ADHA Access September_October_2013 : Page 28

“ I always encourage students and new hygienists to continue their education, and try to open their eyes to other hygiene options such as public health, hygiene educator or company representative. You never know what life will bring your way, and the more prepared you are to make changes, the more other options will be available.” —Carolyn Holman, RDH, CDHC Carolyn Holman, RDH, CDHC , is currently the tobacco SURJUDPFRRUGLQDWRUIRU0DULFRSD&RXQW\2I¿FHRI2UDO Health in Phoenix, Ariz. Earlier in life, she had held jobs as a cashier in a grocery store, worked in a bank and participated in the family business. ³0\¿UVWMREZDVZRUNLQJIRUP\GDG¶VGU\FOHDQ -ing business after school and during the summer,” she recalled. “One of the stories I like to share as a tobacco/ oral health educator is how tobacco social norms have changed so much in the last 20 years. “My parents were both smokers, and growing up in Michigan, smoking was so common that my dad and our clothes presser both smoked [at work]. So people would bring their clothes in to be dry-cleaned and picked them up now smelling of dry cleaning chemicals and tobacco smoke — and we still had a business! That would not happen today.” When it was time to consider a long-term profession, Holman looked at several allied health options, having been drawn to a career in health care. ³,GHFLGHG,GLGQ¶WZDQWWREHFRPHDQXUVHDQGEH UHVSRQVLEOHIRUVRPHRQH¶VOLIH&#0f;DQGDIWHUVRPHUHVHDUFK&#0f; I choose dental hygiene. Having no background at all ex-cept my personal experience of having my teeth cleaned, I had no idea what I was getting into.” Holman graduated from Phoenix College in Phoenix, Ariz., where she learned how much more there is to den-tal hygiene than prophylaxes and polishing. ³,W¶VDERXWKHOSLQJLQGLYLGXDOVPDLQWDLQJRRGRUDODQG total health through good dental habits,” she said. And she accomplished those goals as a clinician until neuropa-thy in her hands forced her to adjust her course. “I was trying to get back into hygiene, but physically ZDVQ¶WDEOHWRJREDFNWRZRUNLQJFOLQLFDOO\RQDGXOWV&#0f;´ she said. She found her current position 14 years ago, through the friend of a friend. “My friend was aware of my situation, and told me what she knew about the position,” Holman said. “It sounded like there would be lots of variety, new infor-mation to learn, and the tobacco part was especially interesting because I had grown up living in secondhand smoke, and my dad had recently passed away from cancer due to his tobacco use. Little did I know I would lose my mom to lung cancer the year after I started this position.” Holman said that it may have been her varied back-ground in combination with her clinical and life experi-ence that helped her attain the position. “I accepted the position even though it was grant-funded and part-time,” she explained. “The position was only a couple years old, so with the help of my supervisor at the time, we were able to basically choose the direction we wanted to go with it and built it into a training position. ³,FKRVHWRREWDLQDFHUWL¿FDWHLQGHQWDOSXEOLFKHDOWK after I was hired, which made everything I learned much more applicable,” she added. “As hygienists, we never VWRSOHDUQLQJ'RQ¶WEHDIUDLGWRNHHS\RXUH\HVRSHQWR new opportunities and keep open to degree completions that are more wide-ranging than dental hygiene. Public KHDOWKLVDYHU\UHZDUGLQJ¿HOG²,ORYHP\ZRUN´ Holman said the position includes a lot of variety. “In fact, I now work two positions to make up a full-time po-VLWLRQLQWKH3XEOLF+HDOWK'HSDUWPHQW6L[W\
¿YHSHUFHQW of my position is the tobacco piece. ³,SURYLGHWUDLQLQJVLQGHQWDORI¿FHVDERXWWKHµ$VN&#0f; $GYLVH&#0f;5HIHU¶PHWKRGRIWREDFFRFHVVDWLRQLQWHUYHQWLRQ&#0f;´ she continued. “I also provide two regional trainings an-nually and train students at four local dental hygiene and two dental programs.” Holman has spoken before the Western Regional Den-tal Conference several times, as well as having spoken nationally. “As an ADHA Tobacco Intervention Initiative liaison, I had an opportunity to share the message of im-proving oral health through tobacco cessation throughout Arizona,” she said. I also facilitate a Smokeless Tobacco Coalition.” Holman started the coalition about seven years ago, at the request of the organization that funds her work. “Our members include several hygienists, a retired medical doctor who is very active in tobacco control, and some health educators with other organizations,” VKHVDLG³:HUHFHQWO\EHFDPHDSDUWRIRXUFRXQW\¶V 02/$5&#0b;2UDO+HDOWK&#0c;&RDOLWLRQ&#0f;ZKLFKZLOOEHQH¿WERWK coalitions. ³5HFHQWO\&#0f;RXU2I¿FHRI2UDO+HDOWKDQG2I¿FHRI Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention put a free two-hour tobacco and oral health training presentation RQOLQH&#0f;´+ROPDQDGGHG³,W¶VD3RZHU3RLQWIRUPDW&#0f;YHU\ easy to use, and those who complete a short test can SULQWDWZR
KRXU&(FHUWL¿FDWH7KHWUDLQLQJFDQEHIRXQG at www.onlinedentalcourse.org. “We have applied for the American Dental Association &RQWLQXLQJ(GXFDWLRQ5HFRJQLWLRQ3URJUDP&#0b;&(53&#0c;FHUWL¿ -cation for our programs,” she added. Apart from the tobacco intervention training aspect of her position, the other 35 percent is with the Maricopa County Dental Sealant Program. “Maricopa County has one of the largest school-based sealant programs in the country,” Holman said. “I provide administrative help, including tracking credentials for our 28 SEP-OCT 2013 access

