Yesterday morning, quite unexpectedly, I lost my job at the dental practice for which I have been a hygienist for the past 6 years. To say that it was devastating is an understatement. I am the type of caregiver who connects with her patients on a personal level. No person I treated was ever just a "patient" or a set of teeth or a potential source of additional income for the practice. They were people first. People who trusted me with their mouths, their fears and their well-being. Parents trusted me with their children implicitly. Husbands and wives trusted me with their spouses and their elderly parents. I never let anyone down, I never failed my patients. However, the times being what they are, these things didn't matter in the end. What mattered to the "powers that be" is the statistics, the numbers, my rate of "production" vs. other team members in completely different offices, with different patients, with different economic circumstances. And so this morning, for the first time ever in my adult life, I am without a professional position in the dental world against my will. It is devastating on many levels, emotionally, financially, and professionally.
However, I refuse to let this break me. I have started to look for new employment and I know I will find a source of income in the next weeks. More importantly, I will find a source of peace within knowing that although I did the best job I could with the time and tools given, it just wasn't enough for the particular type of practice into which this office has "evolved". I have known it for some time now but I did not want to abandon my patients or leave my co-workers. Unfortunately, this type of practice does not value what I have to offer.