SurgiTel Loupes Changed My Posture and Changed My Life
Joyce Turcotte, RDH, M.Ed, FAADH
As a meeting planner and business owner who has a dual discipline in dental hygiene and education, Joyce Turcotte has coordinated over a thousand topics and speakers on land and sea. Unique clinical programs, such as dental hygiene refresher courses, private coaching, and training classes in current dental technology keeps her company PLS on the cutting edge and one step ahead of tomorrow’s standards.
Early in my dental hygiene career I often compromised my posture to see the quadrants I was treating by bending over and twisting my body around my patient. By my forties, this was no longer working and with vision changes, I looked for vision assistance. I started using drugstore reading glasses. Then, about fifteen years ago, I learned about the benefits of loupes at a dental trade show. I purchased a pair that seemed like they would work. After trying them a few times, I did not like the way they felt heavy on my face. I thought that all brand loupes were the same so I chose the least expensive. I soon learned that was a mistake! Just like anything else you purchase, do the research and choose quality over price as an investment. Well, my bargain basement loupes ended up in the “junk drawer” – what a waste of money. For some time, after that, I went back to stronger reading glasses, and then I tried safety bifocal glasses. My posture continued to be compromised leading to physical discomfort.
Many years after my unpleasant experience with the loupes, I met Greg Smith. Greg was representing SurgiTel at a meeting hosted by my company, Professional Learning Services (PLS). As Greg talked about ergonomic loupes with the audience, it was clear he was very knowledgeable on the subject. The SurgiTel loupes he demonstrated were certainly not like the pair I had in my “junk drawer.” I was so impressed I had to learn more about them. I spoke with Greg one-on-one about my previous experience.
Greg measured me for loupes right at that meeting and soon sent me a pair built to my specifications. They were AMAZING. The difference was night and day. With my new SurgiTel loupes there was no learning curve, no vision problems, strains, dizziness, or headaches. With quality and technological improvement in design, I could “clearly” see the difference! Buying that low-quality pair of loupes was like throwing my money away. My SurgiTel loupes were an investment.
When wearing my SurgiTel loupes I find I sit taller. I’m not crawling into the mouth to see. When I’m physically comfortable while treating patients I’m so much more relaxed and I really get to enjoy my teaching and practice. My quality of life is literally better.
Because of the damage to my neck and upper back I have to receive regular chiropractic treatment. At the height of my pain, I would need treatment three times a week. This was not normal, but what could I do?
What I did was take control of my own work environment and invest in myself. My loupes were part of an entire ergonomic “restart.” I started practicing relaxation and used exercises to reduce muscle strain. These have been a great relief to me.
Truly ergonomic equipment was also critical. A good posture is built on good tools that are adjusted to your body and your work. I would say my loupes have made the biggest difference in my new posture and all the relief it brings to me. I went from chiropractic work three times a week to maybe two times a month. I almost can’t believe it. I can’t undo the injuries I’ve already suffered, but when working correctly I experience a huge difference.
As an educator and a national speaker, I strongly encourage that dental professionals make the investment to work without injury. I know from personal experience there can be serious consequences to your health. I present a CE course “Are You Current in DH?” where one part is about magnification. I always bring my loupes with me and invite all the audience members to check them out. Quite often, people are so impressed they ask me where they can get a pair like them. My SurgiTel loupes simply speak for themselves. Another program I offer is a four day DH Refresher Course. Frequently I am working with hygienists that have not used loupes and am happy to share with them that it is easier to practice today than it was years ago.
In the dental hygiene school and dental school where I am an adjunct faculty, first-year students are purchasing loupes. I used to spend time correcting posture but not anymore. I’ve seen the best posture in all my years as an educator when students are using loupes.
I encourage anyone starting out in their career to start right and get a pair of quality, ergonomically built loupes. Do not accept anything that feels uncomfortable or heavy, you will regret it later. And if you’re working with neck pain right now, or if your current loupes force you to tilt your head more than 20 to 25 degrees which may lead to neck pain, upgrade now! Your health depends on it!
– Joyce Turcotte, RDH, M.Ed, FAADH
Professional Learning Services LLC, est. 1987
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