t heard. It doesn’t have to be that way. There could be a ‘Perfect Fit’ for you!


My personal goal, is to help shift the mindset of many RDH’s from one of possible boredom and resentment to one of possibility and growth. I am actually speaking on this topic at the ODHA Re-energize conference on September 28/29 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. If you plan on attending, please let me know!


“The Documentation Burden” is another complaint I hear a lot. Documenting in our Quality Assurance records doesn’t have to be a daunting task. When you think about it, 25 hours over a one-year period is manageable and with all the different resources available it is accessible as well! This is why I love the ‘Dental Hygiene Quarterly’ publication so much. It is a Nation-wide publication, partnered with the CDHA, reasonably priced, you receive half of your CQI requirements for the year, it is relevant to dental hygiene, it is current, includes hot topics and offers a Special Feature at the end that highlights a new product, company or service that will help us in our practice. These types of programs can help you stay engaged and at the same time offers great learning! We try to make it really easy to meet your requirements.


For those of you who live in Ontario, we have also just added the ‘Independent Hygiene Boot Camp’ with Lori Lawrence, RDH and Bev Woods, RDH to our calendar. If you have been thinking about Independent Hygiene, this might be a great opportunity for you to explore other options! It will be held at rdhu on Saturday, September 15th. You will find more information below!


Thank you for reading and I really appreciate your continued support and your feedback and comments! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 12th, 2018


I am away this week at a ‘Breakthrough Blueprint’ meeting in Toronto with my mentor and a group of entrepreneurs.


One of the men here is an audiologist and we are working together to help craft his message to the public in an effort to help him attract more patients to his clinic.


Audiology is similar to dentistry as it is largely becoming a commodity where offices are competing with one another by offering ‘Free’ services to get patients/clients in the door (sound familiar…free teeth whitening anyone?)


Instead of using “free” to attract patients/clients, it is much better to become a trusted authority. It gives the practice much better stability, attracts the ‘right’ kind of client and is much more personally rewarding.


At my ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice’ last Friday, we discussed this topic as well. Offering free education and information regarding a particular topic is far better than offering free procedures or give-aways. i.e. new power brush with every new patient exam (note: this is also frowned upon by our regulatory bodies).


Differentiating yourself by being really knowledgeable on a subject, and by sharing valuable content, you will become a trusted authority. Once you can clearly explain why these things matter to the client, they will choose to stay with the practice they feel can service them best. Though we cannot use the word 'expert' in our communications, done right and the client will quickly realize you really know your ‘stuff’ and really care about them.


So how could you become a trusted authority? Educate, educate, educate the public! And there are so many ways to do that! The more we keep up with our education, the more we educate, the deeper our connection to the client and the more our practice will grow! It is just one of the secrets we teach at the ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice” events.


Thank you to everyone who joined us this past Friday for a fabulous day and for all your lovely emails following. It was a win-win kind of day for everyone who attended! One office said it was the first course they attended where there was something in it for all members of the team! The trip to Ridgeroad Winery is always a nice way to end the week as well :)


If you are interested in joining us for our next event, the information is below. It is free and sponsored by Crest & Oral B and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. For those who are from out of town, there is a hotel only 10 minutes away. I recommend you save the date and join us!


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - June 5th, 2018


When I was out visiting in British Columbia last month, I met a very engaging dental hygienist who also works at her family marina. As we were loading up my friend’s boat for an excursion, we were talking about everything hygiene. One of the things that really struck me during our conversation was when she said she was having a difficult time getting her society group together to ‘show up’ for professional development. She found some really great presenters, who have to travel in, but unfortunately only a handful of RDH’s attended. She said it was packed last year and now this year, not at all. I asked why that is and her answer is one that I am very familiar with and that is, ‘their QA cycle is done’.

Each province has different requirements and different ‘audit’ cycles. And after operating rdhu for almost 10 years now, I notice the QA cycle as well. Sometimes we see the same people all year long (and trust me, I love seeing you all year long, that’s not what this is about!) and then we won’t see that person until he/she is getting audited again. Some have 75 hours to achieve over the one-year period! Can it be done…sure, it can! Is it going to be fun and rewarding…probably, not so much!

