Getting out of the dental hygiene profession

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nmacdonald in Barrie, Ontario

62 months ago

Why not try ultrasound tech or radiography?

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sierra in North Tonawanda, New York

62 months ago

oops, sorry for the unintentional jingoism.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

61 months ago

dh2 in Toronto - I'm with you all the way. I'm in Indiana and there are no jobs here either and you described every dh job I've ever had! I'm looking into nursing or resp.tech. I went to our local hospitals and nursing homes and there are jobs available. The pay is about half of hygiene. But now that I'm on unemployment and make in a week what I made in a day, The other jobs are sounding better. Good luck.

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BM in Fremont, New Hampshire

61 months ago

sierra in North Tonawanda, New York said: oops, sorry for the unintentional jingoism.

Unintentional?

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

61 months ago

dh2 in Toronto,
I am wondering if you made a decision about your future yet? I have thought so much about mine I am more confused. I am looking more into medical coding and billing so I don't have direct patient contact. I saw a job ad today that was $20-$25/hr with benefits. By the time I go back to school for anything I'll be broke.

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dh2 in Toronto, Ontario

61 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: dh2 in Toronto,
I am wondering if you made a decision about your future yet? I have thought so much about mine I am more confused. I am looking more into medical coding and billing so I don't have direct patient contact. I saw a job ad today that was $20-$25/hr with benefits. By the time I go back to school for anything I'll be broke.

hi suzanne,

no...i'm still debating and researching...i don't want anymore direct patient contact either...and you know how alot of people say they want to work with people? i don't want to work with the public anymore...too stressful..been there, done that...i want to sit at a desk and be able to have a coffee in peace and not have to be a champion pee-er because patients are waiting. i'm thinking of accounting or engineering maybe?

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RDH in Calgary, Alberta

61 months ago

dh2 in Toronto I feel exactly the same way, and am thinking of accounting as well. I want nothing dentistry related at all anymore. I can't afford to stop working though to go to school so am doing it through Athabasca University, although its hard to juggle family, work and then school but there is no way I can do dental hygiene for another 20-30 years.

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hehe in Burnaby, British Columbia

61 months ago

Yup RDH in Calgary...I am right along with you. There is no way I want to be in this profession for another 20years not with the way this profession is going. I will soon be juggling family, work and school as well. Good for you and good luck in the future:)

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

61 months ago

dh2 in Toronto, I had to laugh about the champion pee-er. Heaven forbid if you have female problems! I currently have a hygienist friend who was diagnosed with low blood sugar and about 10am she needs to eat a couple bites of something, say 1 or 2 minutes and her dr told her no, so she sneaks into the bathroom to gobble as fast as she can. Friday he asker her if she has an infection, that he thinks she should be able to wait til lunch. Isn't that ridiculous? I wish you the best.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

61 months ago

I wish there was a tally of how many hygienists have benefits so comments like Sierra's would quit being made. They're rude and totally wrong. I could fill a room with hygienists who have never even had a verbal thank-you let alone a benefit of any kind. Hooray for the one's that actually get something besides a paycheck. Our profession is lacking big time in retirement and insurance for us and our families. However, the dentist's are set for the rest of their lives. If they aren't it's because they have made the decision not to invest. We are no given the option.

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BM in Raymond, New Hampshire

61 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: I wish there was a tally of how many hygienists have benefits so comments like Sierra's would quit being made. They're rude and totally wrong. I could fill a room with hygienists who have never even had a verbal thank-you let alone a benefit of any kind. Hooray for the one's that actually get something besides a paycheck. Our profession is lacking big time in retirement and insurance for us and our families. However, the dentist's are set for the rest of their lives. If they aren't it's because they have made the decision not to invest. We are no given the option.