Working

Carolyn Holman

<br /> "I always encourage students and new hygienists to continue their education, and try to open their eyes to other hygiene options such as public health, hygiene educator or company representative. You never know what life will bring your way, and the more prepared you are to make changes, the more other options will be available."<br /> —Carolyn Holman, RDH, CDHC<br /> <br /> Carolyn Holman, RDH, CDHC, is currently the tobacco program coordinator for Maricopa County Office of Oral Health in Phoenix, Ariz. Earlier in life, she had held jobs as a cashier in a grocery store, worked in a bank and participated in the family business.<br /> <br /> "My first job was working for my dad's dry cleaning business after school and during the summer," she recalled. "One of the stories I like to share as a tobacco/ oral health educator is how tobacco social norms have changed so much in the last 20 years.<br /> <br /> "My parents were both smokers, and growing up in Michigan, smoking was so common that my dad and our clothes presser both smoked [at work]. So people would bring their clothes in to be dry-cleaned and picked them up now smelling of dry cleaning chemicals and tobacco smoke — and we still had a business! That would not happen today."<br /> <br /> When it was time to consider a long-term profession, Holman looked at several allied health options, having been drawn to a career in health care.<br /> <br /> "I decided I didn't want to become a nurse and be responsible for someone's life, and after some research, I choose dental hygiene. Having no background at all except my personal experience of having my teeth cleaned, I had no idea what I was getting into."<br /> <br /> Holman graduated from Phoenix College in Phoenix, Ariz., where she learned how much more there is to dental hygiene than prophylaxes and polishing.<br /> <br /> "It's about helping individuals maintain good oral and total health through good dental habits," she said. And she accomplished those goals as a clinician until neuropathy in her hands forced her to adjust her course.<br /> <br /> "I was trying to get back into hygiene, but physically wasn't able to go back to working clinically on adults," she said. She found her current position 14 years ago, through the friend of a friend.<br /> <br /> "My friend was aware of my situation, and told me what she knew about the position," Holman said. "It sounded like there would be lots of variety, new information to learn, and the tobacco part was especially interesting because I had grown up living in secondhand smoke, and my dad had recently passed away from cancer due to his tobacco use. Little did I know I would lose my mom to lung cancer the year after I started this position."<br /> <br /> Holman said that it may have been her varied background in combination with her clinical and life experience that helped her attain the position. "I accepted the position even though it was grant-funded and part-time," she explained. "The position was only a couple years old, so with the help of my supervisor at the time, we were able to basically choose the direction we wanted to go with it and built it into a training position.<br /> <br /> "I chose to obtain a certificate in dental public health after I was hired, which made everything I learned much more applicable," she added. "As hygienists, we never stop learning. Don't be afraid to keep your eyes open to new opportunities and keep open to degree completions that are more wide-ranging than dental hygiene. Public health is a very rewarding field — I love my work!"<br /> <br /> Holman said the position includes a lot of variety. "In fact, I now work two positions to make up a full-time position in the Public Health Department. Sixty-five percent of my position is the tobacco piece.<br /> <br /> "I provide trainings in dental offices about the 'Ask, Advise, Refer' method of tobacco cessation intervention," she continued. "I also provide two regional trainings annually and train students at four local dental hygiene and two dental programs."<br /> <br /> Holman has spoken before the Western Regional Dental Conference several times, as well as having spoken nationally. "As an ADHA Tobacco Intervention Initiative liaison, I had an opportunity to share the message of improving oral health through tobacco cessation throughout Arizona," she said. I also facilitate a Smokeless Tobacco Coalition."