Today is our long-time hygienist Joan’s last day with the Schumacher & Bauer team. We’ve loved having her here for the last 28 years, and we’re going to miss her so much–but we’re excited for her to get to relax in retirement.
Joan wrote a goodbye letter to our team and patients, and she also shared a brief exit interview with us below.
As I enter my years of retirement, I would like to thank the entire Schumacher and Bauer team. I have had the great pleasure of spending the majority of my 38-year career as a dental hygienist in this very practice. From the beginning, it has always been a wonderful place to work. The patients, the doctors, and the staff have all been good to me and to one another. I have been very blessed to have been a part of this practice and privileged to take care of each and every patient that has been in my care. You will be well taken care of in many years to come. I will always appreciate my association with everyone of you.
Thank you and God bless,
Here are the highlights of Joan’s exit interview with our practice manager Kelly. Thank you, Joan, for everything you’ve given to us over the last 28 years!
Kelly: How does it feel to be about to enter full-blown retirement?
Joan: Weird. It’s very serene. It’s exciting, but I feel like I’m in a bit of a fog just trying to get everything done.
K: What made you want to be a dental hygienist?
J: Well, I wanted to be a Spanish teacher, so I asked my high school Spanish teacher where I should apply. She told me I wouldn’t like being a teacher, a translator or anything similar. So on career day I went from room to room. I was too short to be a flight attendant, and I ended up wandering into the dental hygiene room. I loved and was good at science, I loved people, so I thought it sounded great. That day I got a job at a pedodontist’s office, so after school I got to experience working with patients. A few years later I went to college to become a dental hygienist.
K: That’s great! So how did you meet Dr. Schumacher?
J: After college I spent a few years in San Francisco, and it just wasn’t for me anymore. So I came back to Columbus and went back to my old job in Gahanna. I met my husband, got married, and after another five or six years I went into orthodontics. Finally, I came here. Twenty-eight years later, here we are.
K: What made you stay here so long?
J: I knew I wanted to find a good practice to stay with, I knew I didn’t want to move around. I got a recommendation to come here, and it was just meant to be. I worked really well with the doctors.
K: That’s great! So what about your career do you look back on most fondly?
J: The patients. And also the relationships I have with the team here. It’s been fabulous. I can’t say enough good about it. I’ll miss the camaraderie and the friendships I’ve made. We have so much respect for one another here.
K: Do you think you’ll miss working?
J: I think I will. I think it will take me a few months, and then I’ll do some volunteer work. I’d love to do something to help people with macular degeneration because my mother had that.
K: Are you going to keep up your hygiene license at all?
J: I’m not. Physically it just won’t work. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a broken wrist, but my neck and shoulder have been bothering me, too. So it’s just time for me to say it’s enough.
K: If you were to give advice to anyone who was thinking about going into hygiene or starting on this career path, what would you say to them?
J: It’s a great career. You can work as much or as little as you want, so it’s great for someone who wants to have a family. It’s a pleasant healthcare job. It’s a very caring job. We really help people, and they appreciate it. It makes you feel good.
K: If you wouldn’t have done this, what do you think you would have done?
J: I probably would have ended up going to business school. Maybe something with corporate travel.
K: Do you plan to travel a lot in your retirement?
J: My husband and I have traveled a lot, so we’re just ready to chill. Maybe we’ll take advantage of some last-minute cruises. Maybe take our time on some road trips. We’re just going to have fun and enjoy each other.
K: Any last words that you’d like to add?
J: I’m very grateful for every opportunity I’ve had here. The doctors have been wonderful. Patients know that we’re having fun here, and that we’re getting good work done, too. That’s what I’m going to miss the most honestly. We leave here at the end of the day happy. I can honestly say there was not a day I didn’t want to come to work. That’s hard for a lot of people to say. Everybody here made it easy to come into work every day.