Hey Suzanne, I hope that Sierra in Tonawanda will see our comments and be more polite and reasonable as is asked by this website. She is young, and is fortunate to have found an office that provides more than most. Her responses to many on this website, tend to be caustic. She is a recent graduate, and is in UpState N.Y. or went to school there from her info on questions asked by another person. P.S. One of her answers to a question about Boards, my comment to her: Boards are intense and are not easy , maybe for her they were, but it is very indepth, so those taking them soon be ready for a 6-8 hour test.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

61 months ago

BM in Raymond, New Hampshire said: Hey Suzanne, I hope that Sierra in Tonawanda will see our comments and be more polite and reasonable as is asked by this website. She is young, and is fortunate to have found an office that provides more than most. Her responses to many on this website, tend to be caustic. She is a recent graduate, and is in UpState N.Y. or went to school there from her info on questions asked by another person. P.S. One of her answers to a question about Boards, my comment to her: Boards are intense and are not easy , maybe for her they were, but it is very indepth, so those taking them soon be ready for a 6-8 hour test.

You are absolutely on target about Boards. This is a grueling test for anyone. I took them and was mentally and emotionally wrung out! The stress alone is horrendous. I didn't talk to anyone at that test that was not a nervous wreck.

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BM in Raymond, New Hampshire

60 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: You are absolutely on target about Boards. This is a grueling test for anyone. I took them and was mentally and emotionally wrung out! The stress alone is horrendous. I didn't talk to anyone at that test that was not a nervous wreck.

Hey Suzanne, We both hit the nail on the head about Boards! I was wrung out too! But, during a break (where I felt, how much longer...), I did speak with friends, where we all talked about what questions and the answers were still to come.....I found two answers that I had not anticipated, and sure enough they were on our Nationa Board! I was able to move right along to other questions.

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logan10 in Toronto, Ontario

50 months ago

I completely undertand and sympathize, although i've only been a hygienist for over 5 years now, and i just got back from a mat leave and started in a new office that i can truly say I hate.
I have never worked for a dentist that completely degrades and disrespects their staff and even the patients at times. It is so bad that i am actually wondering if i need a change of profession. I feel completely un apperciated, un motivated, and i am looking for another office but there seem to be no jobs anywhere....any advice....

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

50 months ago

logan10 in Toronto, Ontario said: I completely undertand and sympathize, although i've only been a hygienist for over 5 years now, and i just got back from a mat leave and started in a new office that i can truly say I hate.
I have never worked for a dentist that completely degrades and disrespects their staff and even the patients at times. It is so bad that i am actually wondering if i need a change of profession. I feel completely un apperciated, un motivated, and i am looking for another office but there seem to be no jobs anywhere....any advice....

Hi Logan, sorry you are going through this. Dental Hygiene used to be an awesome profession...seriously, being a hygienist for 31 years I have LOVED it....but in the last 3 or 4 years, I have been made acutely aware of what's been going in with the profession, the education standards, the saturation of the market---far too many DH graduating from far too many schools.....salaries dropping.....often zero benefits, etc.... Now, it is not the profession it once was, now security for DHs is sketchy...now, DH are being put up against each other within offices even to 'fight for shifts'......it's very sad...and very tough for those graduating and not having a job to go to.....

I do not know what will happen in this, but I would encourage you to look at Sonography, Respiratory Tech, Occupational Therapy, Physio, Nursing, everything out there.....sadly, I do think for benefits, pensions, etc....you may be better off looking at other types of careers.

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

50 months ago

Plucky...you've hit the nail on the head. Another thing the "microwave" grads (I like that term!) don't realize is they will reap what they've sown. By the time they have a job, they will be working for a business man, and will themselves be sales people, not health care facilitators. And they only have their own greed to blame for it. I have to add that the quicky schools just added to the greed factor. The microwave hygienists (I hate to call them that) and the schools partnered in that scenario, as well as the DDS and its seems, our associations!! The whole slow demise of hyginien as I knew it has been eroded by GREED. It just stinks and is a total p*iss off!!

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sonya in Augusta, Georgia

50 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: dh2 in Toronto,
I am wondering if you made a decision about your future yet? I have thought so much about mine I am more confused. I am looking more into medical coding and billing so I don't have direct patient contact. I saw a job ad today that was $20-$25/hr with benefits. By the time I go back to school for anything I'll be broke.

how many jobs are available for medical billing and coding?

