Last Updated on April 13, 2021 by A. Scott, BSDH
Alanna Kirschner is an International Traveling Dental Hygienist from Canada who has worked in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and now works in Jamaica.
Where are you originally from?
Have you always worked in the dental field? If not, what other fields? Any other degrees acquired before turning to hygiene?
Started in Dental Hygiene but have become a Health Coach and a business owner.
What country did you or do you work abroad in? From which years?
Das Fuerstentum Liechtenstein (The principality of Liechtenstein), Switzerland and Jamaica
What inspired you to move abroad?
Tired of winters and actually wanted to quit hygiene.
What did your family say?
They were cool, sad but knew that I am an adventurer.
Were you afraid?
Not until the airplane took off from Toronto and then I first asked myself what was I doing.
What is/was that region known for?
Alps, chocolate, wine and cheese
What practice did you work for and in which specialty? Makeup of staff, etc?
General practice and one office also provided orthodontics.
What is/was your social life like?
Most excellent. Clubbing in different countries, sports, festivals, traveling.
What did you most enjoy? Least enjoy? Why?
Enjoyed the abundant adventure. Least enjoyed the initial isolation and missing my family and friends.
What were the patients like? Any exceptional experiences? Good or bad?
The patients have always been appreciative of the level of treatment provided.
How did the experience change you as a person? Professionally? Personally?
I became fearless, open to new languages, experiences, people. I am also not at all materialistic. I could leave everything behind (except my children) and be fine.
Do you still practice hygiene? Why or why not? Any plans to leave hygiene?
Still practice part- time, would love to retire but the patients would be unhappy. I would prefer to focus on my business and family but still commit to seeing these patients.
Do you have any other projects or businesses on the side?
What did you (or will you) do to move on with your life?
Most likely continue to juggle all of my hats.
Do you have any regrets?
None at all. Wished I would have saved more money.
How would you like to be remembered?
As caring, considerate, compassionate and giving.
Any wisdom you would like to pass on to future internationally practicing hygienists?
Take time, slow down, be passionate and respect the patient.
Featured photo by Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash