Hygiene vs. Nursing

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Amanda in Moulton, Alabama

78 months ago

Has anyone went to nursing school and Hygiene school? I was wondering which was more challenging?

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Amanda in Moulton, Alabama

78 months ago

Wow! That is interesting. Where I live EVERYONE is going into nursing and it is a very respectful job. Hygiene on the other hand is not well respected. It seems that nurses think that nursing school is hard and nothing can compare to it so I was just wondering how big a difference there was in RN school and programs such as hygiene. Thanks for the response.

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sal in Arvada, Colorado

78 months ago

those who don't get into hygiene school become nurses

just as those who don't get into med school become pharmacists

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whatevah in Kansas City, Missouri

76 months ago

This is a very interesting discussion. Nursing is hard, but what is hard about it is the way nurses treat eachother. If you haven't heard this phrase yet, here it is: "nurses eat their young" . Funny thing, any species that eats their young becomes, well extinct. Look at the newspaper. there aren't enough nurses. Gee. Wonder why. Isn't it interesting while people lay dying or gravely ill, people can sit around & write nit picky things about others, report someone for the most inane thing or smear someone's name completely out of the profession. Yippee. Where do you sign up for that? It only costs $50,000 to get ready? ?

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Dana Scully in Eugene, Oregon

75 months ago

sal in Arvada, Colorado said: those who don't get into hygiene school become nurses

just as those who don't get into med school become pharmacists

Yeah....where are you getting that from???

I know some Hygiene student and I know some Nursing student. Both school are challenging in their own ways, but I don't really think one is harder than the other....

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twinsy in Miami, Oklahoma

73 months ago

reba in Erlanger, Kentucky said: I am a nurse and I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week to get my degree. This left little time for work or family. The pre requisites are the exact same for my dental hygiene program I am going entering and I don't think that the clinical experiences can even be compared. They are two very different jobs. I am sure no one was coded or died during the dental hygiene clinicals. I am pretty sure you don't worry about which one of your patients could code or die at any point in your day when you are cleaning their teeth. I am almost sure that when you care plan your plan could not potentially miss something that will endanger a patient and ultimately end you up in court. I am sure that hygiene school is demanding but honestly can you truly compare it to nursing. They are two very different job types. I am for one glad to be getting out of nursing.

That is sooo true! I thought the same thing - that what are the chances of someone dying in the chair? Anxiety- yes. Anyway. I am currently enrolled in an RN program but my heart is in DH. (I really like teeth.) I worked really hard to get into the DH program; however, 3 weeks before to the end of the 2nd semester I failed the proficiency. (I feel it was a combo of both me and the instructors.) Anyway, I was soooo depressed, but I now feel I should have just jumped right back in there and applied at another school. I was afraid to and had lost much of my self esteem and confidence. Anyway, now I'm enrolled in an RN program. It hasn't even been a week yet, but I feel I am just there to check it out. I like the idea of specializing. Can an RN specialize? Can you give me any insights to my delimma? Please let me hear them.

Friends, at the time of my DH demise, said, "oh, it's the way it's suppose to be." But, what about the phrase, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again?"

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Rachel Star in Long Beach, California

71 months ago

Well lets take a look at both jobs. I was told by someone in my prerequisite classes( that is going into RN) that I have a nurses brain and that if I went into Hyg. I would be making less money and get carpal tunnel.
I am afraid of working with sick and elderly patients. Maybe babies or mental patients, but teeth and periodontal disease just are not scary to me. I want to get the world to floss.

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Karen in Ann Arbor, Michigan

71 months ago

Of course a nurse can specialize, and many do. As a nurse, the world is your oyster. I would like to know which other profession allows you to start out in oncology, switch to trauma or research and finish up teaching? Nursing is versatile and very flexible for families. However, it isn't dental hygiene. Anyone who said that those who cannot get into hygiene end up in Nursing did not go to the University of Michigan. That was an incredibly ignorant thing to say.