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

50 months ago

With all the research I've done, not a lot and even less if you don't have experience. I went to 4 local hospitals and asked ?'s and all said they don't hire new grads. I don't know how you get your foot in the door. A private billing company? I think it would be right up my alley but how do you get in?

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Soar in Regina, Saskatchewan

50 months ago

I do not believe how much dentists are exploiting our profession because they know if you wont do it someone else will. Hygienist are becoming receptionist, dental assistants..you name it. I applied for this position not too long ago when dentist asked me if I am willing to clean the office end of the day. I have over 10 years of experience and I felt surprised by his odassity....Seriously, my profession is leaving me behind.........:(

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skrrrrrr in Victoria, British Columbia

50 months ago

There is no room for primaddonas in this profession any more .. especially ones who have the a-u-d-a-c-i-t-y to place cleaning as 'beneath their status.' Yet I've been in many offices where even the dentist will grab the vacuum or a broom to pitch-in for the team from time to time.

The truth is this - these are hard times, and the dentists are seeing a drop in demand which really hurts their income. Cutting out the cleaning contract is one place where docs can make cutbacks without impacting the staff's hours. At one point we had a cleaning company and times were good. Then the market slowed and our income fell by more than half .. the cleaning co. was the first to go, and I now have a front desk staffer doing the cleaning after hours. The hygienists pitch in all the time also ... great team players.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

50 months ago

Hi skrrrrrr,
I agree, everyone should do what it takes to make the office successful. I clean my own 2 ops daily, change traps, dust and sweep. On Friday's I clean sinks, toilets, and mop floors. However, the one gripe I have is our efda who is waiting on taking her boards to be a dds refuses to help at all. Then I get told to get off the clock and finish the work unpaid while she goes home!She says she has been "hooded" and they don't pay her to bust her you know what. I wonder who she thinks will clean her office when she is doc? How do OM's expect their staff to give 100% or respect them when they allow this type of behavior?
Have a good day :).

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Susann in Columbus, Ohio

50 months ago

skrrrrrr in Victoria, British Columbia said: There is no room for primaddonas in this profession any more .. especially ones who have the a-u-d-a-c-i-t-y to place cleaning as 'beneath their status.' Yet I've been in many offices where even the dentist will grab the vacuum or a broom to pitch-in for the team from time to time.

The truth is this - these are hard times, and the dentists are seeing a drop in demand which really hurts their income. Cutting out the cleaning contract is one place where docs can make cutbacks without impacting the staff's hours. At one point we had a cleaning company and times were good. Then the market slowed and our income fell by more than half .. the cleaning co. was the first to go, and I now have a front desk staffer doing the cleaning after hours. The hygienists pitch in all the time also ... great team players.

I'm with you on this one.

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Soar in Regina, Saskatchewan

50 months ago

I am sorry but I cannot agree with you on this one skrrrr.....I clean my op, take my garbage out, take care of my instruments and time to time I help assistants when they are running behind...but to expect I am suppose to be a full time cleaning lady now at the dental office is completely bizarre...I don mind being a team player, but this is something else......

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Soar in Regina, Saskatchewan

50 months ago

and yeh as far as "market slowed and our income fell by more than half .. the cleaning co. was the first to go"...............I dont really see any dramatic hit that dentists have taken financially. I have been working for 2 dentists from last few years...and there is been certain percentage yearly increase in net income every subsequent year.....dentists are becoming picky because they know with all the new grads coming, they can actually get away with it......

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

50 months ago

skrrr...are you paying your front end person to do the cleaning? And if not, why not?

Whose practice is it anyway? If times get tough, as they most certainly are, the best way to be a 'team player' is for you and your wife to clean your own office and set a good example.

Most of us have always done the cleaning in our ops and in the back, but to expect someone to stay after work and clean the entire office is ridiculous and demeaning.

I don't care who it is within the "team".

If the DDS is having a tough time..and that is relative, is it not...then let them do the cleaning. It is after all their practice, and it might do them some good to eat a little humble pie!

Your posts bother me.

