Palm Trees & Prilocaine

Palm Trees & Prilocaine

There’s something so satisfying about landing in gorgeous Southern California and reveling in the humid air, stunning palm trees and endless sun.  Every time I fly into Santa Ana airport… which has been almost quarterly lately… I am reminded of how truly beautiful our West coast is!

As with most of my trips to Southern California, I was incredibly honored to be invited to speak for the Orange County Dental Hygienists’ Society for their fall CE weekend.  I do believe there is truly nothing quite like unpacking 4 hours of local anesthesia talk at 8am on a Saturday morning, but if you’re going to do it, might as well do so in gorgeous Southern Cali!

What I love about being in California is the opportunity to learn about the hygiene community and the unique things they have done in California to evolve, grow and ultimately rise in advocacy and leadership within the community.  It takes forward thinking; the kind of thinking California’s leadership has to truly move the needle in innovation.

In true busy-bee Katrina style, I had squeezed in a quick 2 hour program with OraPharma that morning in Phoenix before zipping off to the airport and whizzing through TSA Precheck to make my quick and incredibly uneventful flight into Santa Ana.  Over cocktails and farm-to-table dinners a few short hours later, I met with leadership from Dimensions of Dental Hygiene and shared fresh ideas about the ways in which our industry is continuing to move forward.

It is truly awe-inspiring to see the ways in which the publications within our industry strive to continually maintain and uphold the highest standard of excellence.  In turn, they are working to keep an open mind to the ways to honor tradition while moving forward with modern and futuristic modalities. As such, I’m truly grateful to be part of the Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Ambassador program, and I do encourage anyone who is interested in the program to reach out and learn more about it!

After a few glasses of wine at the hotel bar, I was off to dream of Lidocaine and Articaine and Mepivacaine, oh my!

The hustle and bustle of the morning created an effervescent energy in which coffee-buzzed hygienists overfilled the conference room in anticipation of my course content in local anesthesia troubleshooting, techniques and trends.  While I pride myself on delivering this content in a clear and concise way, I also believe that learning is best done in a relaxed and fun-loving environment. Through laughs and conversation, we shared commonalities in the challenges and successes we have all experiences as providers delivering local anesthetic.

As with any time I deliver my local anesthesia content, I felt like time just flew by as quickly as the pulpal duration of 2% Lidocaine without vasoconstrictor… (that was supposed to be funny….)

On the Uber ride to the airport, my email inbox swelled with the kind words of participants who were moved from my course content.  One email, in particular, completely moved me:

“…you were all of a sudden next to me as I ‘dorked out’ like a lil girl meeting her fairy princess at Disneyland.  I introduced myself and pretty much hope I said nothing stupid….might have been speechless which is really hard for me…uggg lol!  It’s been awhile since I was a member of the CDA…financial crap happens…and things are definitely looking up for my family and I so when I saw that you were speaking, I Joined and Signed up for your course.  Thank the Lord I did because you are absolutely amazing, knowledgeable, beautiful and you love my 3 favorite things…wine, Hygiene and Animals (okay, I love my husband too but those 3 things keep me sane, lol).  I respect and love all that you have done and all that you strive to do… You are an AMAZING speaker and I can’t wait to see you again when you are back in CA!!!!  Keep it up Katrina…you are a HUGE Motivation!!!!”

Excuse me while my heart swells with immense and humbling joy!  What beautiful words coming from an esteemed colleague who perhaps doesn’t truly understand the magnitude of this honest message!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a gagillion times: THIS is why I do what I do.  It is why I squeeze in a meeting on a Friday morning, run late to the airport, beg Southwest to still let me check my bag, order a crappy glass of “house Chardonnay” on the plane, iron my blouse on a half-broken ironing board, sip weak hotel coffee and two-step in high heels for hours on end in front of my colleagues: it’s to inspire, to empower, to build awareness, to drive and promote and ultimately, to remind the dental hygiene community of the incredible opportunity they have to continue evolving, growing and reaching for more.  YOU are my why, and I’m so eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to reach you through the incredible leadership at the Orange County Dental Hygienists’ Society as well as the immense support of Dentsply Sirona, whose unwavering love and dedication for hygienists are truly awe-inspiring.

Thanks for everything, Orange County.  I’ll be back in about 5 days for Sanders Board Preparatory!

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