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Interview: Anna Middleton and Megan Fairhall on their upcoming ‘Live To Thrive’ Study Day for Dental Hygienists and Therapists

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  Posted by: Dental Design      11th April 2023

In this exclusive interview, we caught up with Megan Fairhall, founder of #LIVETOSMILE, and Anna Middleton, founder of London Hygienist, to discuss their upcoming study day for dental hygienists and therapists, ‘Live To Thrive’, which takes place on Friday 28th April at the Philips UK Head Office in Farnborough.

What is Live To Thrive and how did the idea come about?

Megan: Live To Thrive is a course formulated by myself and Anna, in association with Philips, to support other hygienists and therapists to progress in their careers. The course focuses on improving clinical workflow, increasing revenue and finding passion in the dental world.

Anna: Thrive was created because I had so many hygienists and therapists asking me how I created my brand and business, so I decided to create a one-day course to share what I had learnt and applied over the years. I wanted to share my highs and lows to empower others to work smarter, and my course was designed to not dwell on clinical skills but to focus on the individual and their potential and transformational goals.

Why is a good work/life balance so important? Does it necessarily mean working less?

Anna: I have suffered burn out several times throughout my career, so being able to learn how to have a better work/life balance was important. For me, it’s not about working less, it’s about working smarter rather than harder. By applying various methods, I have been able to work in a healthier manner as well as establishing boundaries that help to keep me healthy and performing well.

Megan: They are so many more career opportunities now for dental hygienists and therapists, meaning you don’t have to be in surgery five days a week breaking your back. It’s all about increasing your pounds per hour and utilising your scope of practice as well as seeking out other career options within the industry.  “Work smarter not harder” – that’s always been mine and Anna’s motto, and we are living proof that it is possible in this industry.

Would you say that a happier personal life results in a more successful professional life?

Anna: Absolutely, it is so important that all areas of your life feel purposeful and meaningful. We take a lot on as dental professionals because we work with people for whom we care for. Therefore, it is vital that we are able to give ourselves that same level of care and keep our metaphorical cups filled up. I am a big advocate for regular breaks; I try and take time out every 3 months and have a day off each week, just for me.

Megan: Having a good foundation in your personal life with supportive friends and family, practicing good daily habits, and a happy home will, of course, all relay into your professional life and, in turn, the care you provide for your patients.

Balancing the different pillars in life is important to ensure you are enjoying and maximising all areas, including your work life, social life and, of course, your health but without reaching burnout and spreading yourself too thin. I try to implement small, consistent actions in each area without putting too much pressure on myself.

What kinds of non-clinical opportunities are available to dental hygienists and therapists?

Megan: When I was training at university, the opportunities for DHDTs were not as vast but dentistry has come a long way in the past decade. There are more and more options available to advance your career for both clinical and non-clinical roles. For example: working with brands, creating your own products, facial aesthetics, podcasts and collaborating with other industries to promote health.

Anna: I have been able to enjoy a variety of non-clinical opportunities, such as charity work, writing for the dental press, podcasts, webinars, teaching, and working with brands.

Is marketing yourself and building a brand hard work? Can it be fun and personal?

Anna: For most, it can be daunting, putting yourself out there but, if you are working with purpose and a plan, it becomes easy and enjoyable. When you know how to approach the task in hand, you can really fly with it. That’s why I wanted to teach the pillars of branding and marketing within ‘Thrive’ to help give delegates the blueprint and building blocks to be able to do these things for themselves. I am teaching the things that I did, and continue to do, with my own business.

Megan: I absolutely love applying my creativity into my own brand and having the freedom to expand it into the areas I enjoy the most. It has created a lot of exciting opportunities and allowed me to grow and collaborate with others, including some of the biggest brands in the world. So much so that it doesn’t ever feel like “hard work” – I guess that’s when you know you have found your passion: when work doesn’t actually feel like work!

To book tickets to Anna and Megan’s Live To Thrive Study Day on Friday 28th April, where each delegate will also receive a free Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush and a certificate for six hours eCPD, click here.

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