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WhoopWhoop in Utica, Michigan

70 months ago

So DH is harder than RN?..... I wouldn't think so

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marim1972 in Auburn Hills, Michigan

69 months ago

whatevah in Kansas City, Missouri said: This is a very interesting discussion. Nursing is hard, but what is hard about it is the way nurses treat eachother. If you haven't heard this phrase yet, here it is: "nurses eat their young" . Funny thing, any species that eats their young becomes, well extinct. Look at the newspaper. there aren't enough nurses. Gee. Wonder why. Isn't it interesting while people lay dying or gravely ill, people can sit around & write nit picky things about others, report someone for the most inane thing or smear someone's name completely out of the profession. Yippee. Where do you sign up for that? It only costs $50,000 to get ready? ?

Touche'! I would have to agree. I have never seen more backstabbing to woman than in the nursing industry. And the sad thing is it's being done by other women. Guess we've come a long way baby.

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rn2dh in Montreal, Quebec

68 months ago

Well i was in Rn program at vanier. I got to surgical and its hard.. and now planning to go to dental hygienist and hope things will work out.

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Jennyfer in Inverness, Florida

68 months ago

reba in Erlanger, Kentucky said: I am a nurse and I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week to get my degree. This left little time for work or family. The pre requisites are the exact same for my dental hygiene program I am going entering and I don't think that the clinical experiences can even be compared. They are two very different jobs. I am sure no one was coded or died during the dental hygiene clinicals. I am pretty sure you don't worry about which one of your patients could code or die at any point in your day when you are cleaning their teeth. I am almost sure that when you care plan your plan could not potentially miss something that will endanger a patient and ultimately end you up in court. I am sure that hygiene school is demanding but honestly can you truly compare it to nursing. They are two very different job types. I am for one glad to be getting out of nursing.

As far as missing something important you are very wrong, but as you said you are not a dental hygienist as of yet. You have plenty to learn. Only when you are a dental hygienist will you gain much respect for the career. You do have a license to uphold. Hygienist can absolutley end up in court. The dentist nor does the practice have to be accoutnable. he hygienist can lose his oe her license. I know of a hygienist whom misdiagnosed a lesion. It was malignant and the pt died. How is that for responsibility.

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Jaclyn in Princeton, Missouri

68 months ago

WhoopWhoop in Utica, Michigan said: So DH is harder than RN?..... I wouldn't think so

Yes DH is harder than Nursing. I am currently a Dental Hygiene student and I can tell you that for a DH degree more classes are involved..such as physical science classes..Chemistry..Biology. In Nursing the only prerequisites are A&P and Microbiology. Plus the math is different in DH with College Algebra being incorporated and with Nursing only Allied Health Math.

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T in Toronto, Ontario

68 months ago

Jaclyn in Princeton, Missouri said: Yes DH is harder than Nursing. I am currently a Dental Hygiene student and I can tell you that for a DH degree more classes are involved..such as physical science classes..Chemistry..Biology. In Nursing the only prerequisites are A&P and Microbiology. Plus the math is different in DH with College Algebra being incorporated and with Nursing only Allied Health Math.

There are different levels of nursing so you can not say DH is harder because some people invest 5 years to becoms a Nurse Practioner, RN is a 4 year program which involves a lot. Both professions are good it depends on what the individual wants.

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Samantha in Salt Lake City, Utah

68 months ago

Jaclynn- You DO NOT know what you are talking about! The prerequisites are almost the exact same! For nursing you have to take Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Statistics, etc.... Educate yourself before you start telling people what you obviously don't know. That's why the degree is call a BSN, Bachelors of Science in Nursing! It's a Science degree for H*#@ sake.

Both are good professions. I really wish people would stop trying to compare the two. Especially people who have NO idea about what they are saying.

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natasha in Knob Noster, Missouri

68 months ago

I think you all should be proud of your accomplishments. Either career takes alot of hard work and dedication. I am considering both. I love the flexibility that comes with nursing, as I have never been a mon. thru fri. 9-5 person. But, as I understand, dh's most often work part time (same hours my kids will be in school when they go), so that sounds like flexibility could be in that career too. Am also wondering is dh super repetitive or is their potential for variety??? I've spent 6 yrs as a hairstylist and I truly love that. but now that I have 2 little kids, I'm really wanting something with more security at the end of the day. Any opinions?? Oh yeah and how's the money?? inquiring

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Samantha RN in Salt Lake City, Utah

68 months ago

I am a nurse and I honestly love what I do. I feel the money has been good. I graduated in "07" and my salary has already increased more than $8,000.00. The hospital I work for is paying off $40,000.00 of student loans and I have had the flexibility to work the hours that I choose to work. It is also nice to have so many areas of nursing to choose from. I had an idea of what I wanted to do before I graduated and eventually gravitated toward that area after trying something else. I am making just barely under $60,000.00, have 5 weeks vacation in addition to sick days/year, benefits are great............