We sign our Registration every year that we are keeping up with our QA requirements. This quote comes to mind for me: J. C. Watts Quotes. “Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.”


PD is like fitness to me. Doing a little bit of fitness each day, you will notice a change in your body and your mind. Doing Professional Development along the way, you will notice a change or transformation in your dental hygiene practice. You will notice a change in your mindset and will feel more engaged and empowered in your practice. And at the end of the day, when it’s your ‘turn’ to submit your QA Requirements, you won’t be jamming in hours and feel panicked and pressured. When we continuously learn we will feel fulfilled and engaged and in control of our career. It’s not just about QA requirements. It’s also a gentle reminder each day, that what we do is so important. We play an integral role in our client’s overall health.


We are finishing off production for the Summer 2018 edition for the ‘Dental Hygiene Quarterly’ this week and I want to share with you what this publication is about. Every quarter or season, 3 hours of Professional Development or CE is published and delivered to your door (in a DVD format) or online (from your computer or mobile device). The information we deliver is always hot, current and relevant to our practice. It was designed to keep you up to date with an ever-changing and growing profession. It was designed to keep you connected. Every time we finish recording a presenter, I feel like WOW…everybody needs to see this. I have learned so much from this publication over the last two years since it has been under the rdhu umbrella.


We keep the price-point very low to help the dental hygienist financially, as RDH’s we have a lot of commitments and fees to maintain our licence. If you would like to stay connected and current with your learning, I encourage you to join us. I promise, that you will feel connected, informed and current and in return you will feel engaged in your dental hygiene practice. And if you are that person who is working hard at getting 75 hours this year, please reach out to me so we can help you. Life gets in the way sometimes. We have all been there at some point.


If we continue to do the same thing year after year and only taking courses when it’s ‘our time’, you will never truly feel satisfied in your career.


I committed to life-long learning many years ago, both professionally and personally, and the transformation for me has been so rewarding.


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - May 29th, 2018


Well, we just had a fabulous ‘Quality Assurance Fun & Intensive Weekend’ and it was just that….Fun AND Intensive!


Thank you to everyone who joined us! I think you are all in good shape to complete your Learning Portfolio in a nice timely manner (hopefully by the end of the summer!). I am here if you need me :)

We received some nice emails following the weekend, and one in particular I wanted to share with you, as it made me very proud of my team to reconfirm that we are on the right path and are making a difference.


“I was thrilled with the course you provided. The information was so helpful in making me more comfortable with the portfolio process. I would encourage everyone to attend this course. Kathleen and her entire crew were amazing. You ladies went above and beyond with your help, and reassurance. Thanks Kathleen for sending me all the notes I needed to complete the unfinished tasks I was working on. Thanks too for the access to your sharpening courses. My stress levels went to almost a 3 with all your help since you know, just by meeting me once, that my normal stress levels are 10+. HA HA. Maybe +++++++++++. I cannot thank-you enough for all you ladies did on the portfolio weekend extravaganza.


Thanks again, Janese"

So, a question you may want to ask yourself (something we do all the time at rdhu), what do you and your team do for your clients, to go above and beyond to make their experience at your practice exceed any expectations? So much so that they reach out to you following their appointment, to share their experience.


I invite you to join me next Friday, June 8th as we are once again, holding our Special FREE Team Event – Sponsored by Crest & Oral B. We have room for a couple more offices, if you would like to join us. One of the things that we will be discussing is how you can exceed your client’s expectations and what you can do to go ‘above and beyond’.


I am really looking forward to this event. The ‘8 Simple Secrets to Growing Your Practice’, as I met some wonderful teams at ODA last month who will be joining us.


Also, our next QA Weekend is September 8th and 9th if you would like to join us. If you are being audited this year or if your number ends in 0 or 1 (you will be audited next year), I encourage you to be there!