They come across as condensending, and not helpful. You sit in a very different place in the hygiene field than virtually all the posters on these forums. You are literally married to your boss, and you have the priviledged position of NEVER being let go, no matter what! Your position is absolutely assured.

Because of that, your posts have very little relevance to the general posters on these forums, and I have a difficult time taking you seriously.

I don't like what I see as a holier than thou attitude, and then you have the a.u.d.ac.i.t.y. to reprimand Soar for being a prima dona??? Please...you have NO say as far as I'm concerned.

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

50 months ago

Margo...I am so glad you have read these forums and that you're taking them seriously. Yes, the situation with DH is in a horrible mess at this time, and for who knows how long.

There are many different fields within health. Have you thought of radiation tech., respiratory tech., med. tech., physio therapist, occupational therapist, pharm. tech., pharmacology,...there are so many.

Whatever you do decide to take on, please do your research, and listen to the economy and the market. The bottom line for the next who knows how many years will absolutely be $$. Go on forums, talk to others, shadow...

Hope this helps, and good luck.

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Soar in Regina, Saskatchewan

50 months ago

waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia said: skrrr...are you paying your front end person to do the cleaning? And if not, why not?

Whose practice is it anyway? If times get tough, as they most certainly are, the best way to be a 'team player' is for you and your wife to clean your own office and set a good example.

Most of us have always done the cleaning in our ops and in the back, but to expect someone to stay after work and clean the entire office is ridiculous and demeaning.

I don't care who it is within the "team".

If the DDS is having a tough time..and that is relative, is it not...then let them do the cleaning. It is after all their practice, and it might do them some good to eat a little humble pie!

Your posts bother me.

They come across as condensending, and not helpful. You sit in a very different place in the hygiene field than virtually all the posters on these forums. You are literally married to your boss, and you have the priviledged position of NEVER being let go, no matter what! Your position is absolutely assured.

Because of that, your posts have very little relevance to the general posters on these forums, and I have a difficult time taking you seriously.

I don't like what I see as a holier than thou attitude, and then you have the a.u.d.ac.i.t.y. to reprimand Soar for being a prima dona??? Please...you have NO say as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks water bug, for a second I felt may be I am asking for too much.....

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

50 months ago

Soar...I can't stand hearing crap like you've experienced. And it's not about being a primadona..it's just about treating people with respect. If you don't feel respected..then I guess you have your answer about the situation you are in.

We've had to take a lot of sh*t the last couple of years, and the stories of disrespect and outright abuse toward the RDH from the DDS and the CDAs is shocking. I am convinced that it was there all the time, but because we were hard to find, things were kept undercover. Now the gloves are off, and it is pretty sad.

I'm sorry you're experiencing this..its the pits. I don't know what your financial position is, so I can't even begin to suggest anything other than, you need to feel good about yourself in the end. Stay as true to yourself as you can without hurting yourself financially etc.

You're welcome for the support - it's great on these forums...we are all in similar situations, and the support really helps.

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KatRDH in Toronto, Ontario

49 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: dh2 in Toronto, I had to laugh about the champion pee-er. Heaven forbid if you have female problems! I currently have a hygienist friend who was diagnosed with low blood sugar and about 10am she needs to eat a couple bites of something, say 1 or 2 minutes and her dr told her no, so she sneaks into the bathroom to gobble as fast as she can. Friday he asker her if she has an infection, that he thinks she should be able to wait til lunch. Isn't that ridiculous? I wish you the best.

holly crap! she should contact human rights commitee, this is a violation of human rights, no matter what profession ur in

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Love my My profession, Hate DDS's in Halifax, Nova Scotia

42 months ago

sierra in North Tonawanda, New York said: here's a radical idea. some hygienists get benefits, vacation, etc. and get paid whether a patient shows up or not. it sounds like you have issues with a particular office, not the profession.
I actually agree with her. I was a dental assistant before and a hygienist for couple of years, I've found that our problem is the greedy dentists that all they can think of is money, they use and abuse us, and treat us unfairly, I know there is going to be a day that again there will be a shortage of DHs, for dentists are shameless in how they treat their hygienist specially since there has been a surplus of DHs, I am leaving the profession also, but I will educate people on many many things that they are not aware of,