I think it's a personal decision and both are respectable career choices. I don't know a lot about dental hygiene so I can't comment about that. I would just do as much research on both careers as you can and decide from there which of the two would be the best fit for you.

I am certain the prerequisites are the same, so you could start taking classes while you are trying to make your final decision.

I may be wrong, but in my experience with nurses who are burnt out and tired. They have stuck with the same type of nursing for years and haven't branched out and tried anything else. Part of the beauty of becoming a nurse is all of the different career opportunities you have.

Anyway, Good luck in your decision.

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natasha in Knob Noster, Missouri

67 months ago

Thank you so much Samantha. That was really helpful, and nice to hear someone speak positively about nursing. That's what I've always thought to be one of the perks of a nursing career, (the ability to always try new areas out). I hear so much about burn out, that it's really kinda scared me away. So thanks again!!!

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Barbie Lisoff in Eugene, Oregon

67 months ago

I have always been stuck between the two professions. Being a current Dental Assistant I am looking for advancements or new areas. I feel with nursing I could expand opportunities but yet dental is so fun and a little hard for weak backs. Bending over all day makes your back sore....

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Amanda in Saugus, Massachusetts

66 months ago

reba in Erlanger, Kentucky said: I am a nurse and I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week to get my degree. This left little time for work or family. The pre requisites are the exact same for my dental hygiene program I am going entering and I don't think that the clinical experiences can even be compared. They are two very different jobs. I am sure no one was coded or died during the dental hygiene clinicals. I am pretty sure you don't worry about which one of your patients could code or die at any point in your day when you are cleaning their teeth. I am almost sure that when you care plan your plan could not potentially miss something that will endanger a patient and ultimately end you up in court. I am sure that hygiene school is demanding but honestly can you truly compare it to nursing. They are two very different job types. I am for one glad to be getting out of nursing.

This is actually not true. I'm in Dental Hygiene school now and if we are not careful with their medical history, they could be at a risk for death. Bacterial Endocarditis is a serious condition that occurs through introducing bacteria into the blood stream that leads to the endocardium of the heart. This can happen with every day activities but dental cleanings are at the top of that list. We have to have malpractice insurance. We also could cause potentially deadly reactions while giving local anesthesia. Not all states are allowed to give local anesthesia but in Massachusetts, where I live, it is allowed if you have your permit for it. It really does depend on the health of the patient which is the same for nursing. I was also curious, how many exams do nurses take to become registered? Dental Hygiene has to take 3-4 depending on local anesthesia. Two of the exams are the big ones, one national and one for our area or state.

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Samantha RN in Salt Lake City, Utah

66 months ago

You have to take one test called the NCLEX in order to become licensed/registered. If you choose to educate yourself and become licensed in other areas throughout your career there are obviously several different exams depending what it is that you're doing. A good friend of mine chose to work at a children's hospital on the oncology unit. She then had another year of education at the hospital before she could work on the unit and had to pass a test in order to become licensed to do her specific duties. Nursing is very diverse so there are MANY different venues which means different certifications, licensures, etc... But to get your license as an RN it's one examination.

It's different for CNA's, LPN's, etc. For instance a CNA has to take two tests in order to get their license........

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millah in Raleigh, North Carolina

66 months ago

Wow this is alot of information to take in. I want to become an RN, and I'm hearing so much negative and positive things about nursing. The negative outweighs the positive. I'm a little confused, I really want to become a nurse but when I hear scary things being said it makes me wonder...should I be looking into a different profession? I have a son who has special needs and honestly that's what inspired me to want to become a nurse. Please help me...am I paranoid? Should I really be scared of all the horrible things being said about nursing?

