Saturday, November 14, 2009

Anyone a dental hygienist?

I'm about to start my senior year of high school and have been trying to really figure out my plans for after this year. I want to make decent money, but I don't really want to be in school forever. I've researched highest paying jobs requiring only associates degrees, and I'm actually interested in one of them, dental hygienist. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me from first-hand experience how hard the classes are to get an associates in Dental Hygiene. Also, do you like your job as a hygienist? What are the best and worst things about it? Also, I'm currently in a COE (cooperative office education) program with my high school. I get to leave school early to go to work, but I've already had this job for a year, and it would be hard to change now with the school requirements and all, so I can't really go work in a dental office yet to see if I think I'll like it. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Anyone a dental hygienist?
As a dental hygienist of 15 years I can say I definately wouldn't choose to change my career. The pay is great, but that isn't really the best part of what I do. What I really enjoy the most is being respected medical professional that has the opportunity to make a genuine impact in my patient's lives. You can educate a person so that they can take better care of themself, or save them from a problem that is already present (like oral cancer). You might get to see a family grow (or grow up) if you are in a practice for a long enough time and may become the reason why the come to the office even though they are fearful. You might be part of a team that you look forward to working with. The opportunities to go out and help in the community (like talking with a group of girl scouts or at a school fair) are endless.

I graduated 15 years ago and the schooling is intense, but I also managed to work and have a boyfriend (who became my husband between the 1st and 2nd year). I just graduated this May with my Bachelor's degree, though many hygienists just get their Associate's so they can begin working to pay off their bills. You can furthur your education (from an associate's degree to a bachelor's) and teach at the college level, work as a sales rep or be involved in research. My flexibility with my schedule at work has allowed me to raise a family and go back to school for my bachelor's degree. My employer helps pay for uniforms and continuing education along with retirement and vacation benefits. It is best to be physically fit for this job. I could go on and on, but if you think this may be the career for you it might be a good time to ask your dentist if you could spend some time at the office and see what it is like. I currently have a high school junior shadowing me on Fridays...If you can't shadow during the week many offices are open Saturdays or nights!

Hope that helps!

JAMRDH - a dental hygienist
Reply:I think it's an excellent idea. Just don't listen to anyone else who would tell you to go into nursing instead.

Dental Hygenists in Nevada are coming out of school and starting around $60,000 a year. There's a shortage there.

There's also a shortage of nurses, but they're all overworked and abused.
Reply:I am a student attending my last year in the dental hygiene program. It is a challenge but the time flies by and I am already getting offers. I don't graduate until may 08. It is a high demand field and pays well from what I researched. Also if you change your mind while you are in college, pre requisites such as microbiology, A %26amp; P, and nutrition are needed for many other majors so you won't be waisting your time. Good Luck


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