Diane Weatherhead RDH
On September 1, 1988 Diane Weatherhead began working as my hygienist. I knew she was smart, personable and qualified. What I didn’t know is that together we would develop a small, struggling dental practice into a health care team of dedicated, knowledgeable individuals working together to create a friendly, trusting atmosphere where patients could have an enjoyable dental experience.
Together we grew. We grew as a practice and as a team. We grew in knowledge and experience. We grew as professionals and individuals. Together we learned. We learned the latest on periodontal disease and established a program to allow our patients to fight and win against periodontal problems. We learned about decay and established a cavity prevention program to help our patients with decay issues. We learned to communicate and used this knowledge to build a better team and better relationships with our patients. We learned all we could about dentistry and team work so that we could become the best dental practice we could possibly be. It was Diane’s drive and desire that pushed us forward.
We pushed each other. We supported each other. We urged each other forward. We respected each other. We cared for each other. We fought each other. Diane became my dental “BFF”.
After this week, Diane won’t be here anymore. My friend and confidant is retiring after 27 years of dedicated service to our patients. I am happy for her. She has other interests (grandkids being #1) that she can now give more time to. I hope she takes time for herself and enjoys her life. She deserves all the happiness in the world. I am sad for our practice though. Our patients will lose a hygienist who gave all she had to make their health better. She gave time to each patient and tried to help them in any way she could. Our team will lose a leader and a mentor. We called her “The Matriarch” out of respect and affection. She has guided and inspired our entire team. The dental profession is losing a professional who exemplifies the role of dental hygienist. No one does their job with more love or passion than Diane.
I am experiencing so many emotions. But mostly I feel grateful. I am grateful that Diane has been a part of my life both personally and professionally. I am grateful for her inspiration and leadership. I am grateful for her need to learn and share her knowledge. I am grateful that she has stayed by my side all these years. I am grateful she is my friend. But most of all, I’m grateful that I no longer have to put up with her Spartan crap! I love you Diane! J
The good news is Diane has agreed to be a sub for us on occasion. So while she may not be here every week, we will get to enjoy her company once in a while. Next month I’ll tell you about the wonderful hygienist who is replacing her!
Good Luck Diane!