At the age of 26, I decided to go back to school and become a RDH. I sought a change from retail management and wanted to do something that provided greater job opportunities and greater job satisfaction. What has taken more than a decade to achieve has been a tough but fulfilling journey and I am so grateful for where I am now in my career. Practising independently is amazing and brings me such joy. Partnering up with my friend Regina Bermudez-Schlesinger, RDH to create Mobile DH Solutions has been another rewarding path where I find joy helping other RDH’s achieve their dreams.
Regina was a single mom and wanted to spend more time with her, at the time, young son but not reduce her income. Have more free time to explore other opportunities and interests as well. I was already working independently in order to be able to care for my autistic daughter. Having started out as a mobile hygienist, I already had the larger equipment that I was no longer using since I transitioned to working out of my house.
We saw a need for clients who needed access to care but were unable to access it for various reasons at a typical dental office. There were also IRDHs who needed increased job flexibility and were looking to expand outside the typical office setting.
Regina and I got talking and the idea of renting out the equipment for others that are in the same boat sounded like a great premise. The idea of Mobile DH Solutions (MDHS) was born. Being self-initiated was one thing but actually putting this plan into place was a different challenge. The most important thing to figure out was how to streamline the rental process to make it work efficiently for our renters. Working with the equipment is like learning to ride a bike and we give a crash course when the equipment is dropped off.
The biggest obstacle that independent dental hygienists face starting their own practice is cost. To purchase the equipment necessary requires a large financial investment. In addition, the RDH may be unsure if they will enjoy independent practice or may just want to do it part time and can’t justify making the investment. Being able to rent the equipment and not have to worry about sterilization removes most of the hurdles hygienists face when starting their own practice.
Working independently allows you to book your own schedule, giving you a better work/life balance and also allows you to practise as you see fit, which can increase quality of care delivered and job satisfaction. It also gives better financial benefits since you are paid for the services provided and not by the hour which means you get paid more while working less. With all the tension going on between differentiating RCDSO and CDHO guidelines and new IPAC protocols working independently has become a very desirable option.
Both Regina and I have independent practices and are both advocates for independent practice. As a self-regulated profession it is very difficult as hygienists to reach their full potential and maximize client care while working under and relying on income from another profession. MDHS is a way of advocating for independent RDHs and contribution to advancing our profession. It warms our hearts to see other RDHs being able to advance their careers and branch out onto their own, delivering higher levels of client care and achieving increased job satisfaction.
So, if you are a RDH and are feeling frustrated and stuck in your career know that there are other options and that working in a typical office under a DDS isn’t the only road. As an IRDH there are so many options and opportunities especially now in this changing world where people’s expectations and ideas of care are also changing. Clients are finding the option of having their oral health appointments in the comfort of their homes very appealing. Don’t be afraid to look at different avenues and step outside the box because you may be surprised at how rewarding it can be!
A testimony from one RDH
“I was initially inspired many years ago while working as a receptionist at one of the very first independent dental hygiene centers in Toronto. Fast forward almost 10yrs and much less motivated, I found myself working alongside a very motivated independent mobile hygienist aka Regina from Mobile DH Solutions! Seeing her drive, and passion for her mobile dental hygiene businesses brought back the urge to do more and be more in my profession. I’ve reignited my love for dental hygiene, only now I’m doing it independently. We’re living in very uncertain times right now and being able to help bring peace of mind to my clients when it comes to their own and their family’s oral health is a win for me! Building my own schedule, with my own clients who trust me to provide safe and professional treatment for themselves and their families is a great feeling.
I enjoy being a dental hygienist very much, but I love being an entrepreneur while practicing dental hygiene even more! With the ability to rent costly equipment, I was able to start my own mobile hygiene business almost overnight, and I’m only getting started! My advice is to take the leap, trust yourself and take advantage of companies like Mobile DH Solutions, who help kickstart and make starting your independent dental hygiene career seamless!”
– Ashley Subnarain RDH
About the Author
Jennifer is an Independent Dental Hygienist with 10 years of experience specializing in dental phobias and those with special needs, and is also the co-founder of Mobile DH Solutions.