RDH and RN??? in need of advice

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pre? student in Hawthorne, California

66 months ago

Hello good people, I come to you all seeking your wisdon and advice.
I start school this January in Cerritos Ca. I plan on taking and passing all my pre reqs. I also graduate from my local Dental Assisting program that I started recently. I assisted a few Hygienists and DDS's at a local annual free clinic and gained alot of interest in the Hygiene field. To me, it is a really fun dirty job that just so happens to pay well. On the other hand, I have also wanted an exciting and secure career as an RN. I know a few RN's that work part time when I was a scrub tech student externing at a hospital, they were good people and alot of them were working part-time. So what if I wanted to do one first and then the other? and when I am done with both, I can be able to do both occupations?? If this route is not considered a bad idea, how should I do it? I was thinking about giving Hygiene my all at first, graduate, find a gig with minimal hours so that I can pursue the RN career right after. Or vice versa. I really dont care about time, I have plenty to spare. I also dont mind much of the oversaturation of RDH in CA for I am confident in finding employment oppurtunities. This might be a bad idea because I have been thinking about this hard for a few days now what career path I would want to choose. I was a bit discouraged about chasing my DDS aspiration due to money and time but thats another story for another forum I guess. Any advice about anything I am doing from anyone would be greatly appreciated, thanks for reading.

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rdh20 in Lebanon, Illinois

66 months ago

Confidence will not find you a job. If it did, I would be employed right now. Oversaturation of the hygiene field is very real and getting worse every day due to the economy. I graduated in May 2011 and have not been able to get an interview to save my life. If I could go back in time, I would pursue a degree in Therapy, occupational or even physical. I can't tell you what to do, but I can back up the other hygienists who have come on this forum to discuss how difficult it is out there. While pursuing a DDS is expensive, so is pursuing an RDH. I spent close to $3K AFTER graduation just in paying for the boards, and getting licensed. I hate to be negative, as I do love being a hygienist, but I don't know if it's worth it anymore to pursue if I can't even get my foot in the door. Keep researching your options, and really, really look at both career fields. I wish you luck!! :-)

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student_Richi in Whittier, California

66 months ago

Hello, its me, "pre? student" I just made an account/username..
Thank you, that was in fact helpful to me. Wow, so youre telling me that you just graduated, (im guessing youre young, most likely attractive) confident (im also guessing you have an impressive resume and volunteer experience) giving it your all to find employment and still cannot?? How far away from your location do you apply? For a well paying part time gig, I would be willing to travel tops about 60-70 miles 1-way. I dont mind waking up early, plus I fave a honda :)
Is the RDH field REALLY that congested?? plus I just saw that you live in Illinois, I heard times are way tougher in other states. Also, what if I already have positive experience as a Dental Assistant? Would that help my chances? do offices take someone who has been in the field into consideration opposed to someone who has just graduated from a school like yourself (please, I mean no offense)
Honestly, I feel for you, rdh20. And you sound like you really are trying to help me make a wise decision. More feedback would be appreciated, Thank You

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

66 months ago

Go for Nursing = consistent work, hours, paycheck, retirement pkg, med/dental coverage, paid sick days/holidays, pay RAISES.....RDH = pretty much nothing. There a very few Dentists who give all of the above to employee's and I feel in the oversaturation of our field not just now but for many years that those choosing to go into our field with the way it is now, want to learn the hard way...it's a costly learning exp. and having to pay out more to go into another field. PT work for the majority . I do love what I have been doing for 25yrs. , but to say train in this field now, lucrative, work , great pay, etc...it's just not there. There is also alot of backstabbing , because of the oversaturation. Your comment above as to " I'm guessing your young and most likely attractive"...don't understand it. Many from short to tall , plain to pretty are in this field , also young to old...and I mean in their 60's. I am not in my 60's but do feel this is an odd statement to make. Regarding your orignal question...think forward to your retirement and what you...YOU ....are able to save and invest on your own because benefits are very hard to come by as is FT , or even a day for some in their respective states. VET GL on your decision of a career. DH has become a job, with no negotiating power and pay is going backwards...very sad, but honest in my statements and info. for you.

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student_Richi in Whittier, California

66 months ago

I made that comment first because the name was rdh20 im guessing he/shes 20 years old and fresh. Second, because I have read alot of threads from veterans saying that doctors would rather hire a recently graduated attractive student who brings clients and will take a job for a lot less money as opposed to a veteran who would expect more pay with his/her experience. I meant no offense to anybody. I think that is stupid as well. But if a brand new, attractive, low payed, naive RDH cannot find work, then that means we are all pretty much sh** out of luck, am I right?? Im sorry if you read that statement wrong. You make a very good point as to my future as well as benefits, consistent work and being blessed with the ability to work a full time job with ben's in this country. you have really helped me out with your "2 cents" both you and RDH20. I think all this hype on the net about how sweet the job is, is A) only true for the vets. and B) is only to rake in money for profit schools where desperate people sign a costly contract only to be dissapointed in the end with a non-transferrable AA degree. Thank You for your time. I dont know you, but it means alot that good people like you guys go out of your way to "help a brutha out" cheers

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Cerritos College grad in Placentia, California

66 months ago

Dear student_Richi,

It's interesting that you have thought about pursuing both careers because that thought had crossed my mind before.

