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References relate to the course "Ergonomics in Pain Management Including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for Hygienists"
Part 1:Testimonials

There are two types of information that explains and supports any philosophy, i.e. anecdotal (testimonials) and scientific (research).

These testimonials are meaningful to Dr. Meador because he remembers most of these people from the one-on-one, hands-on time they spent at the chair. For others, objective data will offer a more realistic means to validate the benefits cited in the testimonials which determined the claims made in the course material. Click here to read excerpts from some published studies.

Each one of these testimonials was significant in helping the author to realize the basic influence of ergonomic principles on practicing hygienists, and the magnitude of the changes that the experience had brought about in their lives.

The reason there is a program called BioCentric Seminars is because of positive feedback in the form of testimonials. In early 1985 Dr. Meador worked with several San Antonio hygienists in scaling and root planing technique in some informal sessions. Several months later, M.M. RDH said (paraphrase) "I just wanted to write and tell you again how much I have benefitted from your class --- I'm using the right instrument --- it's made removing calculus much easier--- sharp instruments definitely make a prophy easier --- I was having some pain in my arm and shoulder --- Since your class I've not had that trouble --- my patients sense that I am more effective (with sharp instruments) and I just feel better about myself." The statement "I just feel better about myself" was the clincher.

Others supported her statement, and he started to wonder how they could experience such a remarkable improvement from just a few minutes of informal coaching at the chair?

That experience launched a three year search of the orthopaedic and ergonomic literature looking for the answer. But that is another story, that is told elsewhere. This particular testimonial with the background information was pivotal in the history of BioCentric Seminars.

The same theme of an improved self image and quality of life continued to surface in feedback from hygienists over the years.

. Testimonial #1

The case history that was the most significant in pinpointing the need for ergonomic principles in instrumentation technique took place in January of 1992. L. G., RDH, had been trained in a full-arm motion technique and worked for eighteen years as an expanded duty hygienist in California, which, as we all know, is the hardest physical work in the field. In joining the faculty of a school of dental hygiene she was required to adopt wrist activation techniques. Within weeks symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome developed. The diagnosis was confirmed by neurological examination. She reported pain not only in performing the wrist movements in the technique, but the fact that she was teaching the technique that had created the problem for her was an emotional and ethical problem, as well. It was at this point in time that she took the BioCentric Seminar, which confirmed her assumption that it was the change in technique that had caused the problem. After leaving the faculty, and returning to full time practice using the full-arm-motion technique it took several months for the symptoms to disappear. Ten years later she was still working a heavy schedule in comfort.

Testimonial #2

In November of 1991, T. T., RDH took the course. She had been in hygiene for twelve years. In the last two years CTS had developed resulting in release surgery in July 1991, followed by rehabilitation therapy, etc. The rate of deterioration of her condition was unchanged by the surgery, and she estimated that she would not be able to practice past February of 1992. The month after the course Dr. Meador called and asked her how things were going. Her answer was (paraphrase) "As long as I practice the way that was taught in the course I am comfortable. This morning I slipped back into my old technique and the pain started and continued all day." She went on to say that she wished she had been taught a full arm motion technique in school. At the last report eight years later, she was still working full time. (top of page)

Testimonial #3

In April 1995 L. W., RDH took the course. In June (two months later) she called to ask if she could audit the course. When she attended the course that same month, her story was this (paraphrase) "When I took the course I had been in practice for ten years and during the last five years I had been in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I was working part time while studying in preparation for a career change, but hated to give up hygiene. After the course the pain began to subside, and I could enjoy my evenings and days off again. I could once again cut up vegetables, enjoy sports and all the things I had been denied for so long. I am back working full time and enjoying myself. I know that I am an easier person to work with now. I wish I had been introduced to these techniques in school." (top of page)

Testimonial #4

In 1992, C. R., RDH had been practicing ten years, with the last two years in pain with CTS. Release surgery had been done on both wrists the year before and repeated on one wrist in 1992, when she was forced to quit dental hygiene and become a public school classroom teacher. In July of 1997 she took the course and returned to working hygiene two days a week, that gave her relief from classroom teaching. (top of page)

Testimonial #5

This last testimonial came by letter, ten months after she had taken the course.

 

August 2, 1999

Dear Dr. Meador,

I must confess I have written this letter in my head at least a hundred times while I was working. When I was home, however, I'd forget all about it. My apologies for taking so long to write.

My hand and wrist continue to improve since implementing the techniques I learned in your class about carpal tunnel syndrome last October. I was able to apply much of what you taught at work. The entire office now wears the gloves you recommended. I was able to rearrange the operatory in order to work from behind the patient. We have several of the sharpening stones and I use the currettes almost exclusively.

Probably the hardest part was learning to use the power strokes. I can tell pretty quickly when I have slipped away from them. They are truly the key to success for the whole process.

I have gotten many positive comments from patients about how clean their teeth feel now after prophies. This is especially true from new patients.

Thank you for your dedication to sharing your knowledge with our profession. You offer hope for many like me who had doubts about the future. Please keep it up.

Best to all of you.

Sincerely yours,

J. M. RDH


Several points in the letter attest to how serious she was in implementation following the course and how effectively she convinced her office of the essential nature of these basic ergonomic factors, i.e. anatomic gloves for the entire office, rearranging her operatory to improve access to the chair, having several sharpening stones, the increased use of (sharp) curets, and perseverance in mastering the power strokes. Consequently, her hand and wrist continued to improve, she has had many positive comments from patients, and she has "hope for many like me who had doubts about the future." One reason she had doubts about the future was the fact that she had lost three years due to work pain. (top of page)

Click here to read excerpts from some published studies.

 

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