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twinsy in Miami, Oklahoma

66 months ago

millah in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Wow this is alot of information to take in. I want to become an RN, and I'm hearing so much negative and positive things about nursing. The negative outweighs the positive. I'm a little confused, I really want to become a nurse but when I hear scary things being said it makes me wonder...should I be looking into a different profession? I have a son who has special needs and honestly that's what inspired me to want to become a nurse. Please help me...am I paranoid? Should I really be scared of all the horrible things being said about nursing?

Go for it! Be a nurse. If it's your calling and in your heart - do it. Keep in mind there is always something negative And positive with every job/career. Nurses need to be passionate about what they're doing. It sounds like the career for YOU.

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Samantha RN in Salt Lake City, Utah

65 months ago

I agree with twinsy. It sounds like you have already figured out what it is you want to do. Don't let other peoples negative comments sway you from your decision. I LOVE being a nurse and have never regretted my decision. You make a decent living and have a lot of different career paths to choose from. I feel it's also an admirable profession as well. The classes are tough, but if you are driven and really want it it's worth it in the end. If you really feel this is what you want to do PLEASE don't be talked out of it. I work at a teaching hospital and precept nursing students all the time. I always look forward to it and am always pleased to see how many other people are excited and eager to begin their careers. I am soooo proud to have been educated to become a nurse and it sounds like you would too.

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Mandy Norton in Richmond Hill, Georgia

64 months ago

I have looked into both RN and DH. I have a passion for both. I am closer to DH school than nursing because the DH program is an associate's degree. The nursing is a BSN. I am applying real soon for DH and they are only accepting 30 people and RN is accepting 80. I aced A&P. Micro in the process. I feel I will be okay, but I just am nervous if I do get accepted than it will be tempting to take before I know if I got accepted to nursing. Which one would I most benefit from, because I don't want to get out of DH school and not be able to get a job. I am so frustrated, can anyone help me out?

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clover in Gresham, Oregon

64 months ago

Ah- this is a debate I have been struggling with as well. I actually have been accepted to both a DH and RN program in the Portland metro area and am still very undecided. The pre-reqs are very similar so I applied to both. I have a friend in the DH field making 40.00 an hr. but she is doing the same thing day in and day out..and loves it.I also know a lot of people in the nursing field- the main complaints I hear is the amount of charting and how exhausted they are when they leave for the day. There is a lot of variety though and I believe a pretty rewarding career. Anyhow, the best advice I have been given is that either choice is a good decision- they both are excellent careers.

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Tortiya

64 months ago

sal in Arvada, Colorado said: those who don't get into hygiene school become nurses

just as those who don't get into med school become pharmacists

Are you out of your mind? You would not last a day as a nurse!!

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Barbie Lisoff in Eugene, Oregon

64 months ago

I don't think it's fair to say that. Actually the ones that don't get into Medical School get into Dental School. Dentists can be very brutal due to their negative attitudes. Nurses may work very hard but someone needs to..

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Susann in Newark, Ohio

64 months ago

Jennyfer in Inverness, Florida said: As far as missing something important you are very wrong, but as you said you are not a dental hygienist as of yet. You have plenty to learn. Only when you are a dental hygienist will you gain much respect for the career. You do have a license to uphold. Hygienist can absolutley end up in court. The dentist nor does the practice have to be accoutnable. he hygienist can lose his oe her license. I know of a hygienist whom misdiagnosed a lesion. It was malignant and the pt died. How is that for responsibility.

I am just wondering....where was the dentist when this lesion was misdiagnosed? Hygienists legally are not allowed to diagnose. We may know what something is, but by law we are not a doctor.

As far as all the other comments, I think both have very demanding licensing programs. I don't know why people always compare nurses to hygienists. Very different, if you ask me. And I respect both.

to Reba: I have seen several medical emergencies in my hygiene profession over the years . Some that have even required the need of 911. A child going in to insulin shock(not because of dental work, I might add..lol), a heart attack victim(same as above), a patient with vertigo that required a squad, drug reactions, panic attacks, etc., etc. So don't tell me we don't need to be concerned every time a patient sits in our chair. And yes, we, too must be concerned about missing something that could be potentially dangerous. We also carry malpractice insurance.

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Arwen in Astoria, New York

63 months ago

I am both and RN and an RDH. Both jobs have their positives and negatives. I am currently working as an RDH making 39/hr in NYC with no bennies. Formerly, I worked as an Hospital RN in NJ for 32/hr with bennies. The following is just an opinion because I am fortunate enough to have experience in the two fantastic fields.