<br /> <br /> Holman started the coalition about seven years ago, at the request of the organization that funds her work. "Our members include several hygienists, a retired medical doctor who is very active in tobacco control, and some health educators with other organizations," she said. "We recently became a part of our county's MOLAR (Oral Health) Coalition, which will benefit both coalitions.<br /> <br /> "Recently, our Office of Oral Health and Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention put a free two-hour tobacco and oral health training presentation online," Holman added. "It's a PowerPoint format, very easy to use, and those who complete a short test can print a two-hour CE certificate. The training can be found at www.onlinedentalcourse.org.<br /> <br /> "We have applied for the American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) certification for our programs," she added.<br /> <br /> Apart from the tobacco intervention training aspect of her position, the other 35 percent is with the Maricopa County Dental Sealant Program.<br /> <br /> "Maricopa County has one of the largest school-based sealant programs in the country," Holman said. "I provide administrative help, including tracking credentials for our 30 contractors, work orders and data entry. We screen about 10,000 children a year, providing sealants, education and referrals for low-cost and charitable care."<br /> <br /> Holman, who decided against a career in nursing because she didn't want to be responsible for people's lives, is now preventing life-threatening disease as a dental hygienist. "I am passionate about teaching dental professionals how to address tobacco use and refer their patients to their state quitlines for free help in quitting," Holman said. "By doing so, we are not only improving oral health and dental outcomes, we are saving lives!<br /> <br /> "When dental professionals incorporate this information into their practice, they can make their jobs easier by decreasing periodontal disease, oral cancer, tobacco stain, ANUG, etc. And more importantly they can help vastly improve the health of their patients."<br /> <br /> Holman says the feedback she receives during her training presentations can be very interesting.<br /> <br /> "One thing I discuss in my training is that cleft lip and palate can be the result of a woman smoking through pregnancy. A hygienist told me she was born with a cleft lip and always wondered why. While there obviously could have been other causes, I believe this example made others in the training more aware of the realities of tobacco effects."<br /> <br /> Another dental hygienist Holman trained shared a poignant personal anecdote in response to the importance of setting a quit date. "She told me she had quit 10 years prior, on Christmas Eve," Holman recalled. "I wondered what made her choose that day to quit, and she told me it was a Christmas gift for her young daughter who had been learning about tobacco in school and had been asking her to quit."<br /> <br /> Holman said that she believes dental hygienists have such a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact in their patients' lives in many ways.<br /> <br /> "Studies show that 70 percent of tobacco users would like to quit, and every year, about 50 percent of them make a quit attempt," she said. "Their chances of a successful quit increase when a health care provider provides a brief cessation intervention and when they utilize the services of a free, public health quitline." Most states have their own quitlines; the easiest way to check is by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW.<br /> <br /> Holman has advice for dental hygienists who are exploring opportunities outside clinical practice: "I always encourage students and new hygienists to continue their education, and try to open their eyes to other hygiene options such as public health, hygiene educator or company representative," she said. "You never know what life will bring your way, and the more prepared you are to make changes, the more other options will be available."<br /> <br /> If you are interested in learning more about Holman or her career, email carolynholman@mail.maricopa.gov.<br /> <br /> This edition of Working was prepared by Jean Majeski.

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