Dental hygiene is suppose to be a part-time job so finding "a gig with minimal hours so that I can pursue the RN career right after" sounds sensible to me. As long as you know the time and money that you need to spend to get your RDH license and that the end result is satisfactory to you.

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Nicole in Costa Mesa, California

66 months ago

I am an RDH who graduated in 2008 and have been working since up until a month ago. I initially chose hygiene over nursing due to the better working schedules and the opportunity to work more closely with patients on a one-on-one atmosphere. Now, knowing what I know, I wish I would've have gone with nursing. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. The problem is FINDING a job. I have been seriously looking for over a year now and have mailed, emailed, faxed, and hand delivered thousands upon thousands of resumes. I have had interviews but that is as far as it goes. Now a days, each office has the luxury of being as specific as they want to be with each new hire as there are so many out there to choose from. A friend of mine was offered a job based on the city in which she grew up! And the dr was up front and told her that. Since I am still young and I enjoy school I am seriously debating on going back for something else. At this point in my life, it's not all about the money I COULD be making as an RDH it's about HAVING a job that I am happy with and that I can make decent money on to just survive.

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Katrina in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

Nicole I am in the exact same position as you. Graduated in 2007 with my RDH and can't find a job. I get plenty of interviews but no offers. I also love my job - not just the $, but the patient care. I'm also seriously considering RN school. At least there are benefits and retirement and some jobs! We get none of that as RDH's and now they want us to take 40% less in wages too. Good luck to you. I only posted so you'd know you're not the only one out there in this ridiculous position.
...on a side note, I'm told by RN's that we should go for the Bachelor's, not the Associates because their market is low too and it'll make your chances of getting a job better when you're done. Just like getting our RDH from a vocational school vs a community college - that was my mistake. They got $80k and I got a license and no opportunity for employment! Lesson learned.

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pre? student in Pico Rivera, California

66 months ago

Katrina in Sacramento, California said:
...on a side note, I'm told by RN's that we should go for the Bachelor's, not the Associates because their market is low too and it'll make your chances of getting a job better when you're done. Just like getting our RDH from a vocational school vs a community college - that was my mistake. They got $80k and I got a license and no opportunity for employment! Lesson learned.

did you go to vocational or c.c?

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Katrina in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

Vocational. I also have 12 years in the dental field including front ofc, back ofc and insurance. That gets me interviews, but when there's 150 applicants (not an exaggeration) for each job listing, it comes down to who will take the least $, work the shortest schedule (40 min was one place I interviewed for) and under the worst working conditions. Moral of the story...DON'T GO INTO HYGIENE!!!

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Superfluous RDH in Ottawa, Ontario

66 months ago

And it's only going to get worse. In this city there are two well-established community colleges-one English, the other French--both producing very fine hygienists. Then, a private school opened up. Why? Good question! There has never been a "shortage" of hygienists here. Now there are talks of another private school opening up. This is nuts.

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kelewk in Jacksonville, Florida

66 months ago

I have been a hygienist for 20 years & have a license in three states. I have been out of work for a year now. I am now looking to retrain & going back into the nursing field & starting at the bottom where I was before & went to school for my Hygiene degree. Every day I cold call offices to find out if the have any positions, as well as, social media, craigs list & other specific job search websites. I even went to an employment agency where the employee pays the fee, & they told me that when they post a hygiene position they usually have 3 people respond & they find all of them jobs. Now they are getting closer to 12 or 13 responses per posting & not able to find jobs for all of them. Good luck with your decision.

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kelewk in Jacksonville, Florida

66 months ago

I have been a hygienist for 20 years & have licenses in 3 states. I have been out of work for over a year now due to lack of patients. I am now in the process of retraining & going back to school in the nursing field myself. I have been making cold calls to dental offices, making my services available as a sub & asking for referrals to other offices if they know of someone needing a hygienist. I use the social media & craigs list, as well as employment agencies. I even went to one where the employee pays the fee. they told me that for each posting the used to get 3 responses, but the last time they got 12 or 13. When they got 3 they could find jobs for each of them, but not when there were 12. Hope this helps.

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RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

64 months ago

Become a RN not a RDH because there are more, better, jobs for RNs than RDHs. Trust me you will regret becoming a RDH once you learn that a good, nice dentist and dental office is hard to find and even a job at a awful dental office is hard to find!

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