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Networking Tips: How To Connect With Dental Professionals

Sep 27, 2016 

Author: Jen Collins,RDH

Working as a dental hygienist involves many hours of required continuing education, much of which can be done online. In this digitally driven society, you may feel disconnected from your peers. We graduate from dental hygiene school and often times become too busy to seek out other professionals who share our passion. But here are some networking tips to stay updated on the latest advancements in the dental hygiene field and also to meet new people along the way.

Stay in Touch With Dental Hygiene Classmates

While in dental hygiene school you formed a bond with your classmates that created many life-long friendships. Classmates joined you for late night study sessions that not only improved your dental hygiene knowledge but also allowed you to get to know your classmates better. Having a connection with your classmates can help you to meet other professionals and make connections. Staying in touch may introduce you to new opportunities and keep you engaged in your career. Perhaps a new job has become available and you were the first to know due to your regular communication with other dental hygienists. According to an article in Dentistry IQ, volunteering and staying connected with classmates is both worthwhile and important. Volunteering can help introduce you to other professionals in your area that you've never met in person.

Connect on Social Media

Today, staying connected through social media is easier than ever. Learn new networking tips from others across the country and on dental hygiene sites. Resources like Colgate Oral Health Advisor encourage dental hygienists to connect through Facebook to learn tips from each other. Meeting new friends on social media is a great way to introduce yourself to other professionals who share your passion. Create a Facebook page for your dental hygiene classmates to share new information and communicate. Social media is a completely free way to communicate with dental professionals all over the world. Seeing others share ideas and post pictures of their experiences in the field can help improve your patient care in your practice.

Continue Your Education

Not only are they required for licensure, continuing education courses are also a beneficial way to connect with peers and maybe even pick up some networking tips. When you start a new class, introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Naturally, you connect with your patients on a daily basis, so you can use your same great conversation skills to form new friendships. Another way you can break the ice is to discuss an interesting case you saw recently. Maybe you had a patient with a rare medical condition, and you discussed it in one of your classes. The next thing you know another dental hygienist walks over after class and shares some amazing advice that helped her patient dealing with this very same thing. Networking with other professionals allows you to broaden your circle of friends and open new doors for your future. Seeing these familiar faces will allow you to connect in times of need or for career development.

Attend Dental Conferences

Attending dental conferences is an ideal way to connect with other dental professionals in person. One of the best networking tips to keep in mind is to always carry a business card and introduce yourself to other attendees. One particular conference with several networking receptions is RDH Under One Roof. This annual conference is specifically for dental hygienists.

When attending a dental conference, also make sure to introduce yourself to exhibitors on the show floor. Making connections with the people who represent dental manufacturers may lead you to other career opportunities. For example, you've been practicing for over 35 years and your body can no longer meet the physical demands of patient care. A well-known company at a conference approaches you for a sales position. Your experience in the field allows you to become a potential candidate for many positions aside from direct patient care. Attending dental conferences keeps you in touch with the latest trends and peers looking to have someone join their professional team.

Takeaways

  • Stay connected with your colleagues by volunteering together.
  • Use social media to meet new peers.
  • Attend dental conferences to network with professionals.

Why It's Valuable

Learning new networking tips is valuable for building social skills and your career development. Meeting new friends can enrich your life, open new doors and allow your career to take off.