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

42 months ago

I am ready to leave this profession as well. I feel like a slave & the dentist has nothing to do with the staff other than to complain! I've been in this office for 2 weeks & hate it. It took me 8 months to find a job after being laid off from my hygiene research job of 6 yrs. I was fortunate to not be in the private practice world & that's why I stayed until the cut backs started so I'm back to private practice again & it totally sucks! I am in a medical coding program online now trying desparately to get out of dentistry. I still have a yr. to go & don't know if I can stay at this office that long but will try my best. I apply for jobs all the time & willing to take the pay cut to get out of this misery! It's really sad that hygienists are treated this way. Most hygienists I talk to feel the same way. I wish I went into something else & listened to hygienists warning me even 10 yrs ago. I just hope I can find work as a medical coder with just schooling and no experience. Good luck to all the hygienists out there.

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dean

42 months ago

dh2 in Toronto, Ontario said: Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if any of you or anyone you know has left the dental hygiene profession and if so, what career did you chose? I am almost 40, and have been doing hygiene full time for over 10 years and absolutely hate it! No benefits, sick days, vacations, get sent home if patients cancel, have to deduct pay if you're late, slave-type work, etc. I am single and cannot work part-time. I have no interest in nursing. This profession has no respect anymore and older grads can't leave their current job if they hate it because there are no jobs left! Any advice is appreciated!

i would like to send you some information rdh.union@yahoo.com

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

42 months ago

hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina said: I am ready to leave this profession as well. I feel like a slave & the dentist has nothing to do with the staff other than to complain! I've been in this office for 2 weeks & hate it. It took me 8 months to find a job after being laid off from my hygiene research job of 6 yrs. I was fortunate to not be in the private practice world & that's why I stayed until the cut backs started so I'm back to private practice again & it totally sucks! I am in a medical coding program online now trying desparately to get out of dentistry. I still have a yr. to go & don't know if I can stay at this office that long but will try my best. I apply for jobs all the time & willing to take the pay cut to get out of this misery! It's really sad that hygienists are treated this way. Most hygienists I talk to feel the same way. I wish I went into something else & listened to hygienists warning me even 10 yrs ago. I just hope I can find work as a medical coder with just schooling and no experience. Good luck to all the hygienists out there.

Well written...hopefully those checking out DH will listen to your experience...it's getting worse.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

42 months ago

I hope people considering this profession will really think twice & read our comments because it is the truth. I am so disappointed of the money, time, & effort that it took me to get my degree & to be treated this way. It's so discouraging. I feel for anyone wanting to go into DH. They will be so disappointed too!

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thinking of being a DH in Palm Springs, California

42 months ago

Hi. I am actually trying to go back to school to take my pre requisites so I can be able to get in the Dental Hygiene Program. I am so excited about al this. But after reading all your blogs, I am having second thoughts. One of the major reasons I want to become a dental hygienist is it pays well...arnd 30-40 dollars? Also,I want to have a stable career. is it true that part time hygienists dont really get benefits like health insurance, 401K? Hygienist out there, pls give me advice. What are the disadvantages and advantages of being a hygienist? Should i pursue dental hygiene or will I just be wasting my time? Should I jusy study something else like sonography? help!

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

42 months ago

thinking of being a DH in Palm Springs, California said: Hi. I am actually trying to go back to school to take my pre requisites so I can be able to get in the Dental Hygiene Program. I am so excited about al this. But after reading all your blogs, I am having second thoughts. One of the major reasons I want to become a dental hygienist is it pays well...arnd 30-40 dollars? Also,I want to have a stable career. is it true that part time hygienists dont really get benefits like health insurance, 401K? Hygienist out there, pls give me advice. What are the disadvantages and advantages of being a hygienist? Should i pursue dental hygiene or will I just be wasting my time? Should I jusy study something else like sonography? help!

