Michael Flanell
Michael Flanell RDH, MBA

What is Break Out blog is about?

March 18, 2020

How do we prepare for the future?

Dear Readers,

Doing this blog has been on my mind for some time. My intent for this blog was to highlight people and their paths to expand their careers in ways other than doing traditional dental hygiene. Traditional dental hygiene includes education, dental services, and treatment of dental diseases.  Expanded careers can be anything from public speakers, teaching professionals, publishers or other professions which having a dental hygiene career was the springboard. 

Today many of us if not all of us practicing traditional dental hygiene have now found themselves at home with time on our hands. The question is how will you use this time productively to advance yourself in ways you thought time did not allow. For me, I am finally starting my blog: Break Out. 

Break Out is named metaphorically to show how professionals who are now or have pursued other career paths, broke out from their traditional dental hygiene course. It is my hope that this forum will be a sharing of advice, tips, mentoring or questions and answers to help others in there quest. 

Now, who am I? My professional bio is listed on the website. How did my journey start?  I started college in the dental hygiene program for 2 reasons, one being that I have always practiced preventative health in my personal life, choosing to live as healthy as I could while trying to adopt healthy options and lifestyles. Dental hygiene was a perfect fit. I could care for healthy people and help them to decide if they too wanted to make healthy choices.  The second reason was that I could only go to college part-time and a 2-year degree was more feasible that a 4-year degree. I needed to work full-time to support myself. As it was it took 5-years to complete my 2-year degree attending part-time. 

The only concern I had from the start was, what if something happened to my hand or both? What would I be left with career-wise? It took me another 10 years to start another college degree, this time a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management. I wanted diversity. it then took me 4 more years to complete my Master of Business Administration for Healthcare Management. I did not have any idea what I was going to do with any of this, however, I believed that if you put one foot in front of the other you will get somewhere. And somewhere I did get. 

After finishing, about a year later still pondering what I could do, a patient started telling me about her teaching career at college. The flashlight went on and "I thought, wow, I could teach." Before not too long, a job posting in Indeed for a clinical dental hygiene professor appeared like a blessing from above. Amazing how the universe works. I applied online on Monday and was called on Tuesday. I was ready for this, I had my credentials all lined up for an opportunity. I followed my "gut" and it paid off. 

For now, that is my story, however, it does not end there, more to follow in the upcoming blogs as I hope to share alongside other people's journeys as well. 

Please add comments, stories or questions. 




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