Dental Hygiene Vs Nursing Schooling: In general Dental Hygiene school was more agonizing only because you have to secure many of your own patients for clinicals. Nothing beats the stress of scrambling to find patients to be you guinea pig for clinic. Otherwise I found the nursing curriculum harder than the hygiene curriculum because there is more critical thinking involved in nursing. As for licensure, the national/state Hygiene boards were in general much harder than the NCLEX because there is a two part regional board as well plus a national board equaling 3 exams in total. One of those exams is a clinical component which nursing does not have.

Career: Nursing is more rewarding and challenging yet much more mentally and emotionally demanding than hygiene. The pay is comparable because nursing offers benefits whereas most hygiene jobs do not. Dental hygiene is much less stressful emotionally and mentally but much more stressful physically. It can get mundane and is not nearly as challenging as nursing. There is also very little opportunity for advancement. However it is a great career for people who do not want too much stress yet a great salary and need to juggle family responsibilities.

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twinsy in Miami, Oklahoma

63 months ago

Thanks for the input.

Don't know if I mentioned this, but I was in a DH program at MSSU (Missouri) for 2 semesters. There were 3 weeks left of the semester. I did not pass my 3rd proficiency - I was out. I feel it was a combination of both myself and the instructors. Out of the three instructors, none of them seem to see the same mistakes I was told I was doing. Then toward the end I remember asking one of them to watch me and she said she wasn't able while she sat at a desk looking at a magazine. Then there was the time (after the one just mentioned) when I planned on practicing-I asked one instructor if she'd be in- she said "no" - she was there and ignored me. I was beginning to feel they had me gone already. I wanted it soooo badly, so much so I did not perform well that last time. A combo of everything.

I still like teeth and the DH profession. Nursing has never been my #1 career choice, though I do like the knowledge, (Shd have been the doc ;) ). I earned a BGS in '04 with minors in psy and bio, but because I already have a bachelor, I'm told I'm not eligible for financial aide at the associate level. I spent/owe a lot of $ for something I did not achieve, plus I have a 17 yr old who plans on attending college fall 2010, so $ is a big issue for me.

I turn 50 this year - I have been doing more soul searching and even though I have been accepted into the local nursing program for this fall I am really thinking/feeling it's not the way for me to go. I'm looking into what it would take for me to get a masters in psy or even looking into physical therapy or PT assistant. (I'm into health/wellness, and keeping fit.) The PTA is also an associate degree, but I have everything met and it's just 11 months.

One would think at my age I would have found my career, but I moved here from CA, live in the country, good pay/job opportunities = slim, and nearest big cities:Tulsa and Springfield, MO are 1.5 to 2 hours away. Though I am optimistic.

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Sonia in North Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

Hello Every one :)... Okay well let me start by telling you that im 19 Years old and just recently getting back into school since I took some time off to take care of my 3 year old daughter. i think tha many people compare dental hygeine to Register nurse beacause they are both accosiates degrees that make good money. Other than that i dont think they are very much alike at all. however i been researching the two because i think they would suit me well. I initially started looking in to DH but wasn't very succesful at finding a school for DH in my area. So because of that I thought the next best thing would be registered nursing. (Sorry didnt mean to offend anyone) Now I have found a school that actually have both degree programs in my area. I thought I was sure about getting into dental hygiene but now i am very undesided on what i want to do. And well that !SUCKS! According to my "reasearch" I saw that dental hygienists make more money and suposedly the jobs for Dh will increase about 40%... However, what I like about the whole registered nurse degree is that they have many more options to branch out. Since i am only 19 years old i dont want to limit myself to one paticular practce which i would do if i went for dental hygiene. What if i dont like it? I didnt know i was so exited about being a dental hygienist until, the moment i found out there was a school here for me, to attempt to get into only because i screamed out "YES! YES OH MY GOD FINALLY!" lol but now im woried its not the right choice after reading alot of negative things here for example not finding a job, no benifits (since i have my daughter to think about, no vacations... PLEASE HELP I NEED SOME REALLY GOOD ADVISE... Thanks for listening...