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest Regards,



Kathleen's Blog - May 22nd, 2018


My thoughts on this rainy Tuesday morning :)


One of the things that I love so much about my business are the people that I meet and the relationships that I have built! Not only have I met so many wonderful dental professionals over the years who have become my friends but also, I have met so many great people who either own or work for a dental related company. I often get to see them at dental conventions, where we will meet on the exhibit floor and perhaps at the airport. I often look down the aisle of the plane and get amazed at how many dental friends are on the same flight!


Last spring at ODA, I met Shawn and Eileen Peers. Shawn and I were friends on Facebook and would message each other from time to time but I finally got to meet him and his mom in person at the conference. Shawn and Eileen are from the Dental Peers Group, which is a buying group for the small practice owners. Eileen Peers started this company in 1985 and her son Shawn, who is a great guy and lawyer, joined her 10 years ago. When I first met Eileen, I was blown away at her energy and her business savvy. Eileen is in her mid 70’s and still going strong. I took a liking to her instantly and knew I wanted to spend more time with her. She started this company to help offices from her community, in Ottawa, save money, like the larger corporations do. They are now a Nationwide company helping many small practices. There is strength in numbers when purchasing your sundries, etc.!


You would never know Eileen’s age as she is quite the go-getter! She created the dental cruise event that I presented on in April, ‘The Golden Girls of Dentistry’ and does a lot of fundraising for a variety of charities. It seems to me like she just go-go-go’s! And always looking at “what is next, how can I help and what more can I do?”.


I am sure you have met people that put themselves out to pasture far too early in their lives. I know, even with myself, when I find myself focusing on the signs of aging, it can be easy to question myself if the best years are behind me! I work hard at not staying in that place too long however, and instead remind myself that everything is a decision, that I am on a journey and as long as I keep learning and growing, my life will continue to be even more fulfilled. I really do think our purpose in life is to grow our gifts and then give to others. Eileen’s a real-world example of how she is using her gifts to continue to give and contribute. These reminders are what keep me excited about the future and the challenges ahead.


I think we have to maintain a positive mindset, take care of our bodies and health and love what we do (even when it’s hard, we hit stumbling blocks or life seems mundane compared to the endless glamourous Instagram posts we get bombarded with!) I know I work hard at maintaining a positive outlook and try to always find the best in every situation! “Oh, you’re getting audited? Awesome! Let’s do this!” ☺


In an effort to share the good work of the Dental Peers Group, I have provided some of their information at the end of this email. If you own or work in a small practice, I encourage you to download the free book that the Peers Group has and get in touch with them to see if they can help you save money in your practice. They would love to hear from you!


Thank you for reading and your continued support! It keeps me motivated to know we are bringing value to you.


Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - May 1st, 2018


ODA was a great success! Thank you so much to all of our members who visited us at the Bisco Booth.


We were super busy sharing the new Sharpen-Free designs by LM Dental. On the second day, I had the question asked so many times…how long will the Sharpen-Free last? I always responded with a question…how often do you replace your instruments?


After hearing…4 to 5 years many times throughout the day, I knew that was the wrong question to ask. Typically, the LM Sharpen-Free instruments will last as long as the instruments that you are currently using will last.


So, I switched up the question from how long do your instruments last to, how often would you like to order new instruments? And 9 months was the average time.


If you are using instruments for longer than a year (and yes, ultrasonic use plays a big part in this!), on the average, it is typically 9 months. You should look at alternatives to purchasing your own.


If you know me, you know I am passionate about the tools in our hands. They will make or break the client experience and treatment outcome.


I am committed to producing a series of videos to help you decide on the best solution for you!


Stay tuned my friends. I have a lot of helpful tips and suggestions to help you in your practice.


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



Kathleen's Blog - May 8th, 2018


Feeling good during the day and managing your energy so that you are not depleted at the end of the day is so important for dental hygienists. We are go-go-go all day…most times not being able to take bathroom breaks…missing lunch many days, bending like contortionists and always seeming to be chasing the clock. Day after day, this can take a toll on our bodies and our mindset. Managing our mindset can be the difference between a happy and fulfilled life versus one you just drift through.