If you read all the comments of hygienists on here that are warning people to go into something else it's very true what we are all saying. I've been a hygienist for 7 yrs. & hate it. I'm currently wking @ an office 3 days a week making $27 an hr. with no benefits. This is the norm in most offices. They will pay well but you will probably not get a raise & no benefits. It is very hard work & it is a dead end job. You will rarely move on to anything else. When you want to leave the profession it will be hard to go into another field also, which is what i'm dealing with now so you will end up going back to school to pursue something else so you can change careers. I would highly recommend going into something else because this is not a good profession to get into esp. now with the economy. Hygienists are getting their hrs/days cut etc. I don't mean to be negative but it is the truth. I was told before going into hygiene not to do it but I did anyway & I wished I had listened. I regret the time, money, & effort that it took me to get my hygiene degree & what they all told me was true. I am now going into medical coding in hopes of moving into medicine. I would encourage you to go into medicine. good luck!

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rdh4 in Victoria, British Columbia

42 months ago

To "Thinking of being a DH":
Oh dear. If you're thinking of doing it for the money, then you're doing it for the wrong reason. In the not-too-distant future, you will see hygiene wages plummet even more because of the surplus of hygienists looking for work. It's not the economy, it's just that hygiene has become saturated, finally. Secondly, doing it for the money will not sustain you when you are dealing with difficult patients, employers, and fellow employees. Your mantra cannot be "I'm doing it for the money" in these situations. You will burn out. You need a better reason for getting into hygiene. There is no job flexibility, precious few benefits, and if patients cancel, you are told to go home without pay. Hygienists suffer with repetetive strain injuries and unless you have insurance for this, when you are hurt and cannot work, you don't get paid. On top of this, it's a dead-end job. It's terribly tedious. You hear the same lame excuses from the same patients every single time you see them. And because hygiene is so specialized, there's precious little else you can do with your credentials except for sales and perhaps teaching or research, but those jobs are few and far between. Do anything else BUT hygiene. If you're set on working in the dental field, be a dentist, or nothing else. A hygiene diploma or degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on any more.

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2yrtemp in Las Vegas, Nevada

41 months ago

I hit my all time low today! I was to fill-in at an office that double booked another RDH. I recieved a call as I was leaving for work that I would go and standby in the parking lot just in case, the other RDH didn't show up, I would be given $50. If the other RDH, didn't show I would be given the day of work. She did show and I never recieved the money. I can't believe I did this but, when there is no work, it is amazing what you will do. I let him use me but moreover, he knew he could. I feel like a prostitute! All that work to get a degree and no employment to pay off the school loan.

Prospective DH students, I was told all of these things before I pursued this career yet, I never thought it would happen to me. Don't be fooled. Research your future career well before you pour your life into an empty cup.

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thinking of being a DH in Palm Springs, California

41 months ago

i hear different things. Dental Hygienist in Canada is different from dental hygienist here in CAlifornia. RDH here are well respected. ANd I hear that there are more job openings for a dental hygienist here right now than a dentist. There is not enough dental hygienist here in California.

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exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire

41 months ago

thinking of being a DH in Palm Springs, California said: i hear different things. Dental Hygienist in Canada is different from dental hygienist here in CAlifornia. RDH here are well respected. ANd I hear that there are more job openings for a dental hygienist here right now than a dentist. There is not enough dental hygienist here in California.

Hi, Where are you obtaining this info? If it is from FT RDH's or the govt/BLS or online articles....LIES! Contact temp agencies, they would probably give you more of the truth as to the work for RDH's...they employ PT and place RDH's PT and FT....the others are telling you a bunch of ........if you choose to train in DH be prepared now, look into the market now....too many RDH's and TOO few jobs available to have a decent income and living...

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preDH in Windsor, Ontario

41 months ago

2yrtemp in Las Vegas, Nevada said: I hit my all time low today! I was to fill-in at an office that double booked another RDH. I recieved a call as I was leaving for work that I would go and standby in the parking lot just in case, the other RDH didn't show up, I would be given $50. If the other RDH, didn't show I would be given the day of work. She did show and I never recieved the money. I can't believe I did this but, when there is no work, it is amazing what you will do. I let him use me but moreover, he knew he could. I feel like a prostitute! All that work to get a degree and no employment to pay off the school loan.

