Concorde Blog -
Sep 17, 2019
Spotlighting the successes of our alumni is a bright spot for us at Concorde. In this case, we get to introduce you to Tarah Hines who's a dental hygienist in Memphis, Tennessee and a 2010 graduate from the dental hygiene program at our Memphis campus. Her journey to becoming a dental hygienist is one we think many can relate to, let's find out why.
Not just another visit
The day wasn't special and the type of appointment is not one most people would look forward to, but on this particular day for Tarah Hines, her trip to the dentist would turn out to be a bit different than previous visits.
Tarah had just graduated from Cordova High school, in Memphis, Tennessee, where she grew up, and "Like any other senior student I wasn't really sure what she wanted to do with my life." she says.
"I always loved having my teeth cleaned" Hines explained. "On one particular visit, I decided that I would inquire about dental hygiene". Little did Hines know that this simple thought would change her life.
"The dental hygienist at my dentist office loved her job and you could truly see it in the way she described it," Hines said. "So I was inspired to look into it as a possible career."
While doing her research on schools in the area with Dental Hygiene programs, she ran across Concorde. It just so happened that the Memphis campus was just getting started with the Dental Hygiene program at this time, which was a pleasant surprise.
Making the most of schooling
"Local anesthesia was probably the most challenging thing I did. We had to practice on each other which was definitely hard, because I hate needles," she laughed. "I had to overcome that fear, I had no choice! To this day I still don't enjoy administering local anesthesia to my patients."
When talking about her time at Concorde, Hines conveys, "Concorde was a lot of fun as well as educating. Memories were made with classmates, teachers, and staff every day, too many to recall."
What was her favorite part of the program? "I liked the clinical part of the program because I was able to get hands-on training. I really enjoyed all my teachers, even the ones who challenged me harder than I wanted. The program went well and it thoroughly prepared me for my job"
You could say that Tarah was able to make lifelong friends in her time at Concorde, "Still to this day, one of my classmates is a great friend, and I get to be in her wedding coming up in May."
Getting into her career
Hines finished our program in 2010 and landed a job right out of school with Lighthouse Family Dentistry. Eight years later, she is still working as a dental hygienist there. In fact, she's their September Employee of the Month!
In their Lighthouse Family Dentistry Facebook announcement, the company writes:
"Tarah is one of our longest-tenured employees. She joined our team 8 years ago after graduating from Concorde and has been a perfect fit for us ever since. Tarah is not just your dental hygienist, she is your friend. If you've had the pleasure of having your teeth cleaned by her then you already know this to be true. She is great at making sure the patients are comfortable and at easy, and her gentle hand calms any fears you may have. She is an important asset to our team and we don't know what we would do without her."
Hines also works downtown at Bluff City Dental on Fridays. She loves the opportunity to serve at two different offices and the chance to meet new clients, "I love them both very much!"
Being a dental hygienist
When asked what being a dental hygienist is like Tarah replied, "Being a dental hygienist is very rewarding. Most people don't know the mouth is connected to the whole body. Getting to educate patients and helping them feel comfortable with coming to see us and having their dental health needs taken care of while getting them out of pain really makes a difference, too. I love being able to put smiles on faces and truly make people love coming to the dentist and seeing me!"
"There are challenges every day with time management, scared patients, and many other things that you just have to brush off at the end of the day and start the next day fresh," Hines explained. "None outweighs the other when you love what you do they are just mere speed bumps along the way."
Her advice to current students or a new dental hygienist is the same that was given to her, "Remember no matter what, compassion is a must. You have to practice true compassion and patience, which is something I'm always working on."
Hines adds she's an avid football fan and says, "I love football and can't be more thrilled it's that time of year! Football pretty much trumps any other TV show, book or movie to me, Go Cowboys!!"
We're certainly proud of how a little inspiration in a dentist's chair turned into an inspiring dental hygiene career of her own for Tarah Hines. We wish her continued success!