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Meet the Blogger: Amanda Hill

Written by

Amanda Hill

Posted On

November 20, 2019

Amanda Hill talks about her life, career, and passions, gives advice on pursuing a career in the dental industry, and explains why curiosity is the most important trait for success. 

Tell us a little about yourself!

My family: I have been married to my husband Craig for 22 years. We met at church when I was in dental hygiene school and he was an Ensign in the Navy.  We have 3 children. Henry is 20 and is a junior at the Minvera Schools at KGI.  He is currently in Berlin studying computer Science.  Duke is 18 and a freshman at Virginia Tech, Go Hokies!  He is also studying computer science. And lastly, Abby is 15 and is a sophomore in high school.

My Background: I grew up in an Air Force family and moved all around the world as a kid. I was actually born in Japan! I graduated from Dental Hygiene school in 1996 from Old Dominion University.  I was awarded the Hu Friedy Golden Scaler award at graduation.  I was fortunate enough to finish my clinical requirements a semester early, so I was able to go to the clinic at the Navy base nearby and see patients.  It was a great way to start off with real experience and not 3-hour prophys!

My Hobbies: I enjoy cooking, hanging out with my family and friends and exercise (well I might not enjoy it, but I do it everyday…) I asked my daughter what my hobbies were and she said “talking.”

Favorite book: Fiction: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, it was the first real novel I read in high school and it made me love historical fiction and old churches. Non Fiction: The Anatomy of Peace-I have bought this book for at least 10 friends, it’s an amazing perspective shift on how you treat yourself and others.

Favorite snack: Wine and Cheese and French bread!  I could live on it!

Favorite color: I love polka dots and the color yellow. They both feel light and happy to me.

Why/how did you choose to be a Dental Hygienist?

One could say that I entered dentistry by accident, but I’m not sure I believe in accidents.  When I was 15 I applied for a job with my local pedodontist.  I thought answering phones would be a fun job, but he hired me as a dental assistant! As luck would have it, I loved it.  I felt purposeful.  I watched the hygienists at the practice and liked what they were doing and the flexibility they had to take care of their families while still having a career.  So off to hygiene school I went! 

What have you experienced in dentistry around the world?

As a lifelong military dependent, I have lived all over the world.  Most recently we were stationed in Germany and it was interesting to see what dentistry looked like outside the US. We have so much that we can learn from each other. One thing that fascinated me was they don’t do confirmation calls.  Germans just remember their appointments!

How do you use your passion for learning and teaching in the dental industry? 

Clinically I use it with every patient interaction.  I can be heard saying, “well current research is telling us…..” all the time.  As boring as that sounds, patients love it and that flossing lecture starts to make sense…  Outside the operatory, I have the opportunity through my position at DentalPost to lecture at dental schools on landing the perfect job using career assessments found on the DentalPost platform.  I also travel to dental conventions around the US connecting with dental professionals about the latest findings in the world of dentistry.  We learn so much from each other when we can spend time together.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Helping people figure “it” out. Whatever that “it” is.  It could be related to their teeth, it might be something in their overall health, or even just in their life.  I love helping people connect the dots and empowering them to take ownership of their life.  I’m super passionate about learning and I feel like I know a little bit about so many things—I’m not an expert anywhere! But I know enough to help others get started in the right direction.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My kids!  They are amazing people.  I really enjoy spending time with them. They are all crazy smart and I learn from them all the time.

What advice do you have for someone who is wanting to pursue a career in the dental industry?

Figure out your why.  Why do you want to go into dentistry?  Those that get into it for money burn out fast.  It’s hard work, but so fulfilling.  You get to make a difference every day in peoples’ lives.  Make sure you have a heart for service.

What behavior or personality trait is most important for success in your work?

Curiosity.  It is key to always remain curious, about your patients—figure out their why, what’s holding them back, what is the root of their disease and what are they ready to hear today; about new emerging science—what are new techniques, products, discoveries, research; about how to grow and improve—there is always room to grow both personally and professionally, continue to seek out feedback, read books, find mentors. When you are no longer curious you lose your enthusiasm and you are at risk of stalling out.

Anything else you would like us to know about you?

I have a servant heart and have spent much of my adult life in volunteer roles.  I’ve been the PTA president, Sunday School teacher, Neighborhood welcome coordinator and so much more.  I’ve worked as an RDH clinically part-time since we’ve had children.  Now that my husband has retired from the Navy and isn’t gone for long stretches of time, I’m venturing back into the working world full time.  I’ve been working as an industry educator for DentalPost for the last year all while keeping one toe in the op seeing patients once a week.  It’s the perfect balance for right now.  

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