Prospective DH students, I was told all of these things before I pursued this career yet, I never thought it would happen to me. Don't be fooled. Research your future career well before you pour your life into an empty cup.

I feel like a prostitute! ???? professional ?/

$30,000 price tag, and two years.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

41 months ago

2yrtemp in Las Vegas, Nevada said: I hit my all time low today! I was to fill-in at an office that double booked another RDH. I recieved a call as I was leaving for work that I would go and standby in the parking lot just in case, the other RDH didn't show up, I would be given $50. If the other RDH, didn't show I would be given the day of work. She did show and I never recieved the money. I can't believe I did this but, when there is no work, it is amazing what you will do. I let him use me but moreover, he knew he could. I feel like a prostitute! All that work to get a degree and no employment to pay off the school loan.

Prospective DH students, I was told all of these things before I pursued this career yet, I never thought it would happen to me. Don't be fooled. Research your future career well before you pour your life into an empty cup.

That guy is a real jerk! Don't feel used, he's greedy and has no self-respect to do something like this. How did you come in contact with him? If it's through an agency, you might let them know he stiffed you on the money to prevent someone else's misery. Also, I'd go into the office and politely ask if someone's forgotten to send your check? At the very least you could humiliate him in front of his staff and if you're lucky the waiting room will be filled with patients. What's he going to do? Blackball you? There's no jobs anyway. But that's just my opinion. I'm sorry this happened to you. It speaks volumes about the way hygienists can be treated and there's nothing we can do about it. I mean really, who else do you know that has to put up with BS like this?

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

41 months ago

That really sucks! I hate that happened to you. I once did a work interview when I was a DA & he didn't pay me & I was too stupid to say anything but I didn't take the offer on the job after that for that same reason. I don't get why hygienists are treated this way. I'm currently working in an office that I hate! I've been working there for a month & the dentists is a jerk to work for! I can't believe I gave up my unemployment benefits for this job! I regret it every day! I'm trying desperately to get out because he abuses the staff & I don't get the mistreatment! UGH! It's so frustrating. I'm changing careers because I'm so tired of the way we are treated. I had to vent, sorry!

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

41 months ago

Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: That guy is a real jerk! Don't feel used, he's greedy and has no self-respect to do something like this. How did you come in contact with him? If it's through an agency, you might let them know he stiffed you on the money to prevent someone else's misery. Also, I'd go into the office and politely ask if someone's forgotten to send your check? At the very least you could humiliate him in front of his staff and if you're lucky the waiting room will be filled with patients. What's he going to do? Blackball you? There's no jobs anyway. But that's just my opinion. I'm sorry this happened to you. It speaks volumes about the way hygienists can be treated and there's nothing we can do about it. I mean really, who else do you know that has to put up with BS like this?

I'm sorry that happened to you. I once did a work interview as a DA & never got paid. I didn't say anything but wished I did. I don't get it because that totally sucks. I work at an office that I hate. The dentist abuses us & I've only been there a mont & hate it! I can't beleive I gave up my unemployment benefits for this job. I regret taking it. I don't get why we are mistreated! I'm changing careers because of it. I'm sorry, I had to vent!

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disillusioned in Santa Barbara, California

40 months ago

I don't know where you live in CA but you are certainly not representing the truth of the state. The market is saturated with new grads and the dentist treat us like we are prostitutes---as long as their is a "john"/patient to see you get paid for that hour but otherwise, you are sent home for work early, told to come in late or leave early but they expect full loyalty from you.
Dentist have always wanted to live well but now it is about second homes, two Porsches and other delusions of grandeur and greed. We are just a means to their good lives. They resent that they have to pay us, the rest of the staff resents us for making a decent hourly rate. We are no longer paid per diem, only hourly and sick days, retirement, vacation days, health insurance are never offered. Often you have to piece together your work week at two or three offices because no one wants to pay their staff benefits so they only hire each person for one or two days a week despite needing a full time hygienist. I actually had a reception once say to me that "hygienists are different than the rest of the staff....they don't need things like benefits"......as if we were substandard in some way. I've been in dentistry since I was 16 and graduated from a dental hygiene program at an Ivy League university (talk about overkill!) and there have been many years of loving being an RDH but those years seem to be a distant memory due to the direction the profession has taken.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