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Amanda in Albertville, Alabama

61 months ago

Hey, I think that it is awesome that you are going back to school. Both careers are great and I think you would be happy doing either. I am a RDH and I love it but I to do not want to get tired of the same old thing. I am now pursuing my BS in hygiene through online courses and this will open more doors in the hygiene field for me. It will allow me to be an instructor, researcher, lobbyist, and several other aspects of hygiene that are not just clinical. However, the range is not as great as nursing so you should really think about it all. No one can make your mind up for you. However, I will add that I do not receive benefits but that is okay for my family because my husband has benefits with his job. My dentist will bill my insurance for all dental work performed on anyone in my immediate family but will not charge me the balance - which is nice and appreciated. If you have any other questions just reply. I will be happy to discuss it with you.

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hyg sucks in Richmond, Virginia

61 months ago

The future outlook of hyg is not looking good in som areas. You will always find work in nursing. Our hrs are better but if you need more hrs and overtime you will find it in nursing. I am going back to school for it. I like hyg but not the DDS in I have worked for. The plus is in most offices your dental is free. Alot of places don't offer health and family can cause like $1200 a month. The decision is yours. Try to shadow someone in both fields. Maybe that can help you decide. Actually Nevada is not a bad place for hyg. The only thing I hate the most is our retirement rate is sooner. With the economy we may have to work till we're 70.

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Mindy RDH in Lewisville, Texas

61 months ago

I'm an RDH in Texas. What I find most frustrating about hygiene is there a lot of dentists that are hard to work with. Also, I find that some offices are way more concerned about the bottom line than the quality of patient care. I understand that the dentist has to make a profit but some places will only give 30 to 40 minutes for an adult prophy! To me that is so ridiculous! (I do a lot of temping) I have been practicing for over 2 years and I am already looking into nursing school. I want something that has benefits and time off. I currently work 2 part-time jobs and will never get any type of benefits. I love working with the patients and I want a job that makes a difference! I am hoping nursing will be the right career for me!

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sophieRDH in Georgia

61 months ago

Being a dental hygienist is a great career, but many places have more hygienists than jobs available. I just graduated from hygiene school, and I can't find a job. When jobs do come open, it is very competitive because lots of people are applying for the same job. I would do some research and see what the job forcast is like in your area. Also, like the other RDH's are saying, it is very hard to find full time work. Most of the hygienists I know are either just doing fill-ins or have part time work with no benefits. For some that it fine for others it isn't. Do some research on both careers and shadow both careers. See which one suits you better. I wish I would have done more research before I made my career choice.

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Amy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

59 months ago

I have always thought I was going to be a dental hygienist. I have applied and interviewed for the local program (Bachelors level) and was told to re-take some prereqs that didn't transfer. That might have really saved me from making a mistake.

Hygiene is very appealing. The hours are great, the pay is usually great, and you get insane amount of vacation. Most dentists are notorious for taking at least two months off a year for vacations. A lot of dentists around here are known to take their entire staff on their vacations with them! It all sounds wonderful and exciting and is a huge reason why I wanted to be a hygienist.
However, I have recently changed my mind to RN, and here is why.
As a bachelor's RN I can go back to school to get my graduate degree. I can become a Nurse Practitioner (which is essentially a Physician's Assistant except you have your own license so you could technically open up your own clinic!), Nursing Educator, CRNA (nurse anethesist), etc. There is so much room to advance as to were I a RDH I could maybe teach and that is it.
The pay is pretty much the same between a RDH and RN, except most RNs have benefits and I don't really know any RDHs who have their own insurance. Most use their husband's because theirs would be too expensive for their dentist.
Also I have heard the same thing about the job market for RDH. I like the idea of being able to move anywhere and finding a job. Another very scary idea to me is the fact that the economy isn't what it was and if a dentist wants to cut costs in his practice the best way for him to do that is to cut his hygienist's hours and clean teeth himself.

I just don't feel like hygiene is the best option for me anymore. However I will say that (at least here in Oklahoma) getting in to a hygiene program is sooo much harder than getting into a RN program. Mostly because there are only 3 programs in our state and they only accept between 12-40 applicants each year from a pool of 200-300.

