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A Day In The Operatory

Written By Melissa Sottosanti 11 Sep 2018
A Day In The Operatory


When I first started hygiene school I thought that life was going to be easy and work was going to be a dream. Well, lets just say that some days are better than others….

Okay, has anyone come home from work and looked in the mirror and been like “Whoa, holy crap, what the hell happened to me?” You touch your face to see if what you are seeing is real and then you jump back as if you are startled because its really you and you just cry to yourself “Who, what, where, when, why”? That beautiful candy apple red lipstick (that you paid $25 for the super-duty-smudge-proof-extraordinaire) is no longer considered lipstick its basically facestick because it is nowhere near your lips!


You have one fake eyelash that is hanging on for dear life and you are covered in bodily fluids that are definitely not yours. You hesitantly take your hair out of the ballet-style bun that was so nicely placed this morning and you come to the realization that you not only have mint prophy paste in your hair you are fortunate enough to also have cherry. Panic sets in as you nervously check your phone to see if you scrub pocket dialed anyone. You basically look like you’ve been drinking and partying all night in Vegas. At one point you even question yourself, “Wait, have I been drinking, was I drugged?” ……Nope. This is a day in the life of a Dental Hygienist! Some real HYGIENE GANGSTER shit went down today.    

Real life~

I was temping at an office where my morning started out with a patient that was 20 minutes late to their 30 min appointment and as I sat them down to take radiographs they miraculously have the fullest bladder in the world and have to use the bathroom. The best part of my day was when that extra patient got booked during my lunch break. “Oh no, its cool, I didn’t need to eat today, eating is for the weak”. In fact I’m probably in the process of getting a bladder infection while you are reading this since most likely I didn’t have time to drink water or pee today (ok, seriously I’m going to drink some water like NOW).

Its all going to be okay….I think

These are the types of work days that make us question why we chose the career that we did. So what is your why? Why did you go into this profession? What made you so passionate about the Dental Field? Was it for Passion? The Cute Scrubs? Dreams of being a Professional Flosser? Picking and Flicking? Money? 

The truth about it all is that each and every one of us started this Dental Hygiene journey with having a passion. Whether you want to continue in clinical or you started in clinical and want to move forward in your career, don’t ever forget what your passion is! You were meant to do great things & don't let offices like this bring you down. No, our career isn’t ALWAYS glamorous and we all have days that we  questioned our choices, however, at the end of the day I personally know that I am helping my patients. My passion is building connections and helping patients. So,  on the days that you feel like you are stuck in the operatory I want you to stay strong and remember to laugh every once in a while, encourage your coworkers when they are having a bad day and be a shoulder to lean on. And last but not least, find yourself an office that respects and appreciates you! You may have to go through fifteen million offices to find that one gem, but don't stop until you find it! Don't find yourself stuck any longer. 



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