Meet Colette! The Membership Director at NNHHSep 27, 2023
This week we interviewed our Membership Director, Colette Murray RDH from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Why did you volunteer your time to serve on the Board of Directors at NNHH?
I came across the NNHH and feel that our profession could benefit from a Network of like-minded RDHs to support, inspire one another. The focus on integrating medical and dental health requires “a movement” and we need one another to achieve big changes and improvements in medical systems in Canada and the USA.
What makes you so passionate about hygienists specializing and having access to high level certificate programs?
In the same way that other professions may choose to specialize and distinguish themselves, I believe it is important to place your continued learning focus on where your passions lie. High level certificate programs make it easy to achieve both!
What role(s) do you currently hold?
I am an independent RDH. I own and run a family mobile practice, Access Dental Hygiene Services. A number of my patients are in continuing and long term care, and they love the option of a more convenient way to access care. They rely on others for care and we owe it to them to provide that care in the best way that we can. Oral health is a vital piece of the overall wellness concept. My patients are aged 3-103!
I get the opportunity to collaborate with many other medical professionals often as I work with a demographic that has complex medical issues. The comprehensive oral-systemic education that NNHH offers is so valuable. I am a student in both the Oral Systemic Educator and Oncology Certificate Programs. I use the knowledge and skills daily in my clinical practice!
I also co-wrote Get Your Spit Together! with other passionate hygienists who truly care about saliva! We only have so much time chairside with our patients, so this book is an excellent educational tool for clinicians who want to support their patients in attaining and maintaining their oral health at a higher level. It is also a great gift to give medical providers you are collaborating with. We are now offering Continuing Education to dental providers who read the book too!
What alternative or non-traditional roles have you performed or held in the past?
I have implemented a Dental Wellness Liaison role with some of my patients that qualify for this type of service. This role allows me to closely integrate their medical/dental requirements so that they may be looked after as well as possible with improved oral health outcomes as the result. This affects their quality of life greatly and limits their need for serious dental interventions.
How did you find/get this/these position(s)?
The Dental Wellness Liaison role grew out of an increasing need that I saw in my own practice and in an awareness realized by the family of the patients who are enrolled. It is a good fit for them, for my patient and for me as a care provider. I expect that as the Baby boomers advance into more extensive care situations, they will be searching for a Dental Wellness Liaison in their area.
What demographic tugs at your heart strings?
The elders! Everyday I see how the seniors community is under-served and over-looked when it comes to oral health. The good intentions are there in most cases but the healthcare systems are overloaded and generally under-compensated in Canada. There are many holes to be plugged and I am hoping to be a part of that solution. I have often said that "Getting to a certain age with all of your teeth can be a blessing and a curse. Without keen caregivers, and practitioners, we are doomed." I feel more optimistic as I see the passion in the NNHH Membership!
What would you say to hygienists considering membership with NNHH?
You will find great information, good connections and feel inspired and supported. Join the movement if you have any passion for your profession!
Colette can be reached by email at [email protected] and loves connecting.