After hearing this same complaint from many dental hygienists, we decided to put together a program focused on changing this paradigm. ‘How to Manage Your Energy and Protect the Longevity of Your Career’ is a brand-new program being offered for the first time this Saturday, May 12th and is designed to give lots of ideas and strategies that will help you not only clinically but also physically and emotionally.


Since a strong and supportive community is one of the keys to a healthy mindset, we invite you to join us and Bring a Friend for Free! We have lovely gifts for everyone (including a LM Dental Instrument that is valued at $54) and special guests (Registered Massage Therapist/yoga instructor and special table displays). If you split the cost with your friend it will be $114 each. Please email Mellissa to enroll at mellissa@rdhu.ca


We plan on doing some stretching at lunch with the yoga instructor, so we encourage you to dress comfortably and bring your mat.


Take time for you. Invest in your future by learning tips that will help protect your body and mindset to sustain the love of your profession. I am looking forward to it and excited for the day!


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,




Kathleen's Blog - April 24th, 2018


I’m not going to lie…


It wasn’t easy. There I was in New Orleans last week getting ready to depart on the ‘Golden Girls of Dentistry’ cruise the next day, when SMASH, my phone drops and breaks! I went through about 24 hours of panic…withdrawal…I hit the Apple store in the mall while the cab waited for me outside and no…there was nothing I could do…I was going to be phone-less for the duration of my trip.


What did I learn? I learned that without my phone, life can continue quite comfortably. I learned to be comfortable with travelling alone…I could wake up without the alarm (we had activities every morning so it was necessary to have an alarm)…I could live without music or my Candy Crush and Word Puzzles…I didn’t need my Fitbit to track my steps and water intake…I didn’t have to post on Social Media. I was able to check in with my family a couple of times by using one of the Golden Girls phones. And it was amazing.


I had the most wonderful experience on this cruise sharing ideas and stories with women who have been in the profession for as long as I have. We all had one common factor and that is… we care.


We care about our profession. We care about our team. We care about the public and the impact we have on our client’s life.


I am so proud to be in the dental profession. Thank you for being a part of our community and for doing what you do every day. What we do is so important. Kudos to you.


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest Regards,



Kathleen's Blog - April 17th, 2018


Wow! What terrible weather we have had this past week. For those of you who made the trek out to rdhu this weekend for ‘Think Outside the Tray’ and the ‘Laser Certification’ course….thank you for making the effort! We had a dental hygienist here from the Yukon for both days and really thankful that the courses were able to still move ahead as planned. Beth Parkes presented with me on Saturday and she did fantastic! We received great evaluations from the attendees and plan on adding more dates to the calendar. Beth Ryerse and Dafna Czudak had a wonderful day offering the Laser Certification program. So, thank you to Jo-Anne Jones, Beth and Dafna from ‘RDH Connection’ for holding your laser programs at rdhu!


I presented for the Ontario Dental Hygienists Association on Friday to a group of 175 RDH’s on Quality Assurance. We had a great day! I love presenting for the ODHA. Thank you to Crest & Oral B for sponsoring the day. Everyone left with a Genius Power Brush and some other goodies, along with an action-packed morning of QA material!


I am sitting here at the airport, getting ready to board a flight that will take me to New Orleans. I have been invited to attend and speak on the ‘Golden Girls of Dentistry’ cruise. Presenting on a cruise is something that is on my ‘bucket list’, so I am excited to attend! I am also excited to meet some amazing women who have been in the field for many years. Although, I don’t consider myself to be ‘Golden’ just yet (haha), I have been in the profession for oh…33 years! I look forward to meeting many mentors and to learn from some of the best! I have mentors and coaches in life and in business and try to mentor and coach others that ask. I love the quote, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” and after 33 years I keep discovering more and more I don’t know. Having a coach or mentor can truly help you get the clarity, confidence and provide the tools to help you succeed at life! As John C Maxwell says, “It's said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others' mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.” And I am looking forward to learning from all these wonderful, lady’s successes.


Thank you for reading and your continued support! Please find information below regarding what’s coming up! Have a great week!


Kindest regards,



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