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ChloeRDH in Southington, Connecticut

59 months ago

reba in Erlanger, Kentucky said: I am a nurse and I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week to get my degree. This left little time for work or family. The pre requisites are the exact same for my dental hygiene program I am going entering and I don't think that the clinical experiences can even be compared. They are two very different jobs. I am sure no one was coded or died during the dental hygiene clinicals. I am pretty sure you don't worry about which one of your patients could code or die at any point in your day when you are cleaning their teeth. I am almost sure that when you care plan your plan could not potentially miss something that will endanger a patient and ultimately end you up in court. I am sure that hygiene school is demanding but honestly can you truly compare it to nursing. They are two very different job types. I am for one glad to be getting out of nursing.[/QUOT

Nursing is definitely a tough career...no doubt about it. I have many close friends that are nurses and I know that I could NEVER do it! The one thing I never understood about nursing school versus dental hygiene school is the examination process. Prior to graduation, I had to take 3 board exams to get my RDH license. I took a written exam ( Notheast Regional Boards) that was 8 hours long. Then, I had to take a 4 hour clinical exam AND I had to find my own patient to sit for this exam. Lastly, I took a 3 hour computerized exam that consisted of identification of structures and more questions. That is an insane amount of exam time, especially when you consider the fact that RDHs only work on one specific body part! So, I guess what I am getting at is why is there so much more testing involved to become an RDH versus a nurse that deals with life and death situations on a daily basis?? Why are nurses only required to take one exam to get their license? I know that you have clinical experience all through school, but so do we.

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mira in Riverview, Florida

56 months ago

Im thinking about both programs but im not too keen on dealing with death on a daily basis as well as vomit and bowel movements. That to me is why i have considered choosing RDH but im not into a mundane boring career either, I can handle blood just fine but those other two bodily fluids is really gross to me, I was thinking that maybe if I were a nurse i can go into a specialty like taking care of scrictly babies. Is this possible straight out of nursing school?

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Jay in Buffalo, New York

56 months ago

nurse in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania said: dental hyg.is harder .....
Have a friend that did dental first and then went for rn and said rn easier ..plus nurses make more !

It seems that dental makes more than RN's that work on the floor...

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Jay in Buffalo, New York

56 months ago

Susann in Newark, Ohio said: I am just wondering....where was the dentist when this lesion was misdiagnosed? Hygienists legally are not allowed to diagnose. We may know what something is, but by law we are not a doctor.

As far as all the other comments, I think both have very demanding licensing programs. I don't know why people always compare nurses to hygienists. Very different, if you ask me. And I respect both.

to Reba: I have seen several medical emergencies in my hygiene profession over the years . Some that have even required the need of 911. A child going in to insulin shock(not because of dental work, I might add..lol), a heart attack victim(same as above), a patient with vertigo that required a squad, drug reactions, panic attacks, etc., etc. So don't tell me we don't need to be concerned every time a patient sits in our chair. And yes, we, too must be concerned about missing something that could be potentially dangerous. We also carry malpractice insurance.

The thing about that is it's not something you have to always assess for and look out for. THe people nurses take care of are sick, and a majority of them could code, or have a heart attack, or PE, and some times, multiple patients are doing it at the same time. You might have an occasional case, but that's not a norm for you. That is a norm for us. If a child is going into insulin shock you call 911. If a child is going into insulin shock for us, we are responsible for treating them the whole way through the occurance, ie. do CPR, give the drugs, shock them, etc. Yes, you have to be ready just in case it might happen in your lifetime, but we do it everyday. My point is that we have to be concerned every minute of our shift, when it would just be an unwelcome surprise for you. As for the above reply, I agree, DH do not diagnose so they probably lost their license for not noticing and reporting, which means they were not doing their job at all in the first place.

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Jay in Buffalo, New York

56 months ago

As for what is harder, all I can say is that with nursing, it's all about critical thinking. DH have a patient for an hour or so on average, and that's it. We have to care and critically think about the same patients and their conditions for our whole 12 hour shift, and a TON can happen in 12 hours, also given that you have to do this with all your patients at the same time. That's the hard part, is dealing with everyones problems at the same time and doing it in a timely manner... I'm sure DH has it's challenges, but nursing is way more stressful and hard.