40 months ago

disillusioned in Santa Barbara, California said: I don't know where you live in CA but you are certainly not representing the truth of the state. The market is saturated with new grads and the dentist treat us like we are prostitutes---as long as their is a "john"/patient to see you get paid for that hour but otherwise, you are sent home for work early, told to come in late or leave early but they expect full loyalty from you.
Dentist have always wanted to live well but now it is about second homes, two Porsches and other delusions of grandeur and greed. We are just a means to their good lives. They resent that they have to pay us, the rest of the staff resents us for making a decent hourly rate. We are no longer paid per diem, only hourly and sick days, retirement, vacation days, health insurance are never offered. Often you have to piece together your work week at two or three offices because no one wants to pay their staff benefits so they only hire each person for one or two days a week despite needing a full time hygienist. I actually had a reception once say to me that "hygienists are different than the rest of the staff....they don't need things like benefits"......as if we were substandard in some way. I've been in dentistry since I was 16 and graduated from a dental hygiene program at an Ivy League university (talk about overkill!) and there have been many years of loving being an RDH but those years seem to be a distant memory due to the direction the profession has taken.

I totally agree! Well said! You're treated like a slave & while the staff in my office gets a lunch, I seldom do & don't get paid for that or working late because he's busy on the phone chatting & I have to wait on him to check my patient! I'm so over it!

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Christina in Denver, Colorado

40 months ago

I work for 2 dentists. They not only get a paycheck but they bonus monthly. I am fortunate to have a job, but it is pretty selfish of them to flaunt their fabulous vacations, new cars purchase summer homes, and have the best of everything...and then sit in a office meeting and complain about how our production is down as they threaten to cut our wages and jobs!! They just stopped the 401K plan, they never give bonuses, and raises are definitely a thing of the past.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

40 months ago

Christina in Denver, Colorado said: I work for 2 dentists. They not only get a paycheck but they bonus monthly. I am fortunate to have a job, but it is pretty selfish of them to flaunt their fabulous vacations, new cars purchase summer homes, and have the best of everything...and then sit in a office meeting and complain about how our production is down as they threaten to cut our wages and jobs!! They just stopped the 401K plan, they never give bonuses, and raises are definitely a thing of the past.

Yep! I don't even get a bonus! I've been at my job for only 2 months after being laid off but I'm beginning to think it's not even worth it with everything I put up with. I've been threatened also & I think it is awful! I wish I went into another career because being a hygienist is not at all like I thought it would be. It's like you get no respect & they get all the money & we're treated like slaves!

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nojobs in Mississauga, Ontario

40 months ago

Christina in Denver, Colorado said: I work for 2 dentists. They not only get a paycheck but they bonus monthly. I am fortunate to have a job, but it is pretty selfish of them to flaunt their fabulous vacations, new cars purchase summer homes, and have the best of everything...and then sit in a office meeting and complain about how our production is down as they threaten to cut our wages and jobs!! They just stopped the 401K plan, they never give bonuses, and raises are definitely a thing of the past.

You forgot the million dollars they make when they sell the practice. You help create goodwill by implenting a perio program and giving good service and will receive a new
dds that will want you to produce even more (because he hasn't made his millions yet)
and will be lucky if he keeps you around.

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hudsonp in Charleston, South Carolina

40 months ago

Christina in Denver, Colorado said: Im sorry that you are being treated so bad. I know a couple girls that work for some really nice dds. I, like you, just havent been so lucky as to find a nice one. I am now thinking long and hard about opening my own hygiene practice. I just need to really research it more to make sure that its worth it. good luck to you!!

I haven't been lucky enough to find a good office to work in & it's definitely left a bad taste in my mouth about this career & I am currently in the medical coding program online hoping that a new career will be a better one for me. I hope you do open up your own hygiene practice. I would like to do that if this state allowed it so good luck with that!

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