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Marissa in Stamford, Connecticut

56 months ago

it all depends what school you go to. so there is really no point of reference. some nursing schools are super easy to pass... i've seen some pretty dumb nurses aswell as some pretty dumb hygienist. it all depends on taste. personally i dont like seeing human feces or having to see 10-20 patients all at once. i rather get the one on one personal time with a patient. Hygiene offers that. Plus In stamford, hygienist get paid almost double what an RN gets paid with out having to do overtime.

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carol in Lititz, Pennsylvania

54 months ago

reba in Erlanger, Kentucky said: I am a nurse and I worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week to get my degree. This left little time for work or family. The pre requisites are the exact same for my dental hygiene program I am going entering and I don't think that the clinical experiences can even be compared. They are two very different jobs. I am sure no one was coded or died during the dental hygiene clinicals. I am pretty sure you don't worry about which one of your patients could code or die at any point in your day when you are cleaning their teeth. I am almost sure that when you care plan your plan could not potentially miss something that will endanger a patient and ultimately end you up in court. I am sure that hygiene school is demanding but honestly can you truly compare it to nursing. They are two very different job types. I am for one glad to be getting out of nursing.

Yes...we do have to be aware of all types of medically issues that could cause our patients to react to hygiene care in a negative medical fashion. We do administer local anesthetics which could cause adverse effects as well as death. We do not only clean teeth. We must be aware of all adverse reactions that could occur with medications that patients are on....we are fully aware of the links between oral health and systemic health, of which the medical field should put more emphasis on. Certainly these are two different jobs, and I certainly take nothing away from the nursing profession, you must be hardworking, compassionate and intelligent to become and work as a nurse. I also wish that prior to passing judgment, you step foot into our world, our clinicals sessions...just for a week, you will be amazed at what we are required to know and accomplish in our time in clinicals. I am currently in my second year of clinicals for dental hygiene and my day includes an average of 14 hours per day. We all work hard...let's not waste time comparing ...just spend the time learning!

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AshleySmith15 in Memphis, Tennessee

53 months ago

I have a Bachelors degree in Dental Hygiene. Is there any where that will accept any Bachelors degree into the Nurse Practitioner programs. I want to become a nurse practitioner but wasn't sure if I have to have a Bachelors in nursing or if it could be in Dental Hygiene to be accepted into a NP program.

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Amy311 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

53 months ago

You can't be a NP without your RN license...so you can't just go into the NP program with any bachelors. There are some NP programs that will let you in with another bachelors other than BSN but you have to at least have an Associates RN.

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Lori in Ottawa, Ontario

53 months ago

Amanda in Moulton, Alabama said: Has anyone went to nursing school and Hygiene school? I was wondering which was more challenging?

HI
I did dental hygiene and then BScN and MScN. I found them about the same. I didn't get any credit for my dental hygiene education so i carried a full load in nursing. The curriculum was the hardest in Canada and has since been revised to make it more manageable.

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Lori in Ottawa, Ontario

53 months ago

whatevah in Kansas City, Missouri said: This is a very interesting discussion. Nursing is hard, but what is hard about it is the way nurses treat eachother. If you haven't heard this phrase yet, here it is: "nurses eat their young" . Funny thing, any species that eats their young becomes, well extinct. Look at the newspaper. there aren't enough nurses. Gee. Wonder why. Isn't it interesting while people lay dying or gravely ill, people can sit around & write nit picky things about others, report someone for the most inane thing or smear someone's name completely out of the profession. Yippee. Where do you sign up for that? It only costs $50,000 to get ready? ?

I agree - in acute care nursing the nurses were downright mean! I was a dental hygienist for 24 years before going into nursing. I was never treated badly as a dental hygienist. Dental hygiene is very physically demanding!

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Terry in Toronto, Ontario

53 months ago

Nursing and dental hygienist is not my cup of tea. I don't like the look of blood, body fluids or anything like that. hospitals smells make me sick. What esle can i do?

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twinsy in Miami, Oklahoma

53 months ago

Well, seems as though you may be interested in the medical field since you're on this site but don't want to poke and prode and deal with blood so think about being a Physical Therapist or physical therapist assistant - it's a good field. As our population ages more and more people will need rehab. You won't have to deal with blood and smells (unless you decide to work in the hospital, but you don't have to.) There's always research, psychology, school counseling, and genetics, to name a few ideas.

Good luck on your